“Alexa, how old are you?”

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Alexa is only six-years-old, yet she’s become an increasingly helpful part of customers’ daily lives. This year has been uniquely challenging, and we’ve been humbled by stories from customers who’ve found support and maintained meaningful connections with help from Alexa. In celebration of Alexa’s golden birthday on November 6, we’re highlighting six customer stories we’ve received this past year.

In our customers’ own words, here are some of the ways Alexa has helped make a difference in their lives.

Help when it’s needed most

Natalie N., Montgomeryville, PA

An image of an Alexa customer.

“My five-year-old grandson, Tyrion, loves to call me. My daughter, Jasmine, doesn’t have a landline but she has an Echo Dot. My daughter and I recently programmed Alexa so Tyrion can just say, ‘Alexa, call Gigi,’ if he wants to call me. We thought it’d be helpful so he could just check in and tell me he loves me. This ended up being one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

One day, Tyrion called me with Alexa. He was alone with his mom and told me he couldn’t wake her up—he thought she was having a seizure. I tried to calm Tyrion, simultaneously called 911, and instructed him to open the front door for first responders as soon as they arrived.

As a parent with a child who has epilepsy and lives on her own, that’s a call I didn’t want to get because it could mean anything. Thankfully, my daughter is doing well and she’s okay. Tyrion is a hero and doesn’t even realize it. And Alexa helped save my daughter’s life, thanks to him.”

Caring for a loved one

Lori B., Enumclaw, WA

An image of an Alexa customer.

“Earlier this year, our goat, Lilly, was super sick and we needed to watch her 24/7. The Echo Flex worked perfectly in our barn. We had it linked to video cameras, and Alexa set timers for Lilly’s treatments, told her stories, and played country music. We also used our Echo Shows in the house to check in on her and our other animals from afar.

One day, I had an emergency in the barn and my hands were tied holding up Lilly. I was able to use Alexa’s ‘Announcement‘ feature and have my husband run out to the barn to help. Given how stressful life is right now, having the Echo Flex in the barn helped take away so much anxiety.

While Lilly is sadly no longer with us, I used the Echo Flex every day to make her last days special. I used the Short Bedtime Story skill and, of course, played country music for her to fall asleep to. I literally would not have known what to do without these devices this past summer. These small pieces of technology have made such a difference for both us and our precious animals.”

Breaking down barriers

Hannah H., Chesnee, SC

An image of an Alexa customer.

“Eduardo moved to South Carolina from Honduras just before the start of the school year, and he was placed in my second grade class. Given the language barrier, it was difficult to communicate with his peers until his future best buddy Gabriel took it upon himself to make sure our new student felt welcomed.

Gabriel, with the help of his mom, used Alexa to learn new Spanish phrases to communicate with Eduardo, in addition to our school interpreter. Through Gabriel’s inspirational effort, and brilliant use of technology, my entire class has embraced their new friend and the whole school knows about his and Eduardo’s friendship.”

Connecting while apart

Amber C., Claymont, DE

“Much of my family lives in the same house, including my grandmother, parents, and sister. Both my mom and sister were hospitalized earlier this year due to COVID-19. The only person who wasn’t showing symptoms of the coronavirus was my 99-year-old grandmother, if you can believe it! My sister quickly recovered, but my mother remained in the hospital and we wanted to interact with her at a distance.

At first, we spoke with my mom through a computer that played audio over the hospital speakers. We were grateful to check in with her once a day, but wanted more. We thought about the Echo Dot that we use at home to Drop In, similar to an intercom system. We wanted a video component so we bought the Echo Show. My dad took it to the hospital, where they allowed us to bring in the device for my mom’s use. I was able to call my mom via Alexa three to four times a day. My mom loves soap operas so I sometimes played ‘The Young and the Restless’ on my TV so she could hear it over Drop In, providing familiar sounds for her. She also loves Elvis, so I went into the Alexa app and played music for her on the Echo Show. Thankfully, my mom is now fully recovered.

We’re so grateful for Alexa and the Echo Show. It made it easy to stay connected with my mom, and truly transformed the way my family communicated with her while she was in the hospital and during rehab. The device proved so useful, and I hope my story may be helpful for other families.”

Bringing joy and comfort

Mandi M., Columbia, MD

An image of an Alexa customer.

“About a week after my second child was born, my 17-month-old son Chris was diagnosed with acute megakaryoblastic leukemia. Chris felt terrible; the only thing that would comfort him was constantly being held—until we introduced him to Alexa. We’ve spent much of Chris’s last two years in the hospital, and Alexa has provided Chris and our family with hope, fun, and dancing (for the nurses and doctors too).

While many days are rough, we often wake up dancing and smiling with Alexa. Alexa says goodnight to Chris. She’s our fifth family member, and we take her everywhere, even on vacation. Alexa is comforting; we can listen to music, play games, and read stories.

It’s very routine and mundane sitting in a hospital room for so long, but the hospital allowed us to take Alexa with us and we were able to change up the day with a story, something different, or bedtime music. I never thought caring for a child with pediatric cancer and Alexa would mix, but Alexa has been critical in our lives.”

Creating independence

Emma W., New Haven, CT

An image of an Alexa customer.

My grandmother, Belle, is 103 and lives alone in New York. She is fiercely independent and has remained very active mentally, physically, and in her community. She has had progressive vision loss from macular degeneration, becoming legally blind several years ago. She has had to make several accommodations but is still able to live independently. My parents gifted her an Echo for her 100th birthday and it has made a profound impact in her life.

This was called to my attention after Tropical Storm Isaias left her without internet or phone connection for almost a week. No internet = no Alexa. I went over to help my grandmother, and she shared with me how much she missed Alexa. Alexa was her companion; she would play music, radio and the news, keep her updated on world events, and simpler things like telling her the time. Alexa helped her call her friends and doctors, as she cannot see the numbers on her phone and it is difficult for her to make phone calls. Alexa also set timers so she could make her morning coffee and cook dinner. She is very politically active, marching for women and civil rights in the 1960s to more recently, ready to cast her vote in the upcoming election.

As you probably have gathered, my grandmother is an amazing 103-year-old woman. She has lived through several wars and now two pandemics. She is amazingly smart, resilient, and adaptable. Alexa has become an integral part of her amazing life.”

Share your Alexa story

We continue inventing because of customers like these, and look forward to making Alexa even more helpful in the year ahead. If you have a story of your own you’d like to share about how you use Alexa, we’d love to hear it. Send us a note—you can email us, or tag us on Twitter or Instagram @alexa99 or #AlexaStories.

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