Realizing Facebook

I’m a Youth Director. I’m fundamentally against Facebook. Or I was. Until recently. As a Youth Director, the last thing I wanted was to get in my youth volunteers’ business – knowing that the information they post about themselves isn’t always ‘Red Cross appropriate’. I appreciate the time they spend talking to me about the issues in their lives, but I didn’t want to pry or spy on them through the pages of Facebook. So I didn’t jump on the Facebook bandwagon and fewer and fewer of my emails were returned.

I met with Mat Morgan at the Volunteer Administration Institute in January and got educated about Facebook. I learned that I didn’t have to look at anyone else’s profiles unless I wanted to. I also learned that most teens communicate on Facebook and that there were some cool features – like sending invites to events and posting pictures – which I thought could be really useful.

So, on February 8, 2008, I gave in and made a Facebook page of my very own. A scary day for me. Then the coolest thing happened. My youth volunteers started asking to be my friend! I now have over 70 friends. They are all my youth volunteers of course because I’m that lame, but this is so exciting! I can send people messages on the ‘Wall’; I can send a message to their Inbox if I want it to be private. I can post pictures of projects, I can invite youth to upcoming events, and I can even remind them of things. I can take polls and join causes and groups. Someone sent me a bone! Now I have a little dog on my page that brings bones to people I like. I think I even got my first bumper sticker, though I’m still not entirely clear on the purpose of these yet. I am a member of the Red Cross Cause and people can donate money to my chapter right through my Facebook!

This is brilliant! I am now testament to the fact that Facebook is a wonderful communication tool. Be my friend if you want!

Crystal Knezek
Director, Youth Leadership
American Red Cross Martin County Chapter

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3 Responses

  1. Yay Crystal! As an MCHS graduate and current social media communicator at headquarters, I love your story!

  2. Wow! I graduated from MCHS also. We should touch base at NYI. Will you be attending?

  3. As a fellow youth advisor for the Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter, I wholeheartedly agree. We’ve had our We’ve had our Chapter’s youth group on facebook for almost a year now, and it’s been extremely valuable when planning events, contacting other volunteers, and sharing information. I also recommend this as a communication and marketing tool for other Red Cross youth groups.

    Jessica Ports
    Coordinator of Youth Programs
    Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter, FL

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