This the story of the blogger who saved Christmas. At this time of year, a lot of people reach out to those less fortunate than they are and try to make a difference. Whether by volunteering, donating funds, or passing along items they don’t need anymore to someone who can use them, people like to pitch in. Each story, in of itself, is heartwarming. But one of the most amazing giving stories of this year is one that started with the generosity of one blogger and turned into a viral tidal wave of giving.
Jenny Lawson, known as The Bloggess, wrote a post on her blog on December 15 indicating that she wanted to help some families that are struggling for money this year and that don’t know how they will buy their kids anything for Christmas. She said she would e-mail a $30 Amazon gift card to the first twenty people who left a comment explaining why it would make a difference in their lives right now. No real names required. Just an e-mail address and a comment.
She got comments…
Those are just a few examples of the many, many, many comments she received. Jenny had offered 20 gift cards of $30 each and they ran out fast. But then a wonderful thing happened:
And it continued. More and more people jumped in with their stories of need and with their offers of help, including one man who donated $1000 towards the initiative. Jenny set up a spreadsheet and matched donors to people in need.
Jenny wrote a follow-up post on December 17 called UPDATED: My heart grew three sizes and now I have an enlarged heart. WORTH IT. In this post she describes the details of how her offer of help to 20 families went viral and ended up helping so many. The final tally according to her blog post:
Over 900 gift cards were sent out by 683 people who were so thrilled to help. 435 people who needed small Christmas miracles received small donations for medicine, food and presents under the tree for their children. No large corporations got involved. No one only offered to donate if they got something out of it themselves. With no sponsorships, no ulterior motives and with only a simple need to reach out and help a perfect stranger 683 everyday, normal people (Jewish, Christians, Atheists, Muslims and more) sent out over $39,000 worth of donations to make sure Christmas came.
Thank you, Jenny and thank you to the readers of The Bloggess for showing everyone the power of social media and demonstrating what the Christmas spirit is really about.
Annie blogs about the art and science of parenting at the PhD in Parenting blog.
Photo used with permission from Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess.
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