Many of you that know me are aware that I personally am not a huge believer in the positive attributes of the internet or social media.
It’s not that I believe that the technology is evil within itself; it is more that I have seen how that same technology can and has been abused by some people for their own nefarious and sometimes criminal purposes.
With that said, I am also very pleased every once in a while when people make positive use of these same tools to do good things for their fellow mankind.
Quite often on my Facebook account I have friends post information about missing children (Amber Alerts) or missing pets and stolen property.
Once in a while I see posts about positive results from one of those posts, and it makes me feel thankful for the folks involved.
Let me relate a little story that recently involved my wife and myself. It is certainly not as dramatic as finding a missing person or even locating stolen property, but it demonstrates what a helpful heart can accomplish with just a little help from technology.
About four months ago I began receiving a copy of The New Yorker magazine in our mailbox.
Well, I knew that neither my wife nor I had subscribed to this particular publication, so I quickly looked at the address label to see whose box it should be going to.
Lo and behold, it actually had our box number on it and was addressed to Chester, CA. Oops, it has a different name on it, unknown to us.
“Hey Jim, I got this magazine in my box. It’s got my box number, but somebody else’s name.” (Everybody knows Jim here at the Chester PO).
So Jim checks the name against those at the PO and, you guessed it, no match.
How do you notify somebody that doesn’t appear to exist, that you’re getting her magazine?
Well, after receiving and returning a couple more issues, my lovely bride decided to take the next step.
She went on Facebook and searched the name on the address label.
Nope, no such name came up, but wait, here is a name that is almost the same and they live in Chester; Chester, Nova Scotia, that is.
Could it be? Well no harm trying. A quick message to the lady via Facebook and, you guessed it again, a return message saying, “I wondered what had happened to that order.”
Another couple of messages and a call to the magazine office and The New Yorker is going to the correct address and “Laura” is enjoying her updates on New York.
Isn’t it amazing that a kind heart and a little effort could make a positive difference in a complete stranger’s day?
This writer is so blessed to have the people he does in his life.
Plus the chance to find out that there is a town called Chester on the other side of the continent in a different country. (Canada).
By the way, Laura described Chester, Nova Scotia, as a coastal village that relies on summer tourism as its chief industry. Does that sound familiar?
She also said that on the morning this piece is being written, it is 5 degrees at her house and that the main reason she is traveling south to Costa Rica is for some sun and fun.
Hope she sends some photos and hoping more folks will use social media for positive outcomes.