6/23/11 As one of Davida's close friends (who loves her to pieces), I created the site (which I have never done before by the way) the day after I found out about her accident. My primary motivation was to facilitate a mechanism for people to contribute to her as quickly as possible in an effort to maximize donations. I knew the healing would come and the love and support would as well, but the money needed help...as it usually does.
What fueled my speed (and basically giving my boss the 'don't even think of talking to me today' look) was that I was not only well aware of her financial situation, but also intimately familiar with how astronomical surgery and hospital costs are in this fine country- even when one is 'fully covered.' Not to mention the fact that this woman uses her body in her work, so the extended loss of wages would be the final straw that would surely guarantee financial disaster for her.
In the first two days I worked very closely with both John Fraine and Roni Krouzman. I have incorporated a good deal of their feedback into the site and in the posts early on (and John specifically contributed to the first two posts as well as initially setting up the community calendar), but the site, the daily posts and the donation management has always been under my management and within a couple of days, so was the community calendar that John set up as well.
Ultimately the content is my responsibility. John and Roni continue to work on offline fundraising efforts with the intention to drive people back to this site to contribute and their help has been invaluable.
I am in contact with her family (and now with Davida) on a daily basis and I run anything sensitive by them before I post. They are also visiting the site at regular intervals, but frankly they just trust me to run with it.
With all of that, I still stand by my original post in this section: "What can we say... we love Davida. Her light, her strength, her laugh and how she brings the good. It doesn't matter who we are. We are you. And we are all in this together."
You will notice the voice in the posts as 'we' because it just feels true. There are just so many working in different ways on her behalf.
Thank you for the support that you are lending to Davida and her family and for your part in making this effort so very worthwhile.
Technical details: While I do work in the High-Tech space, I don't build sites or write code or design anything. I just a sell social media-related software to large companies. My technical knowledge is better than my mother's for example but I'm not considered technical by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone can get a site like this running in a matter of hours for a loved one if they know how to work email.
Here's the scoop: The first thing to do is to buy an easy to remember URL which I did at GoDaddy.com for $10 (which you own for a year). Then I created an email account on gmail for Davida (an email account is required to link to the PayPal account) which is LoveForDavida@gmail.com.
Then I opened up a PayPal account in her name- without having any of her personal credentials. This does not need to be linked to a bank account until you are ready (so no need to disturb the family during the height of the crisis)- the money just sits in the PayPal account until directed elsewhere. Finding this out was one of the greatest moments of that day, apart from going live with the site itself- which was such a huge relief.
From there I 'built the site' which simply meant clicking on a link within the PayPal site to one of their website building partners and here I found one with several different looking templates to choose from.
I grabbed her photo from her Facebook page, and wrote the content of the site within the templates. The hardest part was 'redirecting' the site that I created from the free software to the easy to remember URL. I had to call tech support for that one and then it took a few hours to take effect.
Once the site was created, redirected (no need to link to PayPal as this was automatic) and the content was written I made a donation to test the user experience. Then I walked thru the content of the site with a 2nd pair of eyes (John Fraine) and then we got the word out to all of our friends via email and Facebook about www.HelpDavidaHeal.com (the actual website name was Roni's idea).
When Davida awoke from surgery is right when the site went live. How cool is that?
From there it went completely viral across the world pretty much within two days. That's what love, social media and the Internet can do my friends.
But with $10 and several hours of work, you can do the same for someone you know who is in need... and the faster you get your ass in gear, the more they benefit.