When social media first arrived, most thought it was the next evolution of the bulletin board and forums. There was a topic for just about everything, and everybody could respond in writing or post images or both. However, social media has since become a lot more than just posting thoughts and phrases. It has become an extremely effective way to influence many, many others. And it’s impact is so widespread, national governments now have to worry about it as an operational risk.
Some folks are just a natural to social media, jumping in like a fish to water. While making a digital dent might seem like the challenge impossible for many, these people are able to craft and deliver in such a way that that automatically develop large audiences online wherever they post. Dubbed “influencers,” these easy posters seem to be untouchable in the social media world, always seeming to draw more and more traffic no matter what they do. That was the case for one couple who had a huge following with their Instagram account. Every post they made was responded to with thousands of positive fans. Then they made one particular post that hit everything sideways. Like their other work, this post went viral too, but the effects were definitely unintended.
Who’s on First?
The couple in question involved Wendy Joseph as well as Dan Hennessey. These two were able to pull off what hundreds of marketing experts would pay thousands of dollars to learn how to do and still not get it right. That was because for these two, their postings were simply a natural extension of themselves. Their story begins back in 2006
The beginning date is in the middle of the 2000s. The real estate boom is in full swing, and college students are poking around with this thing call the Facebook among other apps available on the Internet. However, unlike the typical gibberish of voting someone good-looking or not, or filtering through various posts on MySpace, Facebook offered something unique: instant reaction from others. That made it attractive to young people.
Dan was barely in college and his number one goal was definitely not studying on Friday night. It was meeting girls. He and thousands of others just wanted to meet, socialize and connect. So, given that everybody seemed to be posting and connecting online to meet up, Dan like others signed up too.
Checking Out Friends
One of the key ways that Facebook became very successful was that once a person was accepted as a friend, they had access to another person’s contact list and friends. This networking feature allowed people to make additional connections with people whom they already liked and probably would like their friends as well. That was how Dan connected with Daphne, in a suggested friend message from the system. While Dan reached out, however, Daphne did not, but Daphne had friends too. That’s how Dan found Wendy. So, Dan tried Wendy next.
Dan Gets in Trouble
Unfortunately, while Daphne didn’t respond, she did talk to Wendy. When Wendy got Dan’s message, she asked Daphne about it, who confirmed Dan tried to connect with her as well. Dan wasn’t scoring points here. Wendy chalked up him to being shallow, which she wasn’t interested in and ignored him. Dan kept trying though. Finally, Wendy decided to find out more about him.
Dan was never known for being a quitter and he wore Wendy down. Finally, she decided to at least engage in a conversation. She responded and that’s when the flood doors opened. Not only did she realize she liked Dan, Wendy was actually realizing she was falling in love with him from a distance. Dan insisted in meeting, but she refused. She wouldn’t connect all the way with digital face. So, Dan got creative. Dan figured she wanted people and protection, so he invited her to a common friend’s party.
He figured it was a long shot, but Dan threw the party invite Wendy’s way anyways. So, what was going to happen if she accepted? He hadn’t really thought that part through. Was it possible to make a party up? He was in college after all. Dan recruited his friend in on the gig and made up a party after all. They got everybody talking about it and, sure enough, a party buzz was happening. Now, Wendy just had to accept the invite.
The First Date
Dan was totally wired up and stressed. This was the first time he was actually going to meet Wendy. Granted, he had his friends, music and the right environment, but he still actually needed to come off right and not look like a jerk to her. Fortunately, Dan didn’t need to worry. They hit it off so well, the natural chemistry between the two took care of everything.
The First Night
With the last of the friends leaving the dorm room, Dan and Wendy were still up talking, connecting and figuring each other out like a deeper and deeper puzzle you can’t quit. Surprisingly, they both agreed they should stay friends instead of getting more serious, but they bonded that night. Wendy wasn’t ready for a serious swing and Dan still had to get some of his party mode out of his system.
Usually, when a girl tells a guy she just wants to be friends it’s code-word for she’s not interested, period. However, the two stayed connected and close friends for six months. Only then did they actually decide to try a relationship.
