I know, I know, BlogHer was so….. last month. And I already wrote my BlogHer ’11 wrap up, but something else has happened since then. Something so huge and so humbling that I had to write about it.
Because BlogHer ’11 wasn’t about the parties.
It wasn’t about the swag.
And it certainly wasn’t about a racist unicorn.
(just Google it because the post doesn’t even deserve a link)
It was about community.
About a week after I attended the conference, I got an email from Brighter.com, a dental insurance company. I’m sure that many of you who attended BlogHer have received pitches and emails since the conference, and I’m not going to lie: Some of them have been really random. And dental insurance? Well, it’s not exactly a subject I write about.
I was ready to discard the email and send a polite “thanks, but no thanks”…… and then I remembered something. It was a post I had read months ago. A post written by a blogger just like us: A mom, a wife, a woman. A blogger who was planning on coming to BlogHer, but couldn’t make it. Because of her teeth.
When she was 16 years old she was involved in an abusive relationship and lost her front tooth after being battered by her boyfriend. She had it repaired, but the replacement recently fell out.
She’s unemployed, her husband is a double transplant survivor, and all three of her children are special needs. Her dental insurance deductible was well beyond her means, and she could not afford the cost of replacing her front tooth, which also meant she had to forfeit her ticket to BlogHer. But the BlogHer ticket money still wasn’t enough.
And when I read this post about the embarrassment and shame she felt the day she had to go to her son’s school for a Mother’s Day tea, my heart broke. She is a lovely person: a wife and a mother, and a regular person just like the rest of us, and her missing tooth is not something she can hide.
We can all hide our sadness, our frustration, our anger, our desperation, our hardships, and our pain, and she has been able to hide what being unemployed, stressed and pushed beyond her limits does to her spirit.
But she has not been able to hide this. And it hurts her.
So I emailed Brighter.com and told them about my friend, fully expecting nothing to come from it.
But something did.
They paid her deductible- nearly $500. A deductible that goes to another insurance company.
And then they gave her and her entire family an entire year of free dental coverage.
And they asked nothing in return. Nothing.
And that? Is incredible.
And it reminded me of something that I had forgotten:
That blogging is important. We are powerful, we are a community, and together we can make a difference.
And THAT is the single most important thing I took away from BlogHer ’11.
Now I want to ask for your help.
I want you to help me thank Brighter.com for their generosity. I want all of us to tell them that what they did matters. I want us to send a message to them, and all the other companies who work with bloggers, that this is the kind of action we want to see. That it’s not about swag, money, giveaways, and popularity: It’s about making a difference.
Here is how you can help me thank Brighter.com:
Visit the Brighter blog and give them some traffic.
“Like” them on Facebook and write on their wall. Thank them for helping.
Tweet them and thank them for their generosity.
But the best way to thank Brighter.com is:
Tell the BlogHer Network about this story. Tell them that this is what you would like to see from their sponsors. That this is what really matters to the blogging community.
You can give Brighter.com a shout out to BlogHer on Twitter.
Or you can write on BlogHer’s Facebook wall.
Please help me spread this important message.