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
every favorite : $.25
every retweet : $.50
go give. go st. Jude!!
— dan (@danni_messina) November 25, 2017
It started with an innocent tweet, as many viral stories do these days. After hearing a friend talk about his grandma spending her Thanksgiving holiday in the hospital, 19-year-old Danni Messina immediately thought of all the kids spending the holiday season in hospitals and decided then and there to do something about it — she just got a little more than she bargained for.
"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," read her Nov. 25 tweet, which claimed that for every favorite of the tweet, she'd donate 25 cents to St. Jude Children's Hospital and 50 cents for every retweet. With just about 600 followers at the time, the Washington University sophomore didn't think she'd reach a donation amount beyond her means, but the tweet went unexpectedly viral — at press time, it has 205,418 retweets and 476,110 favorites.
For the people playing at home, that brings Danni's donation total to $221,734.
Because the tweet went — for lack of a better term — "too viral," Danni is looking to others to help her achieve this donation amount. She started a GoFundMe page with a $50,000 goal that has been nearly doubled thus far, and Kmart, who partners with St. Jude, also took part in the fundraising by holding a "Danni Messina Day" in which customers could donate to St. Jude in the college student's name. Nationwide, Kmart was able to raise over $86,000 in just one day.
If you'd like to help Danni reach her lofty goal, too, check out her GoFundMe page to support her cause.
"I tweeted because I had absolutely no idea there would be that much support around the idea," Danni wrote on her GoFundMe page. "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."