Just spoke with @danni_messina who has now raised more than $55,000 for St. Jude. Started with a viral tweet and now it’s a community effort. She says she is still donating her own money as she promised as well. #kxly pic.twitter.com/HjRrTK3ErN— Drew Reeves (@DrewReevesKXLY) November 29, 2017
Washington State University student Danni Messina received an outpouring of support for a fundraising tweet she shared for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
According to local ABC affiliate WJLA, Messina raised more than $50,000 after pledging to donate $0.25 and $0.50 for every retweet and favorite she received on her post.
this time of year is about giving - this year, I am giving back to St. Jude & the families who are supported by their amazing services— dan (@danni_messina) November 25, 2017
every favorite : $.25
every retweet : $.50
go give. go st. Jude!!
It wasn’t long before Messina’s tweet went viral, garnering more than 200,000 retweets and nearly 500,000 favorites.
The total amount Messina’s tweet actually raised exceeded $200,000. However, she didn’t expect to receive such a huge response and was unable to follow through with the full amount her tweet earned from her own pockets.
She was resourceful, though, and launched a GoFundMe page to help her collect additional donations from those who want to contribute to her cause.
"It started with a friend. He was telling me about his thanksgiving, and how he was spending time with his grandma who was in the hospital. It made me start thinking about the children who were spending their holidays in the hospital, and how it really was a reality for others," Messina wrote on the GoFundMe page.
"Then I tweeted about it. I tweeted because I had absolutely no idea there would be that much support around the idea. So, unfortunately, I don't have the funds to support this, but here is a link to donate to one of the best hospitals there is. St. Jude is changing lives. This is where we start."
The campaign has raised more than $50,000 and Messina has reportedly reached out to Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon about her efforts. She also still plans to donate her own money as promised in her original tweet.
While the initiative was certainly noble and heartwarming, the overwhelming experience likely also served as a valuable lesson to Messina about making personal declarations of this nature on the internet.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike blake