I stumbled on Twestival a year ago when I heard that a completely volunteer-driven Twitter charity festival involving cities from around the globe was being organized over one day with all proceeds going to one cause (charity: water was last year's recipient, receiving $250,000 through the event). I was immediately intrigued. I'll admit -- like most people out there -- that I am a Twitterholic and my laptop joins me wherever I go. So the concept of using a platform I love and bringing people together offline to raise money and awareness for a great cause can be summed up in one simple word: awesome!
Over the past year, I've also gotten to know Twestival's founder, Amanda Rose. A fellow Canadian, she and her grassroots movement have become a prime example of unifying a community using social media for social good. As a one-woman philanthropic band, Rose is continuing the excitement and traction of Twestival with the 2nd annual global event coming up on March 25. While water was the focus last year, this year -- with the help of the city volunteers and organizers -- she chose to put the focus on education, linking up with Concern Worldwide. As an international humanitarian organization with over 40 years of experience, Concern transforms the lives of the world's poorest, most marginalized children through access to education.
I spoke to Amanda in London via Skype about the 2nd annual Twestival, the importance of education as the cause and why it's worth your time to participate:
As one of the Los Angeles organizers, Rose reminded me that's it's not about creating a massive event, but rather the concept of just getting people together wherever -- a pub, restaurant, someone's basement -- and raising money even if it be by passing around a can. If the motivation is right, then that's enough.
Another big addition this year is the involvement of schools. With organizations like Do Something gaining popularity, Rose saw a lot of young people that wanted to be involved with social action as well. So now it's not just about putting your city on the map amongst the 150 and counting already on board, but until March 18, you can put your school on the map as well.
Want to know more about Twestival? Check out this just released video -- which proves just how far one tweet can go to make a difference- and help spread the inspiration:
To donate, find out what events are near you, sign up your city or for general info, go to twestival.com.
Follow Shira Lazar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/shiralazar