#sqlcares, #sqlwish, and #sqlfamily

I’ve been using SQL Server for a dozen years now, but I’ve only been starting to make friendships and build relationships within the SQL Server community in the last couple of years. More importantly, it has only been in the last year that I would say I have really gotten involved to the point where I feel I am part of the SQL Server family. This post isn’t about my journey, but rather it is about the incredible family of which I have found myself a member.

#sqlcares

A few weeks ago, Buck Woody (twitter|blog) blogged in response to Mike Walsh’s (twitter|blog) recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Mike is incredibly upbeat and positive about his diagnosis. Mike’s optimistic view on life inspired Buck. This holiday season, Buck is skipping the presents and asking for donations in Mike’s name to the National MS Society. Further, Buck is urging others to do the same, and to use #sqlcares to publicly spread your commitment on social media.

If you ask me, both Buck & Mike are inspirational.

#sqlwish

A couple of days ago, Steve Jones (twitter|blog) wrote a blog post asking the SQL Family to help make a #sqlwish come true. The post explains that Mark Broadbent (twitter|blog) has a daughter, Lucy, who is sick. Steve asked the family to come together to help send the Broadbent family to Walt Disney World, in order to make Lucy’s wish come true. I thought this was awesome. I planned to donate when I got home from work–I even set a reminder on my phone to make sure I took care of it that night.

My plans to donate were completely foiled. By the time I was home from work, Steve had already shut down the fundraising page because the $15,000 fundraising goal had been met. In just 6½ hours, the SQL family pulled together to raise $15,000 for one of our own. That’s just incredible. There aren’t many communities (technology or otherwise) that could accomplish something like that.

#sqlfamily

2015 was my first PASS Summit, but it still felt like a family reunion. I got a giant bear hugs from people I’d previously only met on twitter. I shared meals, laughter, and stories. I invited people to visit Boston and stay in our guest room. We talked about our families, our pets, our passions…sometimes we even talked about SQL Server. It doesn’t matter that it was my first time there, I was not an outsider–I was a member of the family.

The SQL family gives back on a daily basis. We share knowledge on blogs, at Summits, at SQL Saturdays, at User Groups, on twitter. Most of us aren’t getting paid to give back to the community, we do it because we want to. We want a vibrant, knowledgeable community. We want to help others be successful.

With calls to action like #sqlcares and #sqlwish, we go even further. We prove that the SQL family is more than just a technology community. We prove that the “family” moniker isn’t just good PR. We really are a family and we look after each other.

Make the world a better place

I’ll be answering Buck’s #sqlcares call to action, by asking my family to donate instead of buying me gifts. Because the #sqlwish fundraiser closed before I could donate, I’m going to make a donation to the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation so I can help another child like Lucy.

Everyone has a cause they are passionate about. My passion leads me to support organizations like No Kid Hungry and The Greater Boston Food Bank. I have been lucky enough that I’ve never had to worry about where my next meal comes from. I may not be able to feed everyone, but I can help someone. If I can help feed just one hungry child, I can make the world a better place.

The SQL family’s commitment to helping others is part of what makes our community special.

Find your passion.
Follow your passion.
Help those who need it.
Make the world a better place.

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