The Romance Takes Off
Dan, unfortunately, just couldn’t calm down with his partying. Wendy wasn’t blind; she was watching him connect and connect on Facebook, and his friends list kept growing, including a lot of other women. She never believed at that point that Dan was cheating on her, but he was definitely being very friendly, maybe too friendly.
Jealousy Kicks In
Wendy finally started succumbing to her doubts and wondering why the hell Dan had so many female friends on social media. Wasn’t she supposed to be his woman focus? That put Wendy into a negative spiral, and she stopped being social. Her studies had been suffering, and she needed to correct the ship quick to stay on track. Dan was, however, busy going elsewhere.
Dan kept with his partying despite Wendy’s concerns. He started leaving her alone and still going to his parties. Dan’s habit were starting to become a problem in their relationship, and he didn’t want to give them up. Then, Dan left his computer and Facebook page open, and Wendy came across it. Her curiosity got the best of her, and Wendy started reading his messages. Was Dan actually cheating on her?
The Message Was Innocent
Despite her suspicious, the message from a woman Dan never mentioned was innocent. But it was enough to set Wendy off, and she started tearing through all of his Facebook posts and messages, realizing he was talking to dozens of women. It sent Wendy into Sputnik orbit with her stress.
Getting to the Bottom of Things
Wendy was so full of doubt, she wasn’t sure anything Dan was telling her anymore was truthful. Her own confidence issues didn’t help. Dan wouldn’t quit partying, and her mind started play tricks on her. That led to arguments and soon their relationship was hurting. They finally broke up.
Dan felt like he was being trapped and forced to give up what he wanted. Wendy knew she couldn’t get him to compromise, so she let him go to focus on her studies instead.
7 Years Later
Interestingly, Dan and Wendy connected again seven years later. They had grown as people and as individuals, so was there anything left to bring them back together? Wendy had kept herself busy and developed a YouTube voice on fashion and fitness. Her line of natural beauty and health hit it big, and Wendy was very popular.
Dan was the first to try again. He happened to find Wendy’s YouTube channel and kept watching more and more of it. He was amazed with how she had grown, how her confidence had developed, and whom Wendy had become. He began to feel attracted to her again as well.
When they did meet up again, both felt awkward and wondered what the other one was thinking. The attraction was still there, but so was a lot of anxiety. Had anything changed? Was it worth even trying to just be disappointed again? Wendy didn’t want to be sucked down a hole again. So much had worked out for her since their breakup.
They continued to communicate and talk. Dan even guest appeared in one of her videos. Wendy began to feel closer to Dan again and the feeling was mutual. So where was this going a second time around? The didn’t know, but they kept spending more time together again. The YouTube channel was cathartic as they were able to give advice on their own mistakes to others needing help.
Two to Tango
Dan and Wendy realized they had something powerful. It wasn’t just a feeling; Wendy’s channel had exploded to 100,000 followers. It had been 10 years since they first met and got together. Dan and Wendy decided to surprise their fans with something big. The posted a photo that changed their digital world. Side by side, the couple showed themselves then and now 10 years later.
The couple’s photo and time lapse hit it big. Not only did the likes jump by the tens of thousands, the story hit the big press as well. Suddenly, their post was showing up in major newspapers and dailies. What the heck was going on? As it turned out, their dedication to fitness seemed to make time go backwards. Many thought the couple looked younger than 10 years earlier.
It’s no big secret that fitness and eating right makes people look healthier. It showed in the couple’s photo, but they were shocked by how their audience responded. Realizing they hit on something big, Dan and Wendy decided to focus their channel on fitness and make it work for them. There theme would be different world locations while making fitness videos on location. The fans loved it.
They were different people now. Wendy was full of confidence, and Dan was far more focused on them versus his party days. The change brought them closer together. And, on one trip in France, Dan took the chance to propose to Wendy right in front of a very famous Tower.
Making It Work
The two knew their bond was something unique and special, and it took some absence to find it again. Dan and Wendy continued to keep moving around and, ultimately, they relocated to Costa Rica because the location worked better for their fitness on location theme. Most importantly, their relationship came back even stronger.
