A nice story about the power of social media and good intentions put into action. There are lots of relief efforts going on, but this one was organized extremely quickly.
Social media is often recognized narrowly as a way to connect with friends, or to share and read the news. Yesterday it was demonstrated that social media can serve as a medium of mobilization for disaster relief, helping Americans all over the country reach out and help those affected by the tornado in Oklahoma on Monday.
Shortly after the destructive twister tore through the town of Moore outside Oklahoma City , conservative radio personality and talking head Glenn Beck used Twitter to organize a “convoy of hope” to travel to Oklahoma to provide early disaster relief. Within hours, Beck’s team had used Twitter to locate trucks and supplies, and they were on their way, arriving in the Moore area bearing food, water, and diapers.
Beck maintained his ties to the Twittersphere throughout the journey, live-tweeting national updates on the disaster and his personal sentiments. Twitchy posted many of the tweets here. Beck notes from his personal Twitter account that he was leafing through scripture along the way trying to find direction from God. Twitchy also posted tweets from ordinary people who were very thankful to Beck for his prompt mobilization.
The relief effort comes under the umbrella of Beck’s charity, Mercury One. The charity’s mission statement is “To inspire, organize, and mobilize individuals to improve the human condition physically, emotionally, and spiritually with malice towards none and charity for all.” Mercury One has three core principles: restore, faith, and entrepreneurship.
Beck’s convoy of hope has seen remarkable success. In just over a day, it has raised over $500,000. Initially, Beck hoped to raise at least $50,000 but with over 6,000 donations his organization has long surpassed that goal.