May 13, 2015
The New York Times
Turning to Social Media in Times of Need
Frank Vardeman was about to undergo knee surgery in January when, as he recalled, his legs suddenly “turned to wet noodles” that could no longer support him. Tests revealed that the culprit was a large growth entangled in his spinal cord, compressing the nerves that control lower parts of his body. Starting about a week after Mr. Vardeman’s first neurosurgery, his wife, Heidi, a pastor at a local church, began posting updates about his medical condition on the social networking site CaringBridge. The response to these posts has helped her avoid the need to keep repeating the same story and “has been an affirmation of how many circles of friends we have and how many people really care,” said Ms. Vardeman.
May 4, 2015
Dunwoody College of Technology News
CaringBridge Founder Sona Mehring to Keynote Dunwoody College Commencement
Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to announce that Sona Mehring, CEO and founder of CaringBridge, the leading website for rallying support during a health crisis, will be the keynote speaker at our Commencement on Thursday, May 14, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
January 4, 2015
Innovators, Change Agents, Entrepreneurs: 10 Minnesotans to Watch
“We need to continue to really work on the power of healing that comes from this idea of bringing your community together.”
About Mehring: She started the first CaringBridge website in 1997 to help close friends share information about their premature baby. Now, millions use CaringBridge each year to create websites where friends and loved ones can stay informed on health care episodes. Before founding the Eagan-based nonprofit, Mehring ran a consulting firm that developed Web pages.
December 29, 2014
12 Days of Charitable Giving: CaringBridge
It’s the eleventh day of our 12 Days of Charitable Giving! In December, I’ll be focusing on twelve charitable organizations which my readers have nominated as most deserving of your charitable donation. You have a couple more weeks to squeeze in you charitable deduction for tax purposes in 2014 – so why not consider one of our twelve? Today’s featured charity is CaringBridge.
December 15, 2014
KARE 11 NBC News at 4 PM
CaringBridge WonderFull Giving Campaign
When tragedy strikes or an illness hits a family, many people turn to CaringBridge to keep in touch and update loved ones. The Minnesota-based site has literally connected millions of people when they need it the most.
December 15, 2014
Movers & Shakers: Liwanag Ojala
Ojala has brought her corporate experience to the nonprofit sector as chief operating officer at CaringBridge, the Eagan-based nonprofit that offers free websites where users share news about health conditions. Ojala said her immediate focus was CaringBridge’s holiday fundraising campaign, which the organization hopes will raise $1.2 million by the end of December.
December 10, 2014
How Do We Design Experiences that Make a Difference
It’s not uncommon to see statements like “making the world a better place, one experience at a time” in a UX practitioner’s bio. These are lofty claims, but when your job centers around creating products and services that make people happier and more productive, it’s easy to see how this kind of thinking creeps in. CaringBridge, winner of the Experience that Makes a Difference category, is a nonprofit organization that offers free, protected websites designed to help connect patients to their loved ones during any kind of health journey.
December 8, 2014
The Huffington Post
24 Ways to Help Those Who Are in the Hospital at the Holidays
A friend of mine was recently talking about her experience of being hospitalized because of cancer during the holidays. She shared that while the staff went out of their way to bring the festivities to their patients, she and her family felt a bit forgotten by their friends. So, if you know someone who is a patient this holiday season, here are 24 ways my Facebook friends and I came up with to help hospitalized friends feel loved, including the top five most effective ways to lend a hand to someone who is in the hospital.
November 16, 2014
New Jersey Courier-Post
Social Media Offers Place for Sharing Support
When 39-year-old Kristin Webb Schell and her husband, Matt, learned in August she had invasive breast cancer, they had to tell their 14-year-old daughter, who already sensed something was up. She wanted a way to tell everybody what was going on without overburdening her Facebook friends. So she started blogging about her treatment on Caring Bridge, a social media site for people going through health crises, and then posted the link on her Facebook page.
November 16, 2014
WCCO-AM 830 Radio "Your Money" Show
Caregiving, Finances & Stress - How to Cope
Finding time for a caregiver to communicate with loved ones during an illness can be difficult. Sona Mehring, Founder and CEO of CaringBridge, joins Bruce and Peg to discuss how CaringBridge can help ease the challenges of caregiving.
November 6, 2014
AARP The Magazine
Caregiving for a Sick Friend
This Minnesota nonprofit provides a calendar to schedule volunteer services, as well as space for personal journals that can be shared — or not — with others. The site emphasizes the power of connecting people as they move through their "struggles, small victories and gratitude." Nearly all funding for the free site comes from donations by people who use the service. The site is simple to set up and navigate.