Act of Kindness at Party City Launches Heartwarming Viral Challenge
When Natasha and her son Grayson packed up their bags to visit Party City in Martinsburg, WV, they really had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Ostensibly on a trip to get some Valentine’s Day gifts for school, Natasha and her son would end up engaging in a conversation with the cashier at the register. A short talk later and the cashier would gift young 2-year-old Grayson a yellow balloon. While the interaction may have seemed relatively mundane at a glance, it would go on to launch a viral challenge that would bring smiles to households around the world.
Launching a Viral Challenge — on Accident!
After returning home from Party City, Natasha Kable Fogle realized the depth of how touched she was by the gesture of kindness. Natasha would turn to Facebook in order to highlight the act of kindness granted at Party City as well as what it meant to her son, Grayson. While Natasha had wanted to spread the word about Party City’s positive practices, she had no idea that her Facebook message would become the next big thing in viral challenges!
Natasha uploaded a video thanking the cashier at Party City for her act of kindness, and it wasn’t long until the message had found its way around the internet. Pretty soon, a local law firm near Natasha would decide to launch the #YellowBalloonChallenge. The law firm, named Catrow Law PLLC, decided to launch the challenge on Twitter to start an avalanche of positive acts of kindness.
Catrow Law described the #YellowBalloonChallenge as a game of passing kindness forward in ways both large and small. From mowing the lawn or shoveling a driveway to paying for the car behind you at the coffee shop, the Yellow Balloon Challenge would quickly find its footing on the internet. To get things started, Catrow Law PLLC would pay $100 to Meals on Wheels by paying for a stranger’s account. The donation was tagged with a simple message, “Keep the yellow balloon challenge going!”
The Internet Saves the Day
From Catrow Law PLLC, the Yellow Balloon Challenge would find its way to Studio M Boutique where it was summarily accepted. Studio M Boutique would agree to donate 10% of its sales for an entire night to a client that had been engaging in a fight against cancer. Not only would Studio M Boutique end up raising an exceptional amount of funds, but the business would push the Yellow Balloon Challenge into another demographic of potential challengers. Among the other local businesses to engage in the Yellow Balloon Challenge was TJ’s Pit Stop who had dedicated its donations to The Boys and Girls Club.
Viral social media challenges have played a huge role in day-to-day life and the Yellow Balloon Challenge was no exception. First there was the Ice Bucket ALS challenge and now the Yellow Balloon Challenge. What else can the internet do to help those in need?
A 100-Year-Old Woman Still Works at McDonalds: And Wants Birthday Cards
Working in a fast-food environment can often feel like a thankless job for many people. Often, workers are youngsters who either start their work career here, but some older people stay there for many years. For example, a Pennsylvania woman who just turned 100 is still working at McDonald’s in her hometown. And she plans to work there as long as she can – and her dedication earned her many birthday cards.
The Incredible Story
For years, Ruth Shuster has been at McDonald’s, working as a restaurant greeter and a table wiper. Though she only works three days a week, she says that the work keeps her engaged, introduces her to new people, and pays her few remaining bills. Even during the Covid pandemic, she has gone to work every day, though she misses seeing large crowds and her dancing expeditions.
That’s right – Ruth Shuster, a 100-year-old woman, loves dancing. Before Covid-19, she would go out four nights a week with her friends and has kept in great shape by continually working and exercising in this way. Ruthie (as she prefers to be called) has been working for 50 years of her life when her husband passed away when she was just 50. This work has been inspiring to her. She said:
“I became a widow when I was 50, and I’ve been working ever, ever, ever since and I like working.” Ruthie has not given any thought to retiring – for her, the work is much too enjoyable, and she keeps going to work every day, not just for the money but to see people. At her age, she says, the chance to see young people and to be immersed in her community is more than worth it.
“To me (age), it’s just a number,” she said. “I get payday! I get paid and I pay my bills…I never had a lot of money but I always had enough.” Ruthie has indicated that she is likely to stay at McDonald’s for the foreseeable future. They are very welcoming, provide her with a free Egg McMuffin on workdays (her favorite McDonald’s meal), and accommodate her unique needs as a worker.
