Here are some of the stories that have been posted on Facebookstories.com :
My Family United Through Facebook to Help the PhilippinesOn November 8, Typhoon Yolanda internationally known as Haiyan, ripped through the central Visayas region of the Philippines. A smaller island in Cebu Province known as Bantayan Island was nearly completely devastated. The island holds special significance in the hearts of my family, so we quickly pulled together to organize relief efforts by creating a Facebook Page: Bangon Bantayanons. (Ba-Ngoon Bun-ty-ya-noons), which translates to “rise up Bantayan people” in the dialect of Cebuano.
My cousin Gail Roska had an idea of creating a Facebook Page dedicated to help the island of Bantayan, which is where our grandparents spent their childhood. Immediately after the storm’s landfall, she got on her computer and started adding cousins, as well as our parents, to manage the page. There are at least 15 of us consistently checking on the Page in order to provide the latest news and information about Bantayan, to coordinate volunteers and donations and even post photos and videos our “ground team” has taken of the devastation.
There’s Gail, her husband Terence, along with her sister Kate, cousins Jaja, Ian, Noelle, Merryl, JP, Carla and their parents based in Cebu City. Our cousin Julie is in Manila. My sister Tyra, our mother and I, along with cousins Erika, Cathy and Anne spread throughout California. Marcia and Mark live in New Jersey. We take shifts so one side of the globe can sleep, while others who are awake frequently check the Page to address any concerns or updates. Our other relatives may not be behind the computer screen, but are working on the front lines with other tasks.
I Turned an Idea into a Sold-Out Event Using FacebookI first tried real hard cider two years ago when my girlfriend's dad moved to Somerset, which is where many of England's cider farms are. We visit him most weekends and so I've been able to learn more about the drink and the tradition behind it.
Cider fell out of fashion in the last 20 years, but it is gaining popularity again and more people of my generation are drinking it now. I noticed when I went to beer festivals around the U.K. that cider always runs out, but yet there were no cider festivals near London. They were all down in Somerset.
So even though I hadn't done anything like this before, I decided to organize a cider festival in Surrey, which is just outside London. I started planning in January for the event which would be in September. Creating a brand, a website and a Facebook Page were the first steps. Then since I had $50 worth of free Facebook advertising from my Wix.com website account, I started a Facebook campaign to get more people on my Page. I had never used Facebook advertising before so I was going into the unknown, but I went ahead and targeted people who like cider or beer pages and who live within a three- to five-mile radius of the event. I could see that the adverts worked really well so I continued with some of my own money.
For the next several months I used my Page to sell tickets to the festival and have a conversation with people. I ran photo competitions and shared interesting facts about cider. I ended up selling more than 900 tickets through Facebook. The Saturday portion of the festival sold out a week in a half in advance of the event, and I sold 450 tickets out of 500 capacity for Friday. I was pretty proud about that since it was the first ever event that I had run.
When the day came for the Surrey Cider Festival, I was running around preparing, manning the front desk and helping with service. But the great thing was that, because I used friends and family to volunteer, we were all really relaxed and just having fun — even through the madness of trying to keep glasses full for hundreds of people. It was a big relief when I saw it coming together.
We had two bars serving 33 different types of cider. People were able to try local artisan ciders, as well as sparkling ciders and pear ciders. For entertainment there were cider-making demonstrations and live music. Everyone had a smile on from start to finish, and we had some really strong feedback from attendees, the venue owners and local papers.
All in all, it was a great success. I have already been approached by local businesses asking to sponsor and advertise in the festival programme next year. I know that when I do it again, I'd easily sell out both days since I already have a community of about 1,200 people and I could probably double or triple that next year.
For now, though, I'm focused on my new job. After a few years in account management and sales, I just started a new role in marketing. I think I partly got the job because of this hobby I had and what I was able to prove through my success on Facebook.
When I can dedicate some time to it, I'd love to put on another event, maybe this time in London. I've already secured the London Cider Festival Facebook Page to be ready.
Facebook Allowed My Son to Make HistoryWhen my first baby was born and we were told he had Down’s syndrome, I was shocked to my core. I knew nothing about the condition and was absolutely gripped with fear of our future and the unknown. What should have been the happiest day of my life was the worst.
I imagined a lifetime of “difference” and exclusion. I had never known anyone with Down’s syndrome and I worried about our future and how we would cope.
To gain some control, I threw myself into research and read about all of the characteristics and possible health problems we might face. Every time I looked at my baby I saw “Down’s syndrome.” It was a tough and confusing time. I was never in doubt that I loved my baby but the information overload was both daunting and exhausting.
Bit by bit, the hurt began to lift as I fell in love with Seb. He smiled, he cried, he laughed, he rolled, he walked and he talked, just in his own time. Before long I realised that he was an individual, not a syndrome or a list of characteristics in a text book, and his likes and dislikes and his personality reflected us as a family, not other people with Down’s syndrome.
It also became clear that Seb was my best tool to help change outdated attitudes and shift perceptions relating to the condition and for people to see beyond the label. I made it my heartfelt plight to show the world what a typical little boy he is and what a typical family life we lead together. He is full of magic and mischief, very bright and witty and he loves all the things 5-year-old boys love – his scooter, football, ice cream, chips, sausages and Buzz Lightyear.
