Folks, yesterday was my 59th birthday, and I decided to celebrate by asking for a unique kind of gift – a tweet on Twitter about what someone considers the perfect gift this holiday season. Each time someone responds and tweets using the hashtag #perfectgift, I am giving a $1 contribution to the American Red Cross, up to $10,000 to purchase military comfort kits for our troops. It’s amazing because 91% of every gift goes to people in need.
Even though the nation is facing an economic downturn for a third straight holiday season, a new Red Cross poll shows that the majority of Americans still plan to maintain strong charitable giving this year. Nearly three in five people plan to donate to charity this holiday season. And the report showed that Americans feel even more strongly that the prolonged economic downturn means they should support their neighbors.
The use of Twitter will help get the word out quickly to the nearly 45,000 followers that I have on @craignewmark and their followers, as well as the followers of the @RedCross. The hashtag #perfectgift will help me to track the results so I can determine how much to donate. I am also promoting the campaign on Facebook and here at craigconnects, but the actual donations have to happen via Twitter so that they can be tracked. The campaign will run through the end of December.
The more people like you who participate, the more we can help our troops. Please also check out the American Red Cross’s 2011 Holiday Giving Catalog, which has 25 symbolic gifts representing all Red Cross services that can be purchased in the name of a loved one during the holiday season. Donations can provide food and shelter to a victim of a disaster, purchase phone cards and personal items for a member of the armed forces, or help supply basic necessities to families in desperate need in countries across the world.
For my birthday, and this holiday season, I hope folks will help tell me what they think the perfect gift is, for themselves or to give someone else by tweeting the hashtag #perfectgift.