Danni Messina was just a regular Washington State University student who was looking to give back. She had no idea that “giving back” would eventually turn into a $200,000 tab.
Messina, a student at WSU, took to Twitter this weekend promising to donate 50 cents for every retweet and 25 cents for every favorite to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in nearby Seattle. Messina’s tweet eventually racked up over 200,000 retweets and 474,000 likes.
‘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,’ Messina wrote in the November 25 tweet.
Despite the astounding total, Messina is determined to stay true to her word, so the 19-year-old started a GoFundMe account.
via CBS News:
“I tweeted because I had absolutely no idea there would be that much support around the idea,” she explained. “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.”
By Tuesday afternoon, Messina had received donations from 675 people for a total of more than $8,600. She set a goal of $50,000. Dozens of people commented on the GoFundMe page, sharing words of encouragement.
Messina was inspired to donate to St. Jude after learning her friend was spending Thanksgiving in the hospital with his grandmother. It’s also her sorority’s designated philanthropy. While Messina can’t come up with the $210,000 she promised, she hopes the effort will at least raise awareness for a good cause.
Messina said that she is “still in shock” and that she thinks it’s “so incredible that people are donating because they saw my tweet”.