Seven Naval officers, the majority in military fatigues, are grouped in a semi-circle, holding red, white and blue U.S. Mail packages with signs reading: The U.S. Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Forward November is ASSOCIATED! Thank you!
Though admittedly a patriotic moment, it’s the story behind the photo that’s worth a thousand words. One of the men pictured sent the photograph as a thank you to his Baltimore friends in THE ASSOCIATED’s Young Leadership Council (YLC) for their overwhelming support.
What did YLC do? The group sent 11 care packages, crammed with food and treats, to him and his colleagues on active duty in the Middle East. By email, he wrote:
Seeing how much care and love went into this project was awesome. Reading the thank you cards was quite humbling for me, as I realized people that my sailors and I don’t know appreciate what we are doing 7,000 miles away from home. Please let everyone know that their packages have been distributed to our troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Oman and the UAE. You have made some overworked and tired sailors happy with this generous taste of home.
We’ve posted the photo and an excerpt of his remarks on the ASSOCIATED Women Facebook page. Thanks to social media, the story doesn’t dwell in a letter. Nor does it lie dormant in a report. Instead, with a click, everyone on the ASSOCIATED Women Facebook page knows the feel-good story. Technology makes it simple to link people and stories.
So, too, is how we come together as a community of ASSOCIATED Women. Where once our communication was limited to a letter or phone call, now we reach visually, verbally, instantly with Facebook and Twitter. We align ourselves with “likes” thanks to Pinterest and Foursquare. We discover something new with a sweep of our finger across a miniature screen.
In November, ASSOCIATED Women launched its Facebook page. Our overarching goal was to provide a vehicle for instant, constant communication. One of our first projects was documenting the Women’s Community Mosaic, a series of tiling sessions culminating in an exquisite mosaic at Sinai Hospital.
Photographs from the sessions were posted. We saw more than 300 women and girls create this magnificent piece of community art. Online, participants shared their joy about the experience. Together, our online community watched the mosaic come to life with the support and guidance of the team at Art with a Heart. The project lives on – not only as a centerpiece in the real world, but as a touchstone in the virtual one.
Our Facebook page welcomes sharing programs, ideas and stories that connect us all. Good thing, since our shtetl has grown exponentially. One of the major trends shaping today’s and tomorrow’s Judaism is globalization. No longer is the next generation primed to stay local and live in the same zip code where their parents live. Instead, people expect to travel across borders – time and place are irrelevant. People expect to communicate myriad ways – in person and online.
No matter how fast the speed or new the medium, however, what does not change is the need to connect and stay connected. And that brings us back to Facebook and the growing repertoire of social media tools.
We have nearly 200 members in our online Facebook community. Inspired by friendships that build slowly, we hope to become stronger and grow larger day by day. By design, we’ve created a closed group, meaning that only members can view and post messages. ASSOCIATED Women Facebook is here for announcements, event postings, and messages to one another. Please join us as we take the next steps in our communal and personal Jewish journeys.
Because whether you are right next door or a world away, we invite you to share your story … and perhaps, a photograph or two.
How to join ASSOCIATED Women on Facebook
- Log into Facebook or join Facebook by following the online instructions
- Search for ASSOCIATED Women
- Click on the button in top right and ask to join
- Wait for your confirmation
- Read. Post. Enjoy.
RELATED ARTICLE: Camp Tzedek: Little Hands Doing Big Things>>