Student’s viral tweet brings in more than $80,000

Messina partnered with Kmart to donate more to St. Jude Hospital


Courtesy of Danni Messina

WSU sophomore Danni Messina, who studies communication, has raised thousands for research for St. Jude after her tweet pledging to donate went viral.

LINH NGUYEN, Evergreen reporter

Little did WSU sophomore Danni Messina know that her Thanksgiving tweet would go viral, when she said she would help donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

On Nov. 25, Messina posted, “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”.

In an effort to give back, Messina promised to donate 50 cents for ever retweet and 25 cents for every favorite.

However, when Messina went to go watch the Apple Cup with her mom, she said that she didn’t really get a chance to look at her phone.

When Messina woke up the following morning, she saw that her post had thousands of retweets and favorites.

“In the morning, I’m like ‘Oh my god! What is happening?’ ” Messina said. “I was definitely in shock.”

After flying back to Pullman, Messina realized how much attention the post had received.

Messina followed through on her initial promise, and posted a photo with a donation of $1,000 from her own wallet. However, she said that as a college student, she would not be able to afford to donate such a large amount.

With that in mind, Messina decided to create a Gofundme page on Sunday, which has raised more than $85,000, which surpassed its $50,000 goal.

“I still wanted to give back,” Messina said. “If we can make it a group effort then that’s awesome.”

It was Messina’s friend who initially inspired her to pursue the goal. Her friend shared his story with Messina, saying that his Thanksgiving would be spent in the hospital with his grandma.

“It really made me realize how much of a reality it really is for families to stay in the hospital over the holiday season,” Messina said.

Her tweet currently has a more than 200,000 retweets and over 450,000 favorites.

After racking so much attention, a representative from St. Jude reached out to Messina and helped her team up with the retailer Kmart, which has been known to support St. Jude, to raise more money for her cause.

Kmart dedicated Dec. 2 to Messina’s goal, calling it “Danni Messina Day”, where all of the donated proceeds from the sales went directly to St. Jude.

Messina said that throughout this process, her mindset has completely changed. She feels that giving back has become such a huge part of her life and that it has been such a rewarding experience.

“For me, like when I was a kid — I absolutely loved the holidays,” Messina said. “If there’s anything that I can do to give back and make it a little better [for others], than that’s what I want to do.”