Making it Count

August 10, 2012

I have been musing on this post for quite some time, highly anticipating my leg of the Shot@Life Blogust Blog Relay for Good since it was announced with a video that gave me chills. What would I share? What one story could I possibly tell that would express my feelings about how blogging has changed my life, how comments have impacted me, how honored I am to be included amongst this stellar team of 31 bloggers or how it feels to be a part of a something as innovative as Blogust? Truth is, there is no single story.  There never really is only one. That’s not how this all works. Not the blogosphere, not the internet, not world.  As Catherine said so well in her post yesterday, the story is a community story.

From the beginning of blogs until now, we have witnessed that story taking shape; from outline to introduction, chapter to chapter. The stringing together of thoughts, ideas and experiences, that over a relatively short amount of time has woven together an epic tale of integrity, authenticity, vulnerably, strength, support, and compassion. Perhaps the best part of this story, is that it’s enduring. And it’s getting better and better with each page.

As for my thoughts on comments, which are driving the enormous success of this campaign, quite simply, I treasure them. And to all the people who have kindly offered comments on the many stories I have shared over the years, I want you to know that have read them all and I offer you a big grateful thank you! For being so supportive. For being so generous. For reminding me I am not alone. When you share something from your heart; something perhaps that you never thought you’d share about your struggles or something that you’re excited to share, like your successes, an answer coming from the other side is like a lifeline. Anyone who has received a kind comment when they needed it most has felt it. And that give and take, that back and forth, that conversation does end up being an important part of the story as a whole and it’s totally inspiring.

So, what happens next? I’m not sure. We’ll have to keep reading. But I do know what happens now. We keep writing. We keep sharing, expressing, commenting, and encouraging.  We take what we’ve got and we try to create the most good that we can. We use this powerful collective platform and we make it count. We forge ahead and continue to create the kind of local and global change that will stand as the legacy of this—our community story.


Be a part of the story and make it count today by simply commenting on this post. That’s all you have to do to make a difference in the life of a child that needs it most. Your one comment here will translate into $20 that will go directly to Shot@Life to provide a child with the vaccines they need for a shot at a healthy life. Yes, you heard right, $20 per comment up to a maximum of $200,000 to reach 10,000 children. 10,000 children!!! That is a staggering amount of good.

And in the spirit of community, Shot@Life is not only counting the comments you leave here today, but they are also counting the comments made at Shutter Sisters (I know, it’s crazy awesome, right?) so pop over and join us there as we tell our community story with images and if you leave a comment there too, that’s ANOTHER $20 donation to help another child. Pinch me.

And for tomorrow? Next up in the relay will be Suzanne Chan. Be sure to visit Suzanne tomorrow to keep this story going.

179 thoughts on “Making it Count

  1. marcy

    Thank you for publicizing this and for all you’re doing to help others and promote positive changes in the world. Thank you for reminding us to look for appreciate the beauty and good in our worlds and lives.

  2. Becs

    This is such an amzing initiative, I so love the idea of a blog relay!
    I love what you’ve written here – espeecially the line “…we try to create the most good we can”. I’m relatively new to the blogging world and all this is so inspirational, thank you for sharing it.

  3. lifeineden {amy}

    Having been involved in blogging for many years, I have watched it grow and change — sometimes for good, sometimes not so much. I love how this campaign not only benefits a fabulous cause, but perhaps helps us get back to the roots of bloogging — connection.

  4. Harriet

    Thanks for participating in this important project..Love your story, yes, we are all part of a community..we all have a role to play and together we can make the world a better place!

  5. Morra

    Tracy, I’ve been so inspired by your blogging for years. And then when I met your daughter in DC – wow, I knew you were on to something. Thank you for shining your light on us all!

  6. Myrdin Thompson

    Thanks for this post! I find that sometimes in just putting “pen to paper” I am better able to process those truly transformative events in my life. Blogging about what I’m passionate about helps me gain perspective. I often look back at older posts and think is this still relevant? Did something change? Do I still feel this way about this issue? And always recognizing those who make a difference in our lives never goes out of style!

  7. DebC

    Writing about how blogging has changed my life…a subject much too involved for my intellect.
    I just know that I love being able to share about my life and, dare I say, my art.
    And, in turn, I love being connected to other bloggers through their blogs.
    Comments are our footprints.
    I, too, treasure them.

    Wonderful cause you are blogging for today.
    If I could also post at Shutter Sisters, you know I would…
    and this would be the comment:

    Family rocks!
    My granddaughter, age 2 1/2:
    and my niece at the county fair:

  8. sashalyn

    I have been participating in commenting all over the blogosphere to help with the Shot@Life relay. Thank you for being a part of it & allowing me to help yet again!

