What is Helpful? 🤔

Helpful is an archive of our collective journey helping people and making a small but notable difference in their lives. That’s it. Think of it as “random acts of goodness.”

The format is thoughtful storytelling in a tactful and tasteful way to highlight the lives of the people we interact with. By being kind without expectation, my hope is to inspire you, make you smile, and help you make a difference in your own community.

Helping one person at a time won’t change the world… but it will change their world. And for me, that’s enough.

What’s in it for you? 🎁

Humans don’t live in a vacuum. We’ve created our civilization by coming together and working on things greater than the sum of our individual parts.

This is a community project. I will be sharing content of myself helping people, but I will mostly share videos of you helping people.

You can get involved in the helping process by being willing to film yourself helping others. Send me your videos so I can highlight them.

Since I’m not sure how many people will actually submit videos of themselves being helpful, the current submission process is quite simple:

Just send me videos of you being helpful. Please give me the following context when you send me the video so I can create an engaging production.

  • Who are you helping?

  • What’s their story?

  • How did helping them make a difference in their lives?

  • Why do you want to share this story?

You can submit the context and a download link for the video to helpful@jondeparra.com

For my own content, some people will need help that goes beyond my capabilities… but that’s where you also come in.

If you don’t want to submit content, there’s another way you can get involved.

Whenever I feel that the person I’m helping will benefit from the community’s involvement, I’ll send out a tweet, publish an Instagram post, or post on LinkedIn with details on how you can help. I’ve seen communities do amazing things, and with your help, I know we’ll be able to be Super Helpful.

I think this will be a fun, exciting, and beneficial project for everyone involved. I hope you’ll join me.

Who are you, and why are you doing this? 🤷‍♂️

By nature, I’m a giving and helpful person. When I’m not working, I split my time between helping my parents, my siblings, my extended family, my girlfriend, her family, my friends, and my professional circle.

In fact…

Here’s how I help people already 🤗

In my community, I’m the Organizer of Las Vegas UX, I teach budding Developers how to Design at a local non-profit coding school, I’m the Friends of Figma Community Advocate for Las Vegas, I’m a mentor for the Las Vegas chapter of The Knowledge Society, and I sit on the Council for VegasTech’s spiritual successor, Vegas Innovation Network. People that know me are already familiar with my passion for building others up and helping my community however I can.

Getting inspired to share publicly 👨‍💻

In the middle of my 2020 review, I realized that I’m still afraid. I’ve been learning and building semi-privately for years because I’m afraid of being judged by the world. I’m afraid of not being good enough to be helpful, talented enough to showcase my work, or insightful enough to share things that people will find interesting.

For the longest time, I also didn’t know what to write or make videos about. What kind of content do I want to share with the world? Do I talk about how to be a better designer? Will my audience be limited to creatives? How would that even separate me from other people doing the same thing?

Deriving inspiration from Humans of New York, I decided I’m too neurotic to put a specific label on what I want to share. So instead of sharing things about myself…

I want to tell the incredible stories of other people, share in their struggles, and find impactful solutions for them with my subscribers.

As a UX Designer, what I do is fundamentally about solving problems anyway. In a way, together we’re working to solve one of the most difficult problems in human history: how do we make each other happier?

Before subscribing, please be aware of the following ⚠

I am not a photographer or videographer. I think I’m a decent writer, but the vast majority of Helpful’s content will be video. Meaning? The first shots/ stories will not be at the production level that I’d like them to be. I hope that’s okay.

Over time, they will get a lot better.

I’d rather start than let this be an excuse to not try at all. As this project builds momentum, I will be able to hire talented people to help me edit videos to reflect the kind of featured content I want to create.

Until then, I hope you bear with me through the bumpy beginnings.

Closing thoughts 💭

Helpful is an extension of everyone involved. I don’t want to be fake, so you can expect shots with me in them to be goofy and weird. If you choose to send me videos, all I ask is that you be real with me too. Staged content goes against the spirit of Helpful.

If you just want to subscribe for the major stories; this newsletter and this YouTube channel are where you can find the polished, final presentations. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, I’ll be posting more raw and backstage footage there. I’m aiming to feature 12 highly produced stories in 2021, but will be sharing content whenever I can.

Thank you for reading. Let’s be helpful, together.

All the best,
Jonathan Parra


P.S. I’ve set a goal to grow this publication to 10,000 subscribers in the next 3 months, and I’d really appreciate it if you helped me get there. Please share any of the stories you enjoy. If you like the format, chances are your friends and family will too. Thank you very much for your consideration.

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