The power of social media

Editorial: Facebook campaign helps Comox grandma

Nobody who understands it has any doubt about the power of social media, but it is nice to see it work for a good cause every once in a while.

Yes, it’s cute to watch cats react to bananas, or dogs playing with deer, but occasionally something happens on the world wide web that proves there’s a purpose to social media, aside from seeing videos go viral.

Case in point, Dianne Murray.

Dianne came into the Record office on Friday completely shattered. She had lost her old elementary school desk – one of those little desks with the seats attached that, if you were the biggest student in Grade 4, you probably struggled to get your knees under. Dianne has seen her children and her grandchildren grow up playing on that desk. The pen marks and dents added to it by her off-spring made it an invaluable keepsake.

Dianne’s desk was left in the hallway outside her apartment while some painting was being done in her home. The desk was picked up, and dropped off at the hospital’s second-hand store, misinterpreted as a donation for the cause.

Dianne went to the store, only to find that the desk had already been sold.

She came to the office to place a lost and found ad, and it was then that the Record editorial team took action. We went one better. We took a picture of Dianne, with a picture of the desk, posted it on our Facebook page and let the community take over. The story was shared almost 800 times. It was viewed by more than 42,000 people. And, on Monday morning, we received a call from a lady who had bought the desk. She had no idea someone was looking for it until she went online Monday and saw the posting on Facebook.

Dianne and her desk were reunited and all is good in the world again.

No, it wasn’t a cure for an awful disease. No, it wasn’t an over-the-top fundraising effort that brought in enough for a costly operation. But it was a sad story turned happy, in our own backyard, through the power of social media. Had this happened 30 years ago, the chances of Dianne ever seeing that desk again would have been slim and none.

So three cheers for Facebook and three cheers for everyone who got involved in either sharing or liking the story. Someone’s actions led to Dianne finding a family keepsake. And that beats a cat and a banana, any day of the week.  -TF


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