  9. Amber

    Tracy, I have loved both your blog and SS since my start in photography years ago when my kids were small. I have grown both as a parent and a photographer and value the treasure of family that my camera captures everyday. Thanks for the inspiration and the opportunity to participate.

  10. Chrysula

    You have energy and a spirit about you that just makes us all want more! Thank you for your pictures and stories that let us share a little bit of your essence every time we stop by.

  11. melissa

    thank you for sharing your generous, wholehearted and honest life reflections via your blog, tracey. your writing has been a source of great inspiration and solace. though I have been quiet on my blog lately, I remain committed to the storytelling process, where our souls offer expression in the spirit of connection. beautiful blogust.

  12. Emily McKhann

    Tracey, I love how you’ve captured for all of us this moment in time –

    From the beginning of blogs until now, we have witnessed that story taking shape; from outline to introduction, chapter to chapter. The stringing together of thoughts, ideas and experiences, that over a relatively short amount of time has woven together an epic tale of integrity, authenticity, vulnerably, strength, support, and compassion. Perhaps the best part of this story, is that it’s enduring. And it’s getting better and better with each page.

    We are all here together at the beginning of something so new, powerful and transformative, and I love getting to pause with you here and marvel that we get to live in this moment in history, and be there for each other in ways that were never possible before.

    I’ve loved your writing and photos for so long and am incredibly excited for your new book to come out, Elevate the Everyday. We certainly are doing that here today!

    Here’s to raising $20 for a child to receive four very needed vaccines!

  13. Tanis

    It’s amazing to think that something so easy as commenting on a person’s blog, which I’ve been doing for years now, is helping to change someone’s world and raise money for a great charity. I’m so proud of each of you who are in this relay and I’m so inspired by this entire campaign.

  14. Mom101

    And you are always one of my favorite commenters – to see your pretty face (or just your lovely, supportive words) pop up in my comment section, any time, always brings a smile to my face. Your comments make a difference to me, and I’m glad that now my comments here make a difference to you–and a child.

  15. Elena

    This….” an answer coming from the other side is like a lifeline”…this is the beauty of a comment. Knowing that someone is connecting and that in some way or comments help sustain us, propel us to try new things, and even act as a cheering section.

  16. Kelly M

    Thank you for being part of Blogust, and for using your blog to share candid experiences with your readers. By sharing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions you allow others to experience the interconnectedness of the human experience. Peace

  17. souphead

    i’m going to be honest. i’m swamped at work and don’t have time to read blogs today, but i want to make a comment for the donation so. commenty comment about nothing.
    thanks :)

  18. Carolyn

    I’m so in awe of your work, and love the community that you have created, Tracey. And that these comments will help others is a bonus. Thanks to you and Shot@Life!

  19. alison chino

    I love your words about comments! I don’t always love to admit how much I actually care about the comments on a post. It’s not an exaggeration that they can be lifelines, or at the very least, a lifeline for writing. I’m willing to keep writing when I know someone else is touched by it.

    Thank you!

  20. Merilee

    Thanks so much for your post and for all that everyone is doing for this awesome initiative. I’m happy to help in a small way!

  21. Nancy Lyn Cotter

    Thank you for participating in this vital program – sharing the wealth as they say. It is important for all of us to do whatever we can from wherever we are – no matter how small it may seem, it all matters. Time to step up and take hold of our lives in new and responsible ways, connecting and sharing with those who are like-hearted and like-minded is crucial, as we work together to raise our voices for positive change. Thank you.

  22. Alyssa

    Does anyone else wonder why we have to do this? I’m happy to “comment for change” but really why can’t the donors just donate?? What good does it do to make us comment on blogs? It’s not even that the donors advertise on these blogs. They don’t get anything out of it, and we don’t really either.

    I just don’t understand the format I guess…

  23. Holly

    Love these babies – love that we can help them by posting a comment.
    “For the Love which, from our birth, over and around us lies
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our song of grateful praise.” *
    I’m grateful for this opportunity to spread the love.
    Thanks, Tracey!

    *The Doxology

  24. Leslie

    Such an awesome campaign! I’ve been trying to leave comments on as many of these as I can. I’m sure the goal will be reached, can’t wait to hear the final count on how many comments came in!

    Besides that, you have been an inspiration to me for years and it was such a pleasure to meet you at ALT! Looking forward to contributing to the community story with you. The story of women, the story of our lives, the stories about what matters to us.


