Environmental Illness Network Minnesota is a community that provides
environmentally sensitive Minnesotans, and people (and organizations) that care about them, with opportunities to:
- form connections,
- share information,
- identify local resources
- cooperatively overcome obstacles.
In November of 2011, two environmentally sensitive women had a
conversation while at a Minneapolis natural foods’ grocery store. One of
them had been struggling with multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic
fatigue syndrome, and chronic pain issues for years; and the other had
become so disabled by her sensitivities that she could not find
affordable housing that she could tolerate. Lacking adequate options,
the latter woman had started sleeping in her car. The former woman
understood how hard it could be for someone who is chemically sensitive
to find healthy housing and accessible local resources and had often
wished that there was a local organization where she could find
practical advice and support. Although she felt ill-equipped to manage
many of her own everyday challenges, no less help someone else; she
realized after that conversation that something had to change. So soon
after, she started contacting her friends, family, and fellow canaries
to ask for their help in creating this on-line community. The response
was overwhelmingly positive.
initial community website was on a Ning platform. Ning, which then underwent some major changes, did not prove to
be an optimal platform for fostering Environmental Illness Network Minnesota community
interactions. While some very nice connections were made, the number of
people connecting with Environmental Illness Network Minnesota on a
variety of other social media platforms (including on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter)
grew much more quickly. In the fall of 2016, the
process of migration away from a Ning platform to a Groups.io group
commenced, with the hope that even more positive Minnesota community
interactions would follow.
One of the beautiful things about on-line social networking is that it
provides a platform for individuals—even severely health-challenged
individuals—to pool their resources. Mother Teresa once said: “I can do
things you cannot; you can do things I cannot; together we can do great
things.” No single person—whether healthy or health-challenged—can
overcome modern day environmental health obstacles completely on his or
her own. It takes a community. It takes a state. It takes a nation. And
it takes a world.
Environmental Illness Network Minnesota was
not created to promote one particular member's story alone, or focus on
any single type of environmental health issue, whether mild or severe.
This community was created to bring people and organizations together to form
connections, share information, learn from each other, and find practical solutions to environmental health
Environmental Illness Network Minnesota
also supports the "precautionary principle" and believes that
potentially toxic or immunologically stressful chemicals and
technologies should be safety-tested
before the public is
exposed to them. Eleanor Roosevelt noted: "Life is like a parachute
jump; you've got to get it right the first time."
Environmental Illness Network Minnesota is not being operated as a
commercial enterprise. It is operating on a tiny budget that falls well
below state reporting requirements for charitable organizations.
Environmental Illness Network Minnesota does not have commercial
relationships with any advertisers, but it does use some free services
that may display ads. Additionally, Environmental Illness Network Minnesota
may share some ads/content that contains ads for informational purposes. This does not mean, however, that
Environmental Illness Network Minnesota endorses or recommends any
specific organization, product, or approach.
Thank you to the volunteers who helped to get this community
network up and running. Special thanks to the Hennepin County Library
system for stocking simple books about how to use social media! And
extra special thanks to all the free and low cost social media
service providers who made this community possible!