This Viral Fundraising Tweet Had Some Unintended Consequences

Photographed by Rachel Cabitt.
It's Giving Tuesday, which means many people are promoting charitable giving on social media and donating to causes that they care about. But one girl got a little bit more than she bargained for when she tried to do a good deed.
On November 25, Washington State University student Danni Messina posted a tweet in which she called for donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is a research and treatment facility for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases that provides services at no cost.
"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," she wrote. She planned to give .25 cents for every like and .50 cents for every retweet.
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But the likes and RTs got a little out of hand — to the point where she racked up over $50,000 (and counting...). As she told BuzzFeed News, she was "in shock," and she decided to cut it off, since she had only expected her friends and sorority sisters to react on Twitter.
Obviously, Twitter is not a legally binding contract, but here she was, publicly declaring she was going to donate a small fortune to St. Jude's. She had previously planned to donate $1,000 of her own money.
So she decided to start a GoFundMe for the rest of the sum. She's reached almost $7,500 of her $50K goal so far.
Her plans? "To keep fundraising and keep the positivity up, along with the awareness of St. Jude," she tells Refinery29. "I think that keeping that promise of donating to them has made me so much more excited. It's really heartwarming to see people I know — and people I don't know — helping me with this. We have created a community, and we are in this together to make a change."
She adds that she understands not everyone is in the position to give. "If you can give, great, but if not, just keep giving love to those you care about."
While some Twitter users criticized Messina for not being able to come up with the donation, others praised her for her commitment and encouraged people to rise to the occasion.
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