Social media and charity came together Thursday night at Mars Café to raise money for the Evelyn Davis Early Learning Academy. The event was a Twestival, short for a Twitter festival. Using social media to organize community events and to raise support for local charities has become more and more popular.
The Learning Academy is a preschool that services at-risk children and aims to “create lifelong learners by supporting the social, academic, physical and emotional development of children.”
The event raised over $1,000 through donations, raffles and silent auctions.
“It was meaningful because it was local this year, the past two years it served international organizations,” senior Holly Worthy said. “The people it impacted were there, you could directly see where the money was going to and who it was helping. It wasn’t just Twitter people hanging out with Twitter people. This added a new dimension.”
According to www.twestival.com, Twestivals, one of the largest grassroots social media fundraising initiatives, have raised almost $1.2 million for over 130 causes since 2009. Volunteers in over 45 countries have come together in their Twitter communities to support many local businesses by featuring pizza from Gusto Pizza, beer from Olde Main Brewing Company and music from Bella Soul, Dead Yellow Canaries and Seedling.
Worthy was the only Drake student to serve on the planning committee for this year’s Twestival. She reported on the event last year and was then inspired to serve on the committee.
“I have a lot of friends through Twitter, but I was excited to see Drake students there,” Worthy said. “I appreciated Drake University’s Twitter account re-tweeting stuff we had sent out. It was helpful in trying to broaden the audience.”