Here We Are Today, Almost 4 Months Old
When I first started Geauga News, I was focused on filling a void in the community, not on how to attract readers. But here we are, only four months old with 2,700 Facebook fans and hundreds of daily readers! Positive reporting has brought back into balance the realistic ‘state of the nation’ – a community brimming with good people, doing good works, just like good neighbors always have. Because of people like you, Geauga County is, and will continue to be, our home – the place where families live, laugh, and love together.
I first came up with the idea of Geauga News late last summer when I launched what is the basis of our entire site by staying up all night on September 10th to program it. I tend to be driven by my emotions once I latch onto an idea, and although this has hindered me in years past, I have now found productive ways to use this energy.
Positive News – Imagine That
I began working on the concept of Geauga News because I felt like there was no central source for information, no reliable online classifieds dedicated to our specific area, and no outlet for the positive news that was going on around us every day. I hoped that there would be a few people who would enjoy reading about all the good things that happen here in Geauga County, and I hoped that there would also be a handful of folks who might be interested in creating positive things for our entire community.
As I started to spread the word about this idea of positive local news, I was surprised to find that there were many people who felt the same way as I did. By a series of very fortunate events, I met Rachel Hunziker early on, and she immediately dove in head first and took on as much work in the project as she possibly could. Rachel is now one of our co-founders, because she chose to dedicate all the resources she had in an effort to make Geauga News a success. I also told my wife, mother, my brothers, and my sister about the project, and they quickly offered all their support to help make the idea come alive. Thanks to their tireless efforts and the help of all our faithful writers, Geauga News got off to a great start very quickly.
Look! Another Crazy Idea from Gabe! Or Is It?
I’ve shared plenty of crazy ideas with my wife, my friends, and my family, but when I told them about this one, they seemed to immediately see the bigger vision that I had for the project. I’ve done a lot of different things over the past 15 years, but being a part of this community is something unique and amazing. I feel like each one of you in our community also carries the same passion for spreading the positive news about Geauga County, and that inspires me every single day.
I wanted to share more about our origins, because today is another day where I feel we have the opportunity to do something great. I really like what Margaret says here, and I feel like it is a message to all of us:
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead
Be the Change You Want to See in Geauga County
Ok, you know where I stole that line from right? But at the moment that I write this, one of our community members, Michelle Peda, is looking for a new work family. I want to invite you to become a part of a wonderful miracle today.
I first heard about Michelle’s employment challenges from her mother, and I asked her to have Michelle call me directly. I was so glad to hear Michelle’s voice on the other end of the phone when she called me, and I asked her to share with me how our community could help her during this difficult period of her life.
As Michelle and I spoke on the phone, she explained to me how she had just beaten breast cancer a couple of months ago, and by the grace of God, she has received a clean bill of health. During her struggle with cancer, she showed up every day to work despite undergoing radiation. She chose to have a positive attitude, even though at times she felt like the sickness caused by the treatment was more than she could bear. Every day she focused on how to serve the customers she came in contact with, and she remembered that her son needed her support. She fought through one of the toughest diseases that we face today, and she did it with a good attitude. Unfortunately, for reasons that aren’t clear to Michelle, she lost her position. From what I understand of the story ,it doesn’t sound fair at all. But we aren’t here to discuss the past; we are here to create a new future.
As I told Michelle when we spoke, I know what it feels like to lose everything that you have, to feel like there are no options available for you, and to be so angry at life for dumping you in a spot where you don’t see the way out.
I Know All Too Well What Trouble Feels Like
I’m all too familiar with the crushing pressure that the troubles of this world try to force upon us. I watched my world implode five years ago when over the course of 90 days, I lost my business, got divorced, had my best friend die at the young age of 23, and shortly after, watched my grandfather, who I was very close to, pass away from cancer. Sometimes life can be too much to handle on our own. In the darkest hours of my life so far, I found that God provided for me, and pierced through the darkness at a time when I was questioning everything.
How You Can Help
Today, I am doing something that I feel very strongly about. I’m going to ask you to be a part of something huge, something that could change Michelle’s life, and could also change the lives of so many around you. I’m going to ask you to help me create a solution for a single mom who needs someone to show her and her son the love of God and the love in her community. I am also going to ask you to consider how we as a group of thoughtful people can implement a strategy for all of those out there who need a way out and need a new work family.
We don’t just need jobs in our community, we need people to have a second home at work where they are truly cared for by their coworkers, managers, and bosses. In a tough economy we often have to spend more time at work than we’d really like to. It’s time away from our family, which is hard enough, so why not make it somewhere where we know we are truly cared for.
Two Great Ways to Help Change Geauga County
First, I want to ask you to be a part of the miracle that Michelle needs. If you are a business owner and you have a position for her, or if you know someone who is hiring, please contact her through this form. Michelle’s resume is linked right here so you can see what kinds of positions she has held in the past.
I also want to challenge all of you to comment on this post and share any ideas you have for how Geauga News can help facilitate more teammate adoptions. We want to connect all of those out there who are earnestly seeking work to their new work family right here in Geauga County.
Just like our positive news is something that comes from all of you, I believe that if we work together, we can come up with a new and creative solution that helps put more people into new work families.
What do you think? Tell me your ideas on how you can help, both today and/or in the future, by commenting below.