What it doesn’t show is how social media has evolved in the past 10 years with many businesses and organizations now giving back to their community in return for “Likes” on a business page.
New Community Christian Church in Morris recently ran a post stating if the Grundy County Housing Authority reached 1,000 likes, it would donate one month’s rent for one of the residents who live in Saratoga Tower.
“We heard about a need and saw a way to step in and help out,” Pastor Kevin Yandell said. “We want to motivate others to do the same by setting an example.”
In just a few days, the GCHA’s Facebook page garnered more than 1,000 likes and the church was writing a check.
Because rent is subsidized for people with disabilities and senior citizens at the housing authority, there is no set amount of rent. Each apartment’s rent varies based on the income of the resident(s). So Yandell said the church decided to write the check for $500.
At the February resident council meeting, all residents in attendance placed their names in a container and Ryan Howe won what turned out to be nearly two and a half months rent.
“It will help out a lot, I can save money and keep it for other expenses,” Howe said. “I so appreciate that they helped with the rent.”
Brent Newman, CEO of GCHA, said the average income for a resident at Saratoga Tower is $12,000 a year.
“Paying a month’s rent would help any of them tremendously,” Newman said.
New Community Christian Church learned about using Facebook for giving through one of its members, Jeff Eberhard, owner of EZ Auto Sales in Joliet.
Eberhard, who resides in Morris, has used his business page to give back to charities in both Will and Grundy counties for the past couple of years, typically writing checks for $500 to the charity he’s chosen. With his business page, he encourages “likes” to his page and in return donates to a local charity.
“You do it because there is such a need,” Eberhard said. “Facebook allows you to talk about something and creates an action, I just provide money to their action.”