It’s a Small World
23 states. 13 airports. Thousands of miles driving and flying. 120+ nights away from home. All in a year’s work for Denise Blomberg.
Denise is a Regional Director for Samaritan’s Feet which means she travels across the United States and occasionally beyond to execute and facilitate shoe distribution events alongside our partners. Her efforts helped provide new shoes to over 10,000 people in 2019 alone.
She volunteered for the organization for four years before joining the staff. She describes how a passion and purpose became a profession saying, “everything you are ever involved with personally and professionally leads you to where you are now.”
She often travels for weeks at a time, jumping from state to state, partner to partner, and event to event, to ensure that logistics are running smoothly and to lead the shoe distributions. Long road trips are frequent, but she makes the most of that travel—connecting the dots along the way. She maximizes every single mile.
Denise shared some insights on how she networks, maintains business relationships, and still has fun while on the road. Here are some of her collected thoughts and recommendations based on her experience:
“Stories can do the recruiting if you find that common denominator with someone.”
It really is a small world out there. The “six degrees of separation” theory is the idea that all people are six (or fewer) connections away from each other. Denise has seen that sharing stories about yourself or your work can really help connect with others in a meaningful way. By using stories, you can build your personal and professional brand.
Denise described a recent example of this as she was leading a distribution in Jennings, MO, with Indianapolis Colts’ player Pierre Desir. As an alumnus of Lindenwood University, Pierre brought Lindenwood Head Football Coach Jed Stugart along with him to serve at the event. Turns out, Coach Stugart is the former Head Football Coach at the University of Sioux Falls, SD, one of the schools Denise has worked with in the past on behalf of Samaritan’s Feet.
“I have a wonderment and huge curiosity about people, places, and things. I like to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
Denise shows kindness and interest towards everyone she meets. You just can’t help but see her passion for people. That level of care is what motivates her to seek partners and friends out as she passes through their cities and towns. She genuinely cherishes time with them and wants to enjoy those relationships.
This type of caring connection with partners also helps create a peaceful, trusting environment for events that are done together, which is incredibly important to support Denise’s vision to see hope and generosity transform a community.
Connecting on Social Media
“There is so much value in social media posts. They create curiosity and excitement. People like to follow what you are doing and where you are going.”
Denise loves sharing about her road adventures on social media, which helps keep partners and friends in the loop. She’s even got her own hashtag, Facebook style, and Instagram campaign to keep people interested in what’s next.
Her #LifeInTheVastLane hashtag social posts details her life on the road the openness of the roads, often snow-covered, as she lives and travels through the Midwest and beyond. It’s refreshing to see something as simple as an empty road from different perspectives of the country.
On Facebook, Denise has honed in on her post style: she shares several pictures, describes the day, and tags people, organizations, and location. When people leave comments, it helps feel like they’re right there with you, celebrating all that has been done.
And the most unique social post of all? Her “Red Rum Rating” on her Instagram stories. Taken from the infamous scene in “The Shining” where Danny Torrance is shown riding his Big Wheel in the empty hallways of the Overlook Hotel, Denise posts hotel hallway photos while on the road with a “Red Rum Rating” of 1 to 10 on its level of spookiness. While this rating is in no way intended to serve as a negative review, when you spend 120+ nights a year in hotels, you have to take opportunities to insert humor when you can.