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The Power of Social Media to do Good

Earlier this week we saw a Facebook Marketplace listing asking for closed-toe shoes for the women and children of Afghanistan.  The woman who posted the listing explains that she has just learned from a friend that many women have lost their belongings as a result of the bombing/fighting and don’t have proper shoes to wear in the freezing weather:

A couple days ago I had an experience in clinic that broke through my defenses and brought me a couple tears. I treated a young lady about six weeks ago for shrapnel wounds and fractures of her foot. She was injured with seven female relatives when her mud house became a no mans land between a sizable force of Taliban and a group of US Army soldiers intent on destroying them. There was a wedding party being held at the house that day. Well, needless to say the house was destroyed and all the women injured and brought to us here at Bagram. We did a lot of surgery on their extremity wounds and the general surgeons saved several lives, although not that of the baby one of them was carrying. One of these patients is a very pretty young woman that I have to guess is about 18 or 19. She came to see me in follow up the other day in clinic. At home she’d be in college perhaps and concerned with making good grades or getting a date with a cute boy. Here she is just concerned with survival and the pain in her foot. She’d had some breakdown of skin over her healing wound and good wound care by her uncle had improved that over the last couple weeks. It’s winter here now and the snow and sleet was coming down that day. After treating her I noticed the shoes she was putting on. I use the term “shoes” lightly. They were a pair of plastic flip flops that were held together in a couple placed with scotch tape. I asked her and her omnipresent male guardian if she had any other shoes for the winter. They said no as all their belongings had been destroyed with their house.”

When we checked back on the listing today, we noticed that people around the world were touched by this story/cause and offering to help, including a salon owner in South Korea who comments: “I’m actually in S Korea but would like to help. I have over 200 employees in my salons that would love to be part of this. Please let me know what I could do from here. ”

We have also learned that mini-drives are spinning out at Cisco and Oracle, as well as through mom’s groups as a result of friends sharing the listing with friends.

For anyone interested in donating shoes, EcoFabulous has offered to be a collection point in San Francisco at:

Rickshaw Bagworks/ecofabulous Headquarters
904 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

Oodle is also serving as a collection point in San Mateo @ 60 east Third Street. We will be sending out our first shipment of shoes to Afghanistan on Monday, with a follow-up shipment in January.

We hope this story of how social media has the capability to do good will inspire others.

2 Responses to “The Power of Social Media to do Good”

  1. December 18th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Oodle.com (oodleblog) « Oodle Blog » The Power of Social Media to do Good « Chat Catcher says:

    [...] 2009-12-18T18:25:40  #oodle The Power of Social Media to do Good [link to post] [...]

  2. December 21st, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Oodle Blog » Shoes for Afghanistan Update says:

    [...] « Previous Shoes for Afghanistan UpdateDecember 21, 2009 by Kirsten BollenNo Responses » [...]

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