  25. Diana

    “I do know what happens now. We keep writing. We keep sharing, expressing, commenting, and encouraging. We take what we’ve got and we try to create the most good that we can.”

    I love this! Beautifully said.

  26. Felisa Hilbert

    I just starting to blog, so all this wonderful posts every day has been like a crush curse to me and have been enjoying the personal, passionate and candor of the authors. love the goodness that this blog relay is spreading around and the easy way for people to help the shotlife campaign . What a easy way to provide vaccines for developing countries! Thank you for your support!

  27. Julie Marsh

    Tracey, have I told you that you are one of my favorite people ever? From the time we met at BlogHer06 through the too-few occasions that we’ve been together since then, you’ve been someone who always makes me feel good – about myself, about our community, about the world.

    I love that you and so many other great people are part of this amazing effort, and that it will have a direct impact on kids a world away. We always ask “what can we do?” and here we are doing it.

  28. Amy Lu

    Thank you for being a part of this amazing month of blogging and supporting one of my favorite causes, Shot@Life. Beautiful photos – I’m happy to know about you!

  29. meredith winn

    tracey, thank you for writing this (for participating in blogust, yes, and for all the goodness that comes from it) but thank you for these words here specifically. for putting the importance back into the writing, the blogging community and shedding light on how it all began as tiny seeds and grew into something so much bigger. i very much needed to read these words today. xo

  30. Sue

    A creative and thoughtful fundraising strategy. The only problem for me is so many bloggers with interesting thoughts and so few minutes in the day to read them all, or even some, and get on my with my own life!

  31. Julia

    This is so inspiring, and proves true for many bloggers/authors!!
    Thanks for being apart of this amazing Blogust campaign. Just one post can really make a difference :)

  32. Jil

    The fact the the Internet can be used for good when it always seems to be used for the “bad” or the “nasty” is a great story . . . so happy to leave a simple comment and know that I am doing something good.

  33. jyl johnson pattee

    Perhaps one of my fave evo experiences was before it all took place… our phone conversations. I loved getting to know you better through our talks on shifting perspective and seeing things or picturing the world in a whole new light. We need to continue that conversation!

    Between now and then… My fave part of your post was: “Truth is, there is no single story. There never really is only one. That’s not how this all works. Not the blogosphere, not the internet, not world.”

    I’m glad that all of our stories and all the comments that stem from them and help shape them is making a difference in the life of a child in Africa. AMAZING!

  34. Jan Adams

    Your blogs are always inspiring! I have learned so much from you and been inspired over and over. Thank you for contributing to this initiative and making us aware of it. You are phenomenal!

  35. beth reynolds

    Tracey, thank you for the words, for the inspiration and for making it possible for all of us to help. Often we feel so isolated and separated, it’s amazing what this internet community can do when it comes together. Thank you for letting me be a part of something larger.

  36. Jill Greenlaw

    You are one of my favorites. You not only tell stories in your blog, but with you pictures. I had the wonderful privilege of going on a photo walk with you and I fell in love immediately. You have a way of helping people dig deep and find out what makes them excited, curious, and passionate. Thank you for your post and for all your efforts to give a child a Shot@Life.

  37. Caroline Barrett

    Tracey, it’s been such an honor getting to know you and your daughter this year. You and Julia are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for all of the good you’re doing together!!

  38. Jeannette

    Tracey, you not only take breathtaking pictures but you write so beautifully. I’m honored to be a part of Blogust with you. It was great to meet you IRL during EVO. Keep inspiring us!

  39. Brandy Robertson

    Well said! At every stage in life someone asks “what next?” Your answer is the best one I’ve heard; “We continue.” I recently spent 4 months in Botswana volunteering and upon my return I was asked “what next?” My typical response was to laugh and say “I don’t know; all I know is this isn’t the end.” Onward and upward!

  40. Stephanie

    Thank you for participating in this great cause. How wonderful that so many people are willing to give a child a shot at life.

  41. Lia Drumond

    I just loved this initiative! Hope it really works and all these ppl effort be a real relief for such a suffering situation.

  42. cathy

    oh wow, this was really thought provoking… i wonder where the world of blogging will be in the next few years. blogging helped me heal so much and i have a group of those i follow who helped me so. you being one of them! what a great cause too. i can’t wait to see where you go next. xoxo

  43. Dee Vlasak

    Participating in community, no matter how small or large, is one of the most human experiences because of the connections and feelings developed. Thank you for creating another valuable vehicle for that experience.

  44. Justin Maddox

    You capture the essence of this movement well. We are a community trying to instigate positive change in the world. It is a pleasure to leave you this comment, knowing it will plant the seed in giving a child a healthier life.

