The holidays are here and the “#SQLFamily Gives Back” Campaign is continuing to pick up steam. The SQL Server community has raised $1,300, which will allow for 26 people to receive SQL training!

Thank you to everyone who submitted this week!

There is still plenty of time to submit your story. Doing so by December 31st, 2011 will help us reach our goal of donating $20,000 to the Pragmatic Works Foundation. That means we could have 400 new members to the #SQLFamily!

These stories are a reminder of the strength of this community and a chance for us to harness this community spirit towards a great cause.

Please continue to submit your stories via email to sqlfamilysubmission@live.com, Twitter or our Facebook wall. Be sure to send the tweet to @SQLServer and include the #SQLFamily hashtag in your tweet. When posting to our Facebook wall, please begin your post with “The SQL Family…” to help us identify your submissions.

Though we can’t share all the submissions we receive, we are grateful for all the stories, tweets, and blog posts. The submissions have been quite moving and inspiring. Below are a few accounts that showcase the heart of the #SQLFamily.

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@tjaybelt (blog | twitter)

Meme Monday: #SQLFamily

By Yanni Robel (blog ǀ twitter)

“Earlier this year, I was blessed with good news in my health and I decided that I wanted to go back to my mountain. I had a new goal and started to train for it. I mentioned my goal of summiting Mt. Rainier on Twitter and the support I had from the SQL community, again, was completely awesome and a little unexpected. On the rough day that I just didn’t feel like doing my work out or hike, I had countless encouraging messages, tweets and even phone calls from people on this community! They (again) lifted my spirit! The day of my climb, I had so many people monitor my progress. I carried a GPS that transmitted my location on the mountain and marked the map so people can see where I was. It was completely overwhelming the support that this community, this family gave me.

To summarize — this community, this SQL community is more than just a community for me. They are my extended family. They are there for me, not just during good times, but through my challenging times. Not just when I can’t figure out which index is slowing down the site, but when I am struggling to live life. I love these people.”

#SQLFAMILY

By Tamera Michelle Clark (blog ǀ twitter)

“I got married to the most amazing person I have ever met, one who “gets me” the one who challenges me and the one who loves me. What’s funny is that we had no reservations about getting married at #sqlpass, these were our people. These were the people who understood us the most. Weddings are about family and we got married in front of the family we choose to be a part of, the family that gets it and the one we most wanted to be around for such a special occasion. We have the BEST signatures ever on our marriage license – (@datachick) Karen Lopez and (@MladenPrajdic) Mladen Prajdic with a full audience of #sqlfamily. I am currently onboarding new people where I work, when I tell them this story they are so excited. One lady said “that is really cool – you got married where you needed to be.” I love this family!”

SQL Family is…

By Wendy Pastrick (blog ǀ twitter)

“...not having to explain what your job is when you tell someone you're a DBA
...being a more valuable asset to a company because of the readiness of others to share their expertise
...meeting a friend for the first time in person
...having a shoulder to lean on when things get tough
...knowing there is someone out there who has encountered this problem before and they are willing to share their experience […]
...never eating dinner alone
...knowing that if you screw up, there will be people there to let you know it but they will also get you to the right answer
...giving back and paying forward where and when you can”

There are only 9 more days left to submit a story and make a difference in someone’s life.

Stay tuned, as next week we’ll be sharing more stories from the community.

Happy Holidays!