Charitable Giving Goes Social This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season for bell ringers with red buckets asking for your donation in the name of charity – but giving-on-the-go this year is no longer limited to just the change in your pocket. At the forefront of this “social giving” movement is Keep a Child Alive (KCA), an organization dedicated to providing life-saving AIDS treatment, care and support services to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

Singer and new mom, Alicia Keys, is heading up the effort and hopes to raise $1 million for the charity with a campaign initiative called Digital Life Sacrifice. How? By staging a “digital death” for some well-known celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams and Usher, to name a few. They’re quitting Twitter and Facebook cold turkey in the hopes that their sign-off (in effect until the $1M donation goal is hit) will incite action.

In addition to going dark digitally, several of the celebrities have filmed a “last tweet and testament” and will appear lying in coffins for ads. Other ads feature famous faces posing in “Buy Life” t-shirts that are printed with unique bar codes that users can scan on their cell phones (using Stickybits or WiMO) to donate money in the name of their chosen celebrity.

Pedestrians who’d like to get in on a piece of the action can purchase their own ‘Buy Life’ t-shirts with bar codes to become a walking billboard for the charity as well. Friends and family (and even strangers!) can simply scan the shirts to donate. And there’s still a text campaign (text “BUYLIFE” to 90999 to give $10) in effect for the non-smartphone crowd.

The campaign is a brilliant twist on the convergence of popularity contests, impulse buying and mob mentality that we’ve seen on such shows as American Idol – where Keys first realized her influence when a plea for donations raised $500K in four minutes. Plus, it’s refreshing to see the power of celebrity on social media being harnessed for a positive effect; the famous get that they’re a commodity, so they’re starting to realize that they can capitalize on that for the greater good – and quickly, thanks to this fresh and fun take with bar-code technology. The digitally-dead celebrities may not be talking, but the rest of us sure will!

Is this the kind of holiday giving campaign social media and mobile addicts will rally around? Love it? Hate it? We want to hear your thoughts.

Thank You For Supporting Our Virtual Clothing Drive for Rosie’s Place

Thank you to everyone who supported our virtual clothing drive for Rosie’s Place in Boston. We received some generous monetary donations that we passed along today, and we were able to deliver about a dozen bags of clothing. We appreciate all the retweets and buzz – and hope that next time, we can turn even more of the awareness into action.

We were given a tour of Rosie’s – here’s our Whrrl story with more details on what Rosie’s Place does and who they help. Happy Holidays.

More stories at Rosie’s Place
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Please Join Us – PerkettPR’s Virtual Clothing Drive to Benefit Rosie’s Place

UPDATE 12-10-09

We are on our last few days of collecting clothing and donations for Rosie’s Place in Boston. If you live in or around Boston, we will pick up your clothing donations over the weekend or on Monday, December 14. Please contact us via the email below or Susan at 781.267.8849 to coordinate time and location. In a time where donating money can be difficult, please consider looking through your closet this weekend instead. That old sweater you haven’t worn for five years might not mean much to you, but can brighten 2010 for a woman in need.

If you would like to donate monetarily, please use our ChipIn button below. We’ll be delivering a check and clothing to Rosie’s on Monday, December 14.

Thank you!

2009 has unarguably been a year of many ups and downs, not only here in New England, but across the globe.  In Massachusetts alone, we have witnessed the unemployment rate rise as high as 9.3% (October 2009) and my guess is that we all know at least one person who has been laid off this past year or been adversely affected by the struggling economy.  As the holidays approach this year, I asked myself and my employees “What can we do as an organization to help others who are less fortunate than us?” We may gripe about changes we’ve faced, but focusing on others who are facing even more challenging times can help us to keep perspective.

The answer came to us quickly. We could utilize our “virtual” expertise to benefit a local organization – bonding together to focus on helping others whose lives have been far more challenging than anything we’ve had to face. And so, we are thrilled to announce the kick off of our first-ever “PerkettPR Virtual Clothing Drive.”

PerkettPR has teamed up with Rosie’s Place – a local Boston shelter for women — to help raise clothing donations in our first – of what we hope will be annual – virtual clothing drive. Since 1974, Rosie’s Place has been an oasis of hope and nourishment for poor and homeless women. The mission of Rosie’s Place is to help women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives. Rosie’s Place has evolved from providing meals and shelter to providing permanent solutions through advocacy, education and affordable housing. And with your generous clothing donation, we hope to make the holidays a little warmer at Rosie’s Place.

How You Can Help – Boston and Beyond
Please help us to share the warmth by donating new or gently used/clean winter items for women. Items can include hats, gloves, scarves, twin-sized blankets, etc. Take a look through your closets at what you no longer wear, or grab an extra gift during your holiday shopping. It’s easy to do and will make a huge difference to a woman in need.

You can either send items to us via UPS, or collect items at your office and the PerkettPR team will come pick them up the week of December 7th (for Boston-area companies). Simply email to indicate your desire to donate and to coordinate details with our staff (shipment or pickup).

An alternate way to donate
You may also make a non-deductible monetary donation via the ChipIn widget below as an alternative method of participating in our drive. Every dollar counts and is very appreciated!

How Generous is Your Company?
If we receive a positive response, PerkettPR will name one company as “Most Giving” and feature them on our blog this December. So gather your colleagues, put a box at the front desk or in the lobby and start piling up that winter warmth.

Thank you in advance for helping us to help others.

Happy Holidays,

The PerkettPR Team