Stuck in the Mud? Our Facebook Group Comes to the RescueAbout a year and a half ago, I started a Facebook Page called Aussie 4WD for people who are interested in four-wheel-drive vehicles and four-wheel-driving, It’s a hobby of mine and I also run a small business selling 4WD parts.
One day someone sent a message to the Page asking if anyone could assist because they were stuck out in the bush somewhere. I realized it might be good to have a community of keen 4WD’ers ready for action at times like this. Most of the time only other 4WD’ers have the vehicles able to access some of the locations and the right tools to get the job done. I thought it could generate a lot of interest and give people a little more peace of mind when heading out on the tracks.
So at the beginning of March, I created Aussie 4WD Rescue as an open Facebook Group for people to post messages when they need help so that others could offer their assistance. I shared it on the Aussie 4WD Page and in some of the other 4WD groups I manage, and within hours there were dozens of people volunteering to serve as a rescue contact.
Originally I thought the group would function by stranded drivers posting their status to the group for others to see, but as usual, these things develop a life of their own and I quickly had people messaging me with their contact information and volunteering their services if needed. I decided to create a map of volunteers by area that people could reach out to when they needed a hand. Now, nine months later, we have more than 800 people listed as part of the Aussie 4WD Rescue Crew that people can call on directly.
How My Family Stays Close with FacebookMy parents moved from Mexico to South Texas in the early 90s with the hope for a brighter future for their family of nine — my parents, four boys and three girls. My parents have always wanted the best for us and they have done everything possible to encourage us to get a university degree. Never did they think that by pushing us that direction, they were also encouraging us to move away and be distant from each other.
Initially, getting accustomed to the American culture and lifestyle was very difficult for my parents. They come from a culture where your kids grow up together, go to school together and most of the time live in the same neighborhood or even in the same house after they get married. A family living together portrays the pride that Hispanics have in their family values. My parents always say, “When one wins, the whole family wins. When one cries, the whole family cries.” All of their kids being together is their definition of family.
From our perspective, American family values were a bit different. That was very difficult for my parents to understand. Typically in the U.S., when you turn 18, you are expected to graduate from high school, move out, find a university, possibly find a partner, get married and start a life together. Most of these decisions take you away from home; usually you have to follow opportunity and wherever that will take you.
This is my family's current situation. I graduated from Bethel College in Indiana in 2010, and in order to fulfill my financial responsibilities of paying off student loans, I moved to Washington state for my job with Experience Mission. Ideally my parents wanted me to come home to South Texas, but that wasn’t where my opportunity took me.
Currently, my sister Jennifer lives in Waco, Texas, about eight hours from my parents. My two younger brothers also decided to go to college at Bethel and are away from my parents. More than likely, when they graduate they will probably not move back home to South Texas.
Finding Another Mom Like MeMy 6-year-old son Brady Patrick has a rare neurological disorder called hyperekplexia. This disorder is so rare that he was the first case diagnosed at the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong in Rochester, N.Y., back in 2008. Up until 2011, Brady was still the only pediatric case at Strong.
Then one day during a check-up with his neurologist, Dr. Jennifer Kwon told us that she had just diagnosed an infant with hyperekplexia. She thanked me because she said Brady's case allowed the neuorology team to diagnose this infant so quickly. Typically the quicker a child is diagnosed with hyperekplexia and started on seizure medications, the better.
I was so moved by Dr. Kwon's news. My Brady's battle with hyperekplexia had helped another baby! All the EEGs, the IVs, the blood draws, the sleepless nights at Strong, the sleepless nights at home and the ambulance rides had a purpose beyond our own little world in Brockport.
My heart went out to the parents because the first two years of hyperekplexia are so hard. There is an increased risk of SIDS for infants with hyperekplexia, and babies can startle so hard they will stop breathing — something that happened to Brady often as a baby. But my heart also felt a little hope. I was not the only parent in Western New York facing this. I had a “mother-in-arms," though I did not know anything about her.
I asked Dr. Kwon for the mother's name or email or town, but of course she couldn't tell me anything. I totally understood, but I wondered. I pined for another mom to talk to. I found one in Scotland via Facebook. It helped, but not enough.
Then one night, the wondering stopped. I was checking a hyperekplexia group on Facebook for any new messages when I saw one by a new member. She was the mother of a nine-month old baby girl from Elmira, N.Y. She mentioned Strong Memorial Hospital. I sent her a message. Could she be? A flurry of emotional messages followed — yes, she was the mother of "the baby."
Here is a snippet of a message Jess sent:
"It was so hard and since nobody has any idea about this, it made it that much worse! I want to hug you for having Brady and having him have it in a way."
We were so excited we forgot to even exchange basic information, instead jumping right into the nitty gritty of hyperekplexia that only another mother would understand. We both said we slept better that night knowing we were no longer on this journey alone.
That was in May 2011. Now Brady is in first grade and doing really well. Jess’ baby Juliana is now a little girl. Jess and I remain Facebook friends and continue to give each other support. We hope to meet each other soon, and introduce Brady and Juliana, who both love animals and have dogs they are very close to who help them with their disorder.
Do you have any stories about you let just share it thought Facebookstories.com