Teen Raises More Than $50,000 for Charity After Unassuming Twitter Post

Playing 19-Year-Old's Tweet for Charity Lands Her in Thousands of Dollars of Debt

A Washington State college student recently took to Twitter to decide how much to donate to charity, but she wasn’t expecting the overwhelming response. 

Danni Messina, 19, attempted to publicize her effort to give to St. Jude’s Children hospital with a tweet Saturday, saying her donations would depend on people’s interactions with her tweet.

She wrote that she’d give .50 cents for every retweet and .25 for every favorite. The tweet was for #GivingTuesday, an effort encouraging people to give. 

Little did she know, the tweet would catch fire on social media.

“Word spread so quickly from that. People kept sharing and sharing,” Messina told InsideEdtiion.com. “I was with my mom and said, 'This is actually a thing. I don’t know how I can do this.'"
 
Messina already planned on donating $1,000.  Her mom is going to match her donation. 

Her post, however, has been retweeted more than 200,000 and favorited nearly 450,000 times. Her donation would have to be more than $300,000, which Messina understandably cannot afford. 

Instead, the teen started a GoFundMe page Sunday with a goal of $50,000 to donate to St. Jude’s. She has already surpassed that amount in just two days.

"People are donating to something they might have had an idea about but because they saw and wanted to support something," Messina said. “It’s not just me — it’s a community effort we created to raise money and that’s pretty awesome.”

Next time Messina may be a little more conservative with her tweets, but a spokesperson with St. Jude’s said they are proud of her efforts.

“Danni’s intentions are pure — and while she has learned a lesson on how quickly a moment can become viral, she also reminds us of the power and importance of helping others and how contagious that spirit is in this season of giving thanks,” the hospital said in a statement.

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