I’m a woodworker. I’m also an editor working for a company that publishes woodworking content. So I want to start with this disclaimer. My personal posts to the website have nothing whatsoever to do with my employer. All comments are my own. Period.
Now the important stuff. My first post isn’t about woodworking. It happens to be about social networking and sites like this and how they can help good, worthy causes. Let me explain.
This morning when I logged onto my computer at work and opened up my email, I noticed an email from Facebook.com. Martin Sojka asked me to be his friend! I have to admit that I don’t understand all the inner workings of Facebook! I was confused.
I had to think for a minute.
“I don’t know anyone named Martin Sojka, do I?” I thought to myself.
Then I remembered he is the founder of this great (and rapidly growing) website. Great job Martin. I decided to log onto Lumberjocks after a long absence and investigate. (By the way, not sure what it will lead to, I accepted Martin’s offer of friendship!)
Then in a flurry of inspiration I posted the following comment on my profile page. I realized that it probably wouldn’t reach too many people there, so I started a blog page. Here’s the comment:
This morning I was surprised to find an email request from Martin Sojka to be my friend on Facebook, the social networking site. I joined Facebook just a few weeks ago to see what it was all about. I really have had little personal contact with Martin, except for a few shared emails back when he was starting Lumberjocks and I was developing a new woodworking blog for August Home Publishing, the company I work for as an associate editor, and the publisher of Woodsmith magazine, among others.
If you know anything about WoodworkingOnline.com, it’s probably because we host our seminar video podcasts there. At one time, three to four editors were actively posting to the blog about their woodworking experiences, but lately and for a lot of reasons, the only posts have been monthly podcasts.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. In a couple of weeks, several friends and I will be walking to raise some money for a very special cause—the Walk to Defeat ALS.
Also known as Lou Gehrigs Disease, ALS has has hit my family hard. A year ago last January, my wife Lisa was diagnosed with ALS. Since then, it’s been hard to focus on anything but this terrible disease. Lisa is doing well. Although she is confined to a wheelchair, somehow she manages to keep a positive attitude and her strength and courage have been an incredible inspiration to me. That is why I decided to use this forum to ask for your help to defeat this disease and to help raise funds to provide local patient services.
If you decide to participate, you can donate to the National ALS Association, to your local chapter, or sign on as a member of Lisa's Angels. This is a group of family and friends who will be walking to raise money and awareness on Saturday, Oct 4th here in Des Moines.
I know this site is not about fund-raising. And it’s possible the moderators may decided to take this blog post down since it doesn’t have much to do with woodworking. But, if every LumberJock decided to donate just $10 to this cause, it would be an incredible success story.
And, needless to say, I would be very pleased and proud to have made a friend of Martin Sojka.
August Home Publishing Co.
-- Joel Hess, Associate Editor, August Home Publishing, WoodworkingONLINE.com