Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Twitter Blanket Drive #TBD2015


 
It is that time of the year when Winter starts to reach out its icy fingers, although here in Durban after yesterday’s over 30 degree heat we wonder when Winter will come. We haven’t had to take out our blankets for Winter as yet but there are people all over South Africa who already need the warmth a blanket can bring. If we all donate just one blanket we can make a big difference in someone’s life. So find out today where the drop off point in your city or area is, and if there isn’t one why don’t you arrange it, and also get involved on Twitter by tweeting the official hashtag to encourage others to donate.
 
Media Release for Twitter Blanket Drive 2015
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 (TBD). “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.
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.
This year on Instagram the Igers are also getting involved by posting pictures on Instagram to create awareness of TBD.  You can track their involvement and get involved on Instagram using the hashtag #TBD2015. 
Corporates are encouraged to help out with donations this year.  
Companies, Coffee Shops and Venues that would like to become a drop off venue for blankets should not hesitate to contact us.
Drop off venues around Durban:
·         St Clements, 191 Musgrave Road, Durban.
For more information or to become involved in this year’s drive, please visit the official TBD Twitter page: @TBDAfrica. You can also contact the Durban representative Fred Felton on: +27 76 977 5788 or email falconscove@gmail.com
 
 
Twitter Blanket Drive Hashtags for 2015 -Our Official Handle @TBDAfrica
#TBD2015 – Our official hashtag
#twitterblanketdrive – A support hashtag, to be used for explanatory purposes, when asked what TBD is.
#Blanketeer/s – Everyone involved in donating a blanket to the drive is called a blanketeer.
#BlanketAmbassador/s – Our blanket ambassadors host mini-events/parties/functions, to collect blankets, in the run-up to final event night. These blankets will then be dropped off at the main event, before or on the final event night 28 May.They must co-ordinate with the national organizer or hosts of each city before hosting their event.
#BlanketBash – This is the event/party/function hosted by a #BlanketAmbassador (can be a birthday party, a support event at a sports game etc)
#BlanketElves/#BlanketFairies – People who help out during the campaign and on event night.

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