GPICT! Gratuitous Public Interest Campaign Thursday!

04/02/2009 05:10 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Two weeks ago, I realized it was the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War, and I wanted to do something to mark that - so I whipped up a mini-campaign on Twitter, on my personal charity-themed website, Charitini, and here on HuffPo.

Last week, I thought - why not try it again? Every Wednesday, an impromptu Internet tradition is enacted on blogs and websites across cyberspace: Gratuitous Picture Of Yourself Wednesday. It's lots of goofy fun and I've happily indulged - so I thought, why not see if I could apply it toward doing some good? Enter GPICT, the Internet's newest meme.

I sent out the call in the name of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the beneficiary of my friend Anthony's Charitini Birthday, and asked people to post/Twitter/reblog the idea - with their own favorite GPICT charity. It came back in spades: Six great friends posted about six great charities:

* Operation Gratitude - Care Packages for Soldiers
* The Kucetekela Foundation - Education for Zambia's Youth
* Music Maker Relief Foundation
* Circle of Women - Building a Girls' School in Afghanistan
* Heifer International - Donating Sustainable Resources
* The Great American Clean-Up - Volunteering To Help Clean Up A City

...and that's how a ball gets rolling.

So this week, I've posted again - this time about Grateful Nation, a Montana-based charity that provides funds for the eduction of children of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I heard about it earlier this week on NBC Nightly News (see here) and it was pretty heartbreaking, but pretty inspiring. So this week, that's my pic - or PICT; that is to say, GPICT.

How can you get involved, you ask? Why, Gratuitously start your own Public Interest Campaign, of course! Pick your own favorite charity, or charitable cause, or volunteer opportunity, or whatever you think is in the Public Interest, and let the world know via your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, GMail or AIM chat status, or in the comments section of this very post. (Seriously! GPICT is like a boomerang, the love comes back!) Or, if you want to support Grateful Nation (and who wouldn't really - it's a wonderful idea) feel free to retweet this on Twitter (here's a bitty url: and add the #GPICT hashtag. And next Thursday, let's all do it all over again. Every little bit counts.

...and that's how a ball gets rolling.