When Kaylee Goemans of Barrie, Ontario had to rush her six-week-old newborn Dominic to the hospital for treatment of a serious bowel disorder, her son’s condition was not the only concern on her mind. No, she was also worried about how she would refill her parking meter so that her car wouldn’t get towed, Today Parents reported.
Goemans, who is struggling financially and would have been hard-pressed to afford a car-towing fee, found support by posting a request for help to a buy-and-swap Facebook group for moms in her town.
“Women just started pouring in, asking what car I drove and where I was parked to put change in for me,” Goemans told Today.
The women who offered to help included Rachel Banks, who said she lived “just around the corner” from the hospital.
“[I]f you need anything at all pls [sic] don’t hesitate to contact me anytime! If your meter is running out or you just need a coffee or some food!!!” Banks wrote, according to Today.
Can you imagine if Goemans hadn’t gone the social media route to ask for immediate help? Calling people for help could have taken all day. She could have tried emailing or texting friends, but how many people would she have reached? The local Barrie buy-and-swap group has more than 6,000 members, meaning Kaylee was likely able to reach hundreds of them instantly, including those who conveniently live near the hospital.
I’ve seen this sort of thing time and time again, especially in Facebook moms’ groups. A mom asks for help or shares a story about hardship and other moms are quick to provide assistance, whether it be advice, an extra coupon or even the occasional care package.
For all the ills attributed to social media — depression, body shaming, etc. — one indisputable good is its ability to transform groups of strangers into communities of folks who are eager to help one another. In many ways, these cyber communities mimic the waning IRL communities that moms had traditionally counted on for support.
Even for the most cynical among us, it’s hard not to find inspiration from stories like this — stories that show that people really do want to help their fellow man (or, in this case, fellow mom) especially if you give them concrete ways to do it.
Goemans told Today that the help that strangers provided on that frightening day allowed her to concentrate on what mattered: her baby Dominic, who still has at least one procedure and possibly a surgery in his future to treat his condition.
“Knowing I had all these ladies there for me, to help me with parking, meals, and even hugs made me able to focus just on my son and his needs,” she said.
Best wishes to Goemans and her family and kudos to the women who stepped up in her time of need. Through favors big and small, social media users like them are making the world a better place, online and off.