Recently, I wrote a follow up post about a police officer memorial here in Tucson Arizona for Erik Hite.
A few days later I received an email from this officer's cousin in California who couldn't afford to come and see the memorial that was completed last month. She happened to find the post while doing a search. She also mentioned that she sent the link out to the rest of the family all across the country who could not be at the funeral. The one picture that they are hanging on to is the one taken where he died. I could see the tears in her email as she described her cousin, the funeral and then the peace she had after reading the post and seeing the pictures. As a follow up she asked me to photograph a second memorial that was built at Officer Hite's church so that she could share it with the family.
Of course, I will.
Two days ago, I received another "Contact Via Active Rain" email from a classmate of Officer Hite. This would have been his 25th high school reunion. The classmate has posted the link on the reunion web page and it will be featured in a slide show at the event. He found the post after a Google search that came back to Active Rain and was happy to know there was a permanent memorial for Officer Hite. As a result of this one post, Officer Hite's classmates are going to raise money to add a special marker to the memorial and would like me to help them as a liaison with the Tucson Police Department to make it happen.
Of course, I will.
Posting on Active Rain, Localism and an Outside Blog often generates leads and connects all of us with our community thanks to the power behind the rain. But as we write and post - it's good to keep in mind that there is also a reward that isn't monetary - it's just simply doing to give back. Feeling the tears and the "over the Internet hugs" are reminders to use the gifts of Active Rain in more ways than one.
Of course, I will continue to be grateful to Active Rain for the help it has given to these families and friends - now and in the future.