Top 5 2014 Social Media Posts

2014 has been GREAT! Seriously, I covered so many stories; joyful, inspiring, impact filled, heartbreaking and tragic. 2014 marked another year in Memphis and a thousand reasons to continue to call it home.

You’ve been great too. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more of you and interacting with you of Facebook. So much so, I wanted to highlight the stories/moments that you responded most to in 2014:

1. Turmoil in Ferguson – The week of Thanksgiving and the decision not to indict Officer Wilson sent the community into a chaotic and dangerous situation. Peaceful protests turned to riots. Riots turned to looting. And I was in it all. Bringing you the story from the ground. Showing Memphis a small glimpse into life in Ferguson that week. I will never forget that experience and I am humbled and honored to have brought it to the Mid South. (Read about it here: https://laurenmsquires.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/on-the-ground-in-ferguson/)

2. Bible Blessing – A bible found untouched in the rubble of a fire – In November we first brought you the story of Elnora Blackledge-Lee. While away treating one of her daughters with cancer, they house caught fire. We were there as volunteers from a nearby church found a bible untouched. I captured the moment the Elnora saw the bible. Her strength was inspiring. You shared her story and prayed for her family. They are still looking for a home as I type this.

3. Memphis Police holiday ham – MPD handing out holiday hams on Thanksgiving, courtesy of Jason’s Deli. It was touching to see the interaction between police and citizens. It’s been a hard year for both. And to see the joy shared and receive while making a holiday meal possible, it fill my heart and yours. You shared and comment about this story.

4. Forgiveness In A Place Camera’s Can’t Go – AKA The Kroger Attacks story. It was the worse and the best moment of the year for me. First when I covered the attacks, it made me sick to watch the video. It still does. I was filled with a lot of emotions and so was the entire city of Memphis. But then, while covering the juvenile court decisions I witnessed a powerful moment in the hallway between the suspects parents and the victim and his father. It reminded me the power of forgiveness and made me wish you ALL could see it. You can read out it here: https://laurenmsquires.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/forgiveness-in-a-place-where-cameras-cant-go/

5. It’s a tie – between the moments at the Carpenter Art Garden and Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. I shared both those stories with you on Facebook and on Action News 5. They were highly shared and commented on. But what I found so amazing is the stories I shared were about real people, making a real impact or feeling a real impact. They made us all feel for a moment and reminded me the power of time. Sometimes time is the best gift you can give and one of the best gifts you can receive. (You can read about these two here: https://laurenmsquires.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/update-on-aj-the-i-am-blessed-guy/ AND https://laurenmsquires.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/off-camera-beats/)

And with that, here’s to a GREAT 2015!!!

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Update On AJ the “I Am Blessed” Guy

GREAT NEWS UPDATE: Remember AJ? The homeless man I posted about a few weeks ago? The “I am blessed” man who reminded us of the importance of being grateful?

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Well I have a good news update for you on his status. This comes from my friend Ellen with Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, who saw him on Wednesday: “I saw AJ again last night. He hasn’t been back out since the night that we first met him when this picture was taken. Last night he walked up to me in our small group as we were stopped with some other folks.

He said, ‘I haven’t been around here the past couple weeks to see you all, but you all have been in my thoughts and prayers. And I wanted to come find you guys tonight because I have some good news! I GOT A JOB!’ With a glowing smile, he went on to tell me that he was working as a security guard now, and he’s working on building back up his funds, getting bills caught up, and getting it all back together. He was so happy to share his news with us, because, as he said, ‘we helped him along on his journey.’ It was the best moment of my night.”

I couldn’t help but bring you this update, considering I shared the story with you in the first place. Thanks to all who kept him, and all those living on the streets, in their thoughts.