The Cards Keep Coming
When Shuster turned 100 on March 3, she started getting so many birthday cards that McDonald’s gave her a personal mailbox. These cards are nothing unusual for Ruthie – she has been getting them for years at the restaurant because of her popularity with customers – but the big 100 has inspired many people to send cards. The rush has been overwhelming and has given her even more joy in her late life.
Ruthie and McDonald’s have welcomed people from outside of the community to send her birthday cards. Many are on display in the restaurant to celebrate her dedication to her job. Anyone who wishes to send these cards can do so at 9061 Lincoln Hwy, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 15642. Ruthie encourages personalized greetings to make the card even more memorable.
Meet ‘Car Park Charlie’: Parents Welcome Child to World in Unlikeliest of Places
There are few times in life where we feel less in control than when we welcome our first child to the world. Parents and nerves go hand-in-hand, particularly as they go through the process together for the first time. For Harriet Hanson and Adam Smith, the process couldn’t have gone smoother or have happened in a less likely of situation.
In today’s story, we are going to take a deep dive into the baby taking over the nation. We are going to introduce you to Car Park Charlie and the family that he calls his own.
It Started With a Hospital Trip
When Harriet Hanson and Adam Smith checked into the Premier Inn Grimsby, it wasn’t because they had fallen in love with the place. Harriet and Adam had whisked themselves away to the hospital that previous morning after Harriet had begun to experience contractions late in her pregnancy. The two had driven from their hometown in Skegness for more than 45 minutes to arrive at the hospital in Grimsby of North East Lincolnshire. The advising doctor at the time told Ms. Hanson and her husband that she was still likely ‘a ways off’. Harriet and Adam were told that they could go home and were advised to return when the event was nearer.
With home almost an hour away and snow rapidly accumulating on the roads, Harriet and Adam knew that they didn’t want to drive all the way back to Skegness. After all, the long drive + the likelihood that they might have to immediately drive back made them more than a little nervous. So Adam would pull the family into the Premier Inn right outside Grimsby where his plan was to book a room. Fortunately, the night staff was headed by Mike Krofchak who was quick to get the couple a room, and quicker to come and save the day just hours later!
Settling Into the Hotel Room
It hadn’t taken long for Adam and Harriet to realize that the hospital had been mistaken in sending them away. Harriet would soon experience her water breaking and due to the inclement weather, Adam and Mike were forced to take an active role in the process. Mike Krofchak, the quick-thinking night clerk, was quick to get on the phone with an ambulance while Adam and Harriet settled in for their adventurous night.
On the phone with the hospital, Adam was told that he must prepare Harriet for delivery himself. Fortunately, his skills weren’t put to the test as paramedics arrived just in time to help deliver the child in their ambulance. Charlie, affectionately nicknamed ‘Car Park Charlie’, would enter the world at 12:29am on February 8th while weighing in at a solid 8lbs and 3.5oz. According to the team at the Premier Inn, Charlie would instantly become the youngest-ever guest to stay at the chain, and they have offered a complimentary stay for a return visit to the family.
According to Adam and Harriet, had they not made the decision to stay at the Premier Inn rather than drive home, it was very likely that their child could have come to a negative or unhealthy end. Adam told the press that his family made three lifesaving decisions on that night: avoiding snowy rides driving home, staying at a nearby inn, and choosing the Premier Inn.
For his part, Mr. Krofchak was just happy to be part of a fun story. Krofchak stated, “It was a real privilege to know I helped in some small way with the safe arrival (of Charlie).”
Pets Elected As Mayors, Earn Town Money For Project Development
Fundraisers are a dime a dozen, but great or unique fundraisers, on the other hand, are not so common.
Desperate times call for desperate measures or thinking outside of the box, and that’s exactly what officials at a town in the state of Vermont did.
Instead of moping about the pandemic’s impact on their city, they decided to go back to the drawing table and come up with a plan to develop a proper playground for the children in the town and its environs.
So what did they come up with? The election of two animals, a dog, and a goat, as mayors. That fundraiser may probably be one of the greatest of all times, (goat) or just doggone smooth, but either way, the plan has been working.