November 3, 2014
The Huffington Post
7 Tried-And-True Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout
Sure everyone wants to know how Mom's surgery went and how she is recovering. But you don't have time for a lengthy phone call with each and every interested person. Plus repeating the same story over and over again is exhausting. Use a site like CaringBridge to communicate with everyone all at once. And when you catch your breath you can scan the well wishes and comments on your time.
November 1, 2014
CaringBridge Founder Comes Home for Talk in Appleton
When the Rev. Mike O’Rourke, a much-admired Catholic priest in Appleton, died unexpectedly in 2010, there was an outpouring of love and respect that came not only locally but from around the world.
A website, CaringBridge, was the conduit for thousands of people who came together to mourn the priest’s death and celebrate his life.
October 27, 2014
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
CaringBridge Names Former CobornsDelivers, Meijer Exec COO
CaringBridge named former CobornsDelivers executive Liwanag Ojala its chief operating officer effective immediately, the nonprofit announced Monday. Ojala was most recently vice president of ecommerce at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supermarket chain Meijer Inc. She previously held executive posts at Twin Cities-based online grocers SimonDelivers and CobornsDelivers.
October 1, 2014
Minnesota Women's Press Magazine
Creating a Bridge of Caring
CaringBridge was born online in 1997 after my friends JoAnn and Darrin had a premature baby named Brighid. That first website allowed Brighid's family to communicate with loved ones by posting regular journal entries about their health journey. Family members and friends responded with messages of hope and encouragement. The site served as a bridge of caring between Brighid's parents and their concerned loved ones.
September 18, 2014
CaringBridge and the Healing Power of Words
Launched in 1997, CaringBridge was an early form of social media, created so people dealing with health issues could remain connected to their families and friends. When my daughter was ill the nonprofit organization's platform became our lifeline to the outside world, not only while she was in isolation on the transplant floor at the University of Minnesota, but also during the long recovery at home.
August 25, 2014
Best Caregiving Apps
CaringBridge is just that -- a bridge that allows you and your loved ones to stay in touch. It's a perfect app for a family that rallies around a loved one in need of care, and for those who are facing surgeries, rehabilitation, and procedures that go along with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
August 8, 2014
The CaringBridge Ecosystem
CaringBridge is a great example of a “Customer Ecosystem” – a network comprised of individuals and organizations all of whom are focused on one thing: helping a patient get better and a family heal.
May 16, 2014
Dot.Org Awards Showcase Minnesota Nonprofits at the Forefront of Technology
Every year, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and MAP for Nonprofits honor organizations that achieve innovations in technology and presents them with the Dot.Org Award.
October 11, 2013
When the Internet Isn't Awful: What You Can Learn from the Heartbreaking, Inspiring Messages from CaringBridge
The Internet can often feel like a cesspool of bad intentions, casual cruelty, and hopeless ignorance. Which is why a social networking site like CaringBridge, which allows sick people and their families to give their communities updates on their illnesses, gives us hope for humanity.
October 4, 2013
CaringBridge Signs Agreement with Hallmark Cards
CaringBridge, the Eagan-based nonprofit social network, is teaming up with Hallmark Cards Inc. to offer cobranded content and services on the popular well-wishers site.
October 2, 2013
Twin Cities Business
CaringBridge Teams With Hallmark For Website Content
Users of CaringBridge websites will be able to select Hallmark-produced phrases and images to include when signing “guestbooks”; the partnership also includes a greeting card contest.
August 14, 2013
How CaringBridge Was Born
In 1997—well before the proliferation of Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere—Sona Mehring launched the inaugural CaringBridge website, effectively pioneering one of the earliest online social networks in an era where social media was nonexistent.
August 7, 2013
Tom Barnard Podcast
Interview with Sona Mehring
Sona Mehring is a businesswoman and the Founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization CaringBridge. She created the first CaringBridge Website in 1997.
June 4, 2013
Twin Cities Business
CEO Details the History of CaringBridge in New Book
CaringBridge CEO and founder Sona Mehring’s new book features first-person accounts from CaringBridge users in addition to the organization's history.
May 28, 2013
Social Media Helps Patients Share Their News
Medical updates are no longer hushed discussions held behind closed doors. They're going viral. And they're increasingly being shared with family, friends and, sometimes, digital strangers.
April 22, 2013
How To Help Families in a Crisis
We've all been there: A friend or family member is dealing with a tough situation, whether it's a critically ill child or the sudden loss of a spouse, and we want to help but don't know how.
March 28, 2013
Minnesota Public Radio
Why More Patients Should Blog About Illness And Death
I entered the world of illness blogs for the first time when I learned through Facebook that a friend from middle school passed away last Friday from acute myeloid leukemia. In the three months between his diagnosis and his death, the friend, whom I'll call Tom, blogged beautifully and intimately on CaringBridge, a Web tool designed to help the seriously ill tell their stories and manage communication with friends and family.