  45. Jenny Lu

    Even though my blog is small and about my family (with very few followers) comments still mean so much to me. This post is so beautifully written. I love the sense of community in blogging, how we can uplift someone across the world we have never met by taking two minutes out of our day to type a little note on their blog. Now because of Blogust those quick comments mean so much more. They mean a Shot at Life for thousands of children!

  46. Myriam

    Our words become something else we put intention behind them. Your words
    share your best intentions Tracey; they encourage others to share, life, love, struggle and hope.
    All these comments send the best intentions out to the world and towards this initiative.
    Thank you for the opportunity.

  47. Beth Huffaker

    “that give and take, that back and forth, that conversation does end up being an important part of the story as a whole and it’s totally inspiring” – So true!

    Thanks for being a part of this awesome story!

  48. carmel mac

    Thank you Tracey for being part of this blog community that is making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children . Thanks to you and all those posting comments for helping these children grow up healthy, and one day contributing with their own unique blogs perhaps inspiring others with a well written word.

  49. Angela

    what a wonderful way to spread some love…thank you for being part of this amazing movement, and thank you for gifting us all with a chance to help. xox

  50. Elise

    Thank you for being part of this relay! I was so glad to meet you and attend your photo workshop at the evo conference too – I’m thinking about and using your tips everyday.

  51. Elle

    Just commenting in hopes of helping a child get much needed vaccinations. This movement is awesome and gives me hope that little things can make a difference.

  52. Adrian

    So glad I thought to click on the blog. I was panicking because I clicked on the webstagram picture first and I am the last person in the world who is not on Instagram yet. Didn’t want to miss my chance to comment. I think I’ve caught every day so far.

  53. Melissa H

    Sounds like a great cause! Unrelated, congrats on the new book–I always think of you as one of the kindest people on the internet since I found you and your blog a gazillion years ago during a very short stint writing for Clubmom. So great to see Shutter Sisters and all you’ve done since.

  54. Kerry Murphy

    I love reading comments on random blogs and seeing all the positive energy that flows from stranger to stranger. Good indeed exists all around us – even “virtually”. Good luck to you all as you work your campaign for the kids!

  55. Blissmamaof3

    Inspired, inspiring,each and everyday. Thank you Tracey for taking us along on the ride and helping us readers find the beauty in our everydays.

  56. Fadra

    What keeps me blogging and unwilling to give it up and “get a real job” is the amazing sense of community. You just can’t get it anywhere else and I love that we are collectively using our voices to make a difference! (And a huge one, at that!)

  57. Clearly Kristal

    Love the realness in your writing — your words and your photography (worth more than a thousand words!). I’m a relatively new blogger. And now a new follower. Wonderful, meaningful work you’ve got here. Also a fantastic cause. Best, Kristal

  58. Andrea

    This initiative is amazing. I hope what happens next is that we all continue to be aware and participate. Remember the importance of working together to support so many. Thanks for giving me a chance to stop by and do my share.

  59. Elise

    In today’s world it’s easy to feel too busy to take the time to see and respond to others’ needs. What a great opportunity from Shot@Life!

  60. Diana

    This is a fantastic initiative, raising awareness, raising funds and making it easy for us mouse-potatoes to get involved and help out.
    It should also encourage us to think – and discuss – the necessary education campaigns that should accompany such immunisation drives. There is still a lot of ignorance to be overcome, even in developed countries such as the USA, and unfortunately, we are now also dealing with the backlash of the covert operations in Pakistan that took place under the guise of vaccination campaigns.
    Lots of work to do, but, as the famous proverb says, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
    Thank you for participating!

  61. Brandy Robertson

    I figured why not comment twice since I love this idea so very much – I’ll stop by Shutter Sisters again too because I quite enjoy what you do over there as well.
    I recently got back from a wonderful weekend in Ottawa Canada with an organisation that is near and dear to my heart. World University Service of Canada (WUSC) works to bring students from refugee camps in Africa and Asia to study in Canadian universities and colleges. I told everyone about Blogust and what a great fundraising initiative it is. What I wouldn’t give to find a generous donor to contribute to WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) in the same way! I am currently fundraising in my own small way for the SRP by challenging myself to run a half marathon in December and blogging about it here:http://21kforchange.blogspot.c…
    Communities, be it online or otherwise, coming together for a cause is just so incredibly inspiring to me!
    Thank you, Tracey, for taking part!

  62. Pingback: Blogust 2014 : Happy and Healthy Firsts | Tracey Clark

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