[Mama Lucy Kampton and some Tweetsgiving recipients. Photo by Tim Llewellyn]
Almost any author will tell you the same thing. There are parts to their books that become part of them. There are moments we write about, which change the paths we take in life.
When I was writing Naked Conversations, it was the realization that blogs were part of something much bigger than another business marketing tool. There was something fundamental that would change a great deal between organization and constituencies. When I started on the book with Robert Scoble, I had no idea that much of my next five years would continue down a social media path.
When I wrote Twitterville, I had no idea that my Goodwill Fundraising chapter would rekindle a long-abandoned interest in organizations dedicated to helping others. I had become jaded in my belief that the money I had donated to curing cancer and saving whales was not being used for the purposes I had believed they would be used. There is something in many of us that simply doesn't trust large institutions whose messages are engineered by marketing teams.
But then I came across people like Beth Kanter, whose dedication to Cambodian orphans has clearly made a difference; to Connie Reece who started the Frozen Pea Fund to fight Susan Reynolds cancer; to David Armano who raised money to help an abused house cleaner and her kids; to the folks at charity:water and Twestival.
Each of these stories rekindled my long-smothered belief that people can help people; can contribute to the well-being of strangers and that money raised can go almost entirely to the people in need.
Of all these stories, the saga of Stacey Monk, a freelance product manager, Mama Lucy Kampton, a Tanzanian chicken farmer [above] and the kids at Shepherds Jr who were going to lose their school in Tanzania and Tweetsgiving moved me most of all. Last year, 372 people donated about $30 each to build a new school in Tanzania. I'm not sure why. All these other causes and so many more, are equally valid.
But causes are a subjective thing and I have given what little money and time I could this year to the new Tweetsgiving event. I am taking my wife and her mom to one of the worldwide Tweetsgiving fund raisers being held tonight and I am hoping that people all over the world will give to Tweetsgiving and Stacey's Epic Change which will find other Lucy Thorntons and help more kids.
I don't know what you favorite cause is. And if you don't live in the U.S. the synchronization with our Thanksgiving may make no sense to you. But it is a holiday about giving thanks, and that I'm sure you can understand.
It is a time to be thankful that you may be able to give rather than need to receive so that you and your kids can eat, or be educated or be made safe or healthy or drink clean water.
Sometime during this season, I hope you give to something and I hope you feel as good about it as I feel about Tweetsgiving.