The fundraiser began in 2018 in the Vermont town of Fair Haven, where they elected a goat named Lincoln to hold the position as their honorary mayor.
The project aimed to raise funds to remodel a park that has been in a state of disrepair after serving the community for more than thirty years.
Once Lincoln completed his term as honorary mayor, he was succeeded by Murphee, a dog who still handles the special mayoral duties to garner funds for the project.
Both Lincoln and Murphee make frequent appearances at events, and people have been spending their money to catch a glimpse of them.
Murphee is a King Charles Spaniel, and his owner was ready from the onset of being approached to use her dog for the fundraiser.
Little did she know that it would become a significant undertaking attracting thousands of people and raising thousands of dollars.
The city aims to raise a hundred thousand dollars, and so far, the animals have helped to warn approximately thirty thousand of the amount.
The town has added another twenty thousand dollars to the amount raised, putting them at half the amount needed.
With the honorary mayors gaining national prominence, it is expected that they’ll make the full amount needed for the redevelopment project at the park and more.
The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has given a grant amounting to the other half required for the development, to Fair Bank.
Therefore, any additional earnings will go to other things needed in the community.
Residents are genuinely appreciative of the show put on by both Lincoln and Murphee in refined style and plan to begin the park renovation project in the spring.
Everyone is looking forward to the transformation of the park, which will enhance the aesthetics of the town.
It is not yet clear if the honorary mayors will be popularly featured at the park or if they’ll be participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
However, it turns out; this is undoubtedly going to be spoken about for many years to come. It will be a great story to tell the future generation about how the funds were raised to build the fantastic Park that they now enjoy.
Young Boy Keeps Toy He Was Measured Against As A Premature Baby
Doctors sent home a woman and her husband to prepare for a miscarriage, but the defiant parents stayed put and now have the tale of a lifetime to tell.
So does their four-year-old son Logan Ray, born less than six months of pregnancy, has a Superman action-figure as proof of how small he was at birth. He was only 12 inches in length and weighed a pound and a half. He and the action figure his parents Rob and Val placed beside him shortly after his birth, are now inseparable.
How did this fascinating and heartwarming story come about?
Nearly five years ago, when Val was pregnant with their son, doctors wiped the smiles off their faces by announcing that the baby would not make it to full term. The Physician claims the baby would not survive at all, and they should brace themselves for any eventuality.
The reason for the bad news was that Val had been diagnosed with a cervix problem. The doctors said examinations showed her Cervix was incompetent. That situation usually transpires when unstable cervical tissue induces or contributes to premature delivery or the loss of pregnancy even though the gestation is, on the other hand, healthy.
Val and Rob blocked out the bad news they received, and we’re adamant that they would remain in the hospital to see the pregnancy through. The baby was a fighter too and stayed put for all of twenty-three weeks. Val helped out by keeping her feet elevated and staying in bed for three weeks without getting up to do anything that could further jeopardize the pregnancy.
She gave birth to a child now known as the ”Superman Baby” for dual reasons. He was mighty strong and put up a fight to survive, and he was the size of a Superman toy. The toy idea came about when the nurses suggested to the mom that she should use something like a keepsake to measure the baby alongside. When she ran the idea by her husband, he was very supportive and they agreed on the Superman novelty.
The doll was sanitized and placed beside Logan. For fifteen weeks, he remained in an incubator at the Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon fighting a myriad of complications that many feared would hinder the survival of Logan, but he pulled through like a champ. It was after those four months that he was finally able to leave with his parents.
From the hospital days to now, four years later, Val has been taking a multitude of photos with Logan carrying around his action figure. The doll is an indicator of Logan’s successful development after a traumatic experience in the first few months of his life.
According to the happy and grateful parents, they communicate with the doctor who wants a regular update on Logan, who he refers to as ” tough.”
Many people consider not just Logan’s survival but the fact that he has no further complications a miracle. Just like his action figure, Logan is healthy and strong as any regular child his age. His parents say they will never get rid of the Superman tog as memorabilia is not just for them, but for Logan when he becomes an adult.
He will have a tear-jerking story to tell years from now if or when he becomes a parent as well.
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