What did we do before Google? OK, we used Ask Jeeves. But what about before Ask Jeeves? Well, nothing and we missed out on opportunities. Some people complain that technology, smart phones, and the internet are ruining the way we connect, but I say “Rock on!” I can’t tell you how many times mutual Facebook friends, retweeted Tweets, pinned pages and stumbled upon sites have connected me to real people in a real way. In fact, 42 LEADers in Greece last summer connected with over 150 Somali and Afghan refugees all thanks to a Google search. That’s over 6,300 real life connections making positive impact from one Google search alone.
Of course you never hit the jackpot from your first search, so my story starts hours into Google searching for a potential Greece service partner when I found this- a self-organized Somali community in Athens banded together not only by relationships but also online- this is unheard of because the refugee community remains underground-not to our surprise- and definitely not online. Like trying to land an “X” on a triple letter on a triple word in Words With Friends, I shot Doug Rutledge an email to learn more about the work he was doing with the Somali community in Athens. A few emails were exchanged and before long, I met Abdi Roble. His passion and enthusiasm to help was apparent instantly as we began to have phone conversations and hear each other’s paths. Over the next several months, we agreed to talk. That’s it- simply connect.
The knowledge I gained alone was more than I could have asked for, not to mention our breakthrough in early 2011 when Abdi sent me an article about the leaders of this community, including contact information! This was only the beginning of adding Somali, Afghan, and many other communities to the LEAD family.
On January 30, 2012 Abdi was recently honored as one of the White House’s Champion of Change. We are excited to know him and be a part of the work he is doing. Click here to check out more about The Somali Project.
What monumental connections have you made via a Google search?