This Teen’s Tweet About Crowdfunding For St. Jude’s Backfired, But She’s Using The Aftermath To Help In A Bigger Way

Ad failed to load

'Tis the season for giving; and one Washington State University student is trying to give back in a big, big way, thanks to a viral tweet that went awry. Danni Messina vowed to donate money for charity every time people shared her tweet; but she was in for a very expensive awakening when the tweet blew up, committing her to donating way more cash than she has. Bustle reached out for comment and got to chat with her more about how it all went down.

Messina was initially inspired to do a good deed after learning a friend would be in the hospital with his grandmother for Thanksgiving. Speaking to Buzzfeed News, she says, "It hit me that a lot of kids have the reality of having to be in the hospital with their families. I feel so fortunate that I have everything I need. There are so many other families that need so much more. I wanted to give back this holiday season." Messina decided to take her generosity to Twitter, where she posted saying every time someone liked or retweeted her tweet, she would donate money to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, hoping that her small group of followers — friends and sorority sisters — would join in.

She was in for a surprise when the tweet went viral, quickly adding up to tens of thousands of dollars in her own donations.

Ad failed to load

Messina had planned to donate around $1,000. If my math is correct (it's a toss-up), at this moment, all of her likes and retweets add up to nearly $206,000. "It all really happened overnight on Saturday to Sunday. I realized that there were so many people retweeting it, and it wasn't stopping!" she tells Bustle.

Panic set in, understandably; but even though she knew she couldn't foot that bill, she was still committed to raising money for the hospital. Messina then set up a GoFundMe page, and donations are amassing by the hour. At this time, she's raised about $7,500, with a goal of $50,000, and its only been one day. Now, she's making headlines for the one insane tweet that started it all, and how she's channeling her efforts into a crowdsourcing campaign where everybody can pitch in and try to do something nice this holiday.

Ad failed to load

Messina's actions are heartwarming, but she didn't necessarily have it easy. After learning that she couldn't follow through with her initial promise, tweeters of the world had things to say, mean things, going so far as to say that she only did it for the attention and had no real desire to help.

Ad failed to load

Messina promises that her intentions were only good, though, and she doesn't plan on letting the negativity get her down. Speaking to Bustle, she says, "I would have to say to just keep the positivity up. It's for a great cause. I really didn't do it for 'Twitter fame' or anything like that. I did it because I wanted to give back this holiday season. I love St. Jude with a passion and I want to give the most I can!"

Ad failed to load

It's a smart choice indeed, especially considering this whole thing is about so much more than Messina or her tweet: it's about raising money for people in need.

Despite all the naysayers and Debbie Downers, Messina has more supporters at her back than critics. Many didn't hesitate to jump to her defense and stand up for her actions.

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

For every hater, there's probably 20 lovers; and Messina's initial goal wasn't lost just because the dollars signs stacked up to far more than she ever thought possible.

One little tweet ended up having a bigger impact than Messina ever thought it would; and as a result, she's leaving an even stronger positive imprint. Not only is a heck of a lot more money being raised for people who really need it, but she — along with many others on Twitter — have helped bring awareness to something important that we so often push out of our minds. Messina's goal was to give back this season, and she certainly is. Christmas for the people of St. Jude just got a little bit brighter.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Your Weekend Love Horoscope For May 19-20, 2018

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

7 Last-Minute Royal Wedding Party Ideas Worth Waking Up Early For

We're only two days away from the royal wedding, so it's safe to assume Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finished with their planning (we hope). But if you're a commoner who's procrastinated on planning a watch party, you still have time to decorat…
By Ayana Lage

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

16 Brand New YA Rom-Coms To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Ah, summer. Post-Memorial Day it's all about being outside in the sunshine, lazy pool days and exciting beach trips, warm weather treats, and — most important of all — tote bags packed to the brim with all of the biggest and best summer reads. Whatev…
By Kerri Jarema

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

9 Hacks For Fighting Jet Lag That Actually Work

Jet lag is the worst. There's no doubt about it. And it's only natural to want to find a way to prevent it. Searching for jet lag cures online often means encountering expensive products and sketchy supplements. Luckily, there are ways to train your …
By Eva Taylor Grant

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan