Unexpected acts of online kindness

Dresden Shumaker, Single Mom & Blogger, shares her story of how the online community supported her and her family when they fell on hard times in life
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Unexpected acts of online kindness

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When you create a blog or create a site or you sort of dip your toe into the social world, you don’t really know if somebody else is out there, and for me personally, I started writing for myself as a journal as a way to document what I was going through and the amazing thing was that when I found community, when I found support, I didn’t even realized it was possible, and that was a whole new level. I started writing for people and receiving comments from people, it was a very feeding experience that fed my soul and validated me and it was also great cause I was home bound with my grandmother and pretty much like having interaction with other people. When my family went through a lot of different hard things, the internet was always there for support, mostly emotional, but sometimes with actual things; there was a time when my computer died and I was like, well, alright, there goes blogging, there goes the internet, there goes my connection to the world and I got a phone call from one of my readers who said, “ You know I have a computer, I bought it so I can use the scrapbooking program but I don’t use it anymore so I’ll send it to you if you want it,” and within 24 hours I had a laptop and I was able to connect with the world again. It was amazing, it was a life saver. But even bigger was a few months later when my family found ourselves homeless, we had nowhere to go and we’re at the point when we were looking at shelters, researching if we could live in a car, and a reader sent me a message and said, “My family has a property out in Maryland and we’d really love for somebody to come there and take care of it during the winter and you can bring your dog too,” and I can’t even explain, like I never met this women, I never talked to her on the phone, she just left me comments to support me during my pregnancy and said, “oh God, that sucks,” when I talked about the things we were going through and how she found it within herself to reach out to me, one that she never met just knew digitally and say,” Come stay in this house, I want you to be okay.” Which led to this amazing friendship with this women in Maryland and my mom and I lived in this house for a year. Who does that? Who says I’ll take care of your family, I’ll make sure that you don’t hit the bottom and it’s the people online.

Dresden Shumaker, Single Mom & Blogger, shares her story of how the online community supported her and her family when they fell on hard times in life

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Dresden Shumaker

Single Mom & Blogger

Dresden Shumaker blogs at Creating Motherhood, a site she created in 2005 to chronicle her path to single parenthood. She was honored as a BlogHer "Voices of the Year" keynote speaker in 2012. A former Hollywood insider, Dresden now spends her days working in PR and new media for a Philly tech startup and her evenings negotiating with her three year old son about the number of toys he may bring into the bathtub. Dresden is a single mom and lives in a multigenerational home in Philadelphia.  

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