In April, I had the pleasure of meeting Becky Palmer, a young military spouse who won a "Year of Care" from Care.com at an Operation Shower event attended by the First Lady Michelle Obama. Operation Shower is an organization that celebrates and honors military families by throwing baby showers to expecting moms. Becky told me how her husband Joseph lost his leg in Afghanistan last year when her first child was not yet two. When I met her in her last trimester of her second pregnancy, she spoke, like any young mother, with excitement and hope about her growing family. I found myself with tears in my eyes.
Becky's story is one among many I hear every day, whether I'm in a business meeting, traveling on a plane, or meeting a mother at the grocery store. Personal stories of how people are working, raising children, dealing with economic or physical hardships are what ground me, inspire me, and make me aware of how what we’re doing at Care.com impacts lives.
At our Care@Work conference, I had the chance to meet Jake Barton, whose company, Local Projects, is the lead designer for the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Jake is in the business of storytelling, using personal narratives to bring static museums to life.
Jake stands at the forefront of the shift in museum presentation. You might recall museums as full of boring dioramas and static images. If, however, you've spent time in a museum recently, you've probably found yourself more engaged. It's likely that you've listened to a personal oral history. Museum staff may even have encouraged you to share your own experience. Maybe you've wondered why.
It's because stories have power. They preserve history. They entertain us. And they even put our children to sleep. Stories can also start companies. Care.com began with my story as a young mother struggling to find care for my aging father and two sons. As I continued to share my story, I realized that many were in the same position and was inspired to found this company. My story is at the heart of Care.com.
I also know that every person who has visited Care.com has their own story:
- A father balancing care for an elderly parent and his kids
- New parents, who are just discovering the joys of their first born
- A daughter who has come home from spending time with dad and realizes that he is going to need more help
- Parents of a child with cerebral palsy, who are looking for a caregiver who “gets it”
We want to hear your story and give you a platform to tell it right on Care.com!
Send us your story in 500 or fewer words, and you'll be entered to win an opportunity as a guest blogger on Care.com for one month!
To enter, tell us about yourself including things like your family, your care strategy (are you a care provider or a family needing care?), the highs and lows of a typical day, and your approach to getting through daily hurdles. Also include some examples of blog topics you would enjoy writing. E-mail your story to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7:00 am EST on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. Our panel of Care.com judges will select one entry to be a guest blogger on Care.com. Please read our Official Contest Rules.
The winner will also receive $250 and a one-year membership to Care.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!