We didn't select this post because it inspired a TV news segment, or even because it has placed a woman and her children in a safe place, away from violence for a night or two (while they are safe, there's still more to be done). All of that occurred afterward. What we noticed was a story that was adeptly captured and shared, and that was so compelling that readers wanted to take action. That's why we selected Julie, author of tangobaby, as our BlogHer of the Week.
In April, Julie chanced upon K and her three young children on a street in San Francisco. The woman held a sign that asked passerby for money for a "warm place 2 sleep."
"I walked past them, just like the other people on their way home. I admit it. I saw her and sailed on by. ... But I had seen the tears in her eyes, too, and so halfway down the block, I yelled at myself inside my head for being an asshole and went back. I had $30 in my wallet and gave it to her."
This Samaritan act might have been enough to get the woman what she needed for a motel room, but what else? Julie has a conversation with K and her children. K had tried to seek shelter for her family at a number of places but couldn't get into any of them. She cannot go home because it's too dangerous. Julie asks K if she can blog about her situation, even take some pictures. K agrees,
"It can't be any more embarrassing than what I'm doing now," she says.
From here, we see portraits of a family that we cannot ignore or forget. Julie gives K's older children the camera, and we see their playful smiles and wonder, when will they stop smiling for the camera? When will they have tears in their eyes? When will they understand that they can't go back home?
Julie asks her readers for help, and her readers respond--some with donations, some with contact information, some with support.
But again, that's not why we chose this post. We chose it because conversations are powerful, but not if they are not shared powerfully. Julie found a way to extend K's voice, to tell her story without K having to painfully do so. We've seen how new media can be a platform for helping others, but by allowing her subjects to participate in telling their story, Julie adds another dimension of immediacy. Her readers are compelled to give K's story the happiest ending possible.
Julie, thank you for your post, and for your ingenuity.
And thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts.
Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them
coming! If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive.
For Elisa, Jory and Lisa
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