The 2015 Twitter Blanket drive is almost in full swing and their story is an inspiring one. Read below to find out how it all started and what is being planned for this year’s campaign.
Since 2010, the Twitter community in South Africa has been moved by compassion and has engaged the social media platform to collect blankets for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Over the past 6 years, thousands of blankets have been collected in the weeks leading up winter to provide some relief and, of course, warmth to those in need.
“For us as a Twitter community, social responsibility is a serious business,” says Merentia van der Vent, one of the
spokespersons for the Twitter Blanket Drive. “As winter’s bite fast approaches, we are aware that charities are under a huge amount of pressure to meet the demand for blankets. In today’s digital world, we have the power to make significant change, in the area of social development, harnessing the power of social media.”
The TBD started 6 years ago, as a single tweet by Melanie Minnaar, as she contemplated the cold winter ahead and in true Twitter style, tweeted the following thought: “what if each person on Twitter donated a blanket?”. Since then, the TBD movement has exploded and now has a national footprint with campaign drives taking place in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and for the first time this year, Pretoria. Also smaller towns host blanket drive events. This year the official hashtag is #TBD2015.
In today’s fast paced world, using social media to increase community awareness is not only smart, but essential. According to the founder of the campaign, Melanie Minnaar, the Twitter Blanket Drive has injected a true sense of community into the South African Twittersphere, as the number of Twitter users involved with the TBD has grown exponentially since 2010.
This year, the #TBD2015 team would like to encourage South Africans to nominate a charity, working with vulnerable people, to receive some of the blankets, collected through the drive. All charities will be vetted and beneficiaries will be named during the second week of the drive. Send your nomination and the name of your participating city to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The team would also like to thank the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! group of hotels, that have thrown their weight fully behind the Twitter Blanket Drive campaign. With a new Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn having recently opened its doors in Pretoria, collections are set for a boost. Last year Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch together collected more than 4000 blankets.
These were distributed amongst four charities. They included, in Johannesburg, Seeds of Africa, Ark Animal Centre
and Soul Food, a charity that collects and distributes supplies to approximately 30 shelters in the Witwatersrand region. In Cape Town, Operation Shoebox, which supports more than 15 000 children, benefited from this blanket drive.
Blankets for the 2015 Twitter Blanket Drive can be dropped off at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn, Melrose Arch and Cape Town until 28 May 2015, when the blankets will be handed over to the selected charities.
For more information or to become involved in this year’s drive, please check out the official TBD Twitter profile, @TBDAfrica. You can also contact Merentia van der Vent on: +27 74 181 7899.
See, I told you it’s a good cause, so do your bit and get involved. Transfer the warmth in your heart by giving someone a blanket that will keep them warm this winter, it’s the right thing to do.
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