Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Smiths and Watkins Families Updates

In the early years of social media, it was a tool used to share stories that were under reported in mainstream media. Now, social media is where mainstream media looks first for great stories, especially stories that uplift and motivate us. Our sisterhood had a social media encounter that was not only inspiring, but was informative and continues to give hope to the multitudes who are waiting to receive an organ transplant. Our social media inspiration gave the world a glimpse into the lives of two families who are truly living out the meaning of friendships for life!

Life long friends,  Sheryl Sutton Smith and Angela Watkins, are not only members of several civic organizations but they are also sorority sisters as well as Spellman College sisters. Their husbands, Clint Smith, Jr. and Judge David Watkins, are Morehouse Men.  All who love them know the depth of their friendship. But a post on social media made their friendship known around the world and help energized many registration drives during November and ignited hundreds to participate in Donor Sabbath. The media highlighted their friendships and how their collective impactful has change lives in their communities and beyond.

On March 9, 2016, The New York Times featured Clint Smith, Jr.  on the front page educating the world about a new transplant procedure that saved his life. The link to the story was posted on several social media pages and went viral throughout many national volunteer organizations within days. Mass media outlets picked up the story which led to thousands hearing for the first time from, Judge David Watkins, Clint’s donor. He shared his powerful story on Living Your Best Life Radio.
Judge David Watkins
Fueled by the number of shares on social media, several media outlets dug deeper into not only the history of the Smith-Watkins close bond but the importance of having advocates give testimony to life changing medical breakthrough in layman terms. The powerful interviews of the donor and the recipient also gave many families and close friends an opportunity to have open and honest conversations about organ donation, healthcare, and wellness. The collective interviews also revealed the power of faith in action.

The story of the Smith-Watkins families friendship has inspired our many to be proactive on social media sharing positive stories about organ donation. Since the first reporting of their story, there has been a steady increase in online sharing of organ donor-recipient relationships in the communities of color that engage, inform and educate readers around the world!

Since my initial writing about the Smith and Watkins families in 2016, there has been several weddings and grandchildren have joined the journey! Look at the power of love! Phil 1:3
After nearly two years of calls, emails, and texts, Clint, Jr. Genma, and Sheryl met for the first time in person in New Orleans on August 4, 2017.
 Photo credits: New York Times, FaceBook, and Genma Holmes


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