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As it’s been a while since our last free-write… set a timer for ten minutes. Write without pause (and no edits!) until you’re out of time. Then, publish what you have (it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over)

I have a story and a daughter who is the main character. The wonderful daughter of mine works in the PR department of a charitable organization. It has many functions — feeding the poor through its food closet, mental health counseling and referrals, housing the homeless, refugee resettlement, interpreter services, pregnancy counseling, and foster care/adoption placement.

For a couple of years they have had a 14 year-old refugee child (whose family was all killed in a natural disaster) in foster care. S/he is deaf — from birth, but fortunately the family s/he is living with has been  learning ASL so they can communicate. For the past two years the goal of the agency has been to place have him/her adopted by a deaf family or a family fluent in ASL. While there have been families interested, so far they have not been able to find her/him a permanent home.

At a staff meeting, this subject of this child was brought up, and generally no one had ideas about how to reach out further than they had. (Often agencies want the child placed in the same state, but inter-state adoption is also an option.)

My daughter came up with the idea of using Facebook to reach out to deaf communities. She did the research into such groups, and got permission to use the child’s image and first name in posts. She found more resources than she had imagined existed, and even got in touch with Gallaudet University (deaf population primarily) to disseminate information, which they did. The response has been incredible, and all for free! They now have several families who are interested in adopting her, and hopefully in the New Year, she will finally have the home, love and care s/he needs.

This is such a beneficial use of social media — it can be a wonderful tool for reaching out quickly to a wide audience and effecting change!