New literacies and / as sponsorship

IN addition to blogging last night, I posted a call for help on FB and received 5 firm commitments and a couple of maybes to help the one family I wrote about on FB. But rather than turn volunteers away, I contacted LSS and asked if they had 4 other new families who could use a shopping trip for winter clothes. Haven’t got all the details worked out yet, but I think that will happen.

FB has helped me crowd source multiple times, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. What’s great about putting out the call is that I don’t have to consider, who should I, or shouldn’t I, email? No one feels addressed, precisely, leaving guilt or a sense of annoyance at me (I hope) out of the picture. But the need registers with many, it can be shared unobtrusively by others. I’m not an active FBer, but I’m married to one, so she gets the message out really effectively for me.

This time around, 1 “usual suspect” responded, but so did 4 others with whom I have seldom talked about refugee resettlement issues.  A friend in Iowa even offered to send some clothes, but I put him in touch the Iowa Refugee and Resettlement Service in Des Moines.  Some social networking!

New literacies quite directly enable sponsorships of not only literacies, but sponsors of basic needs. Not quit Arab Spring proportions, and of course the desire to be a sponsor has to be in place before the FB post is read (whether that desire has been articulated or not), but yesterday and today were a couple of good days for social networking, new literacy, and sponsorship in my corner of the world.


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