Social Media for a Good Cause

By on 10-15-2010 in News, philanthropy

Social Media for a Good Cause



Social media gives us a platform to use our voice for positive change. Last year for my 37th birthday, I mobilized a campaign to raise money to support Charity: Water’s clean water project in Ethiopia. I asked all of my Twitter followers to make a donation and spread the word through Twitter and Facebook. We raised $92,568, bringing clean water to 4,628 people, 928 families in 19 communities. It was the best birthday present I could have ever asked for.

As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, I again went to Twitter after the Haiti earthquake to challenge major corporations and organizations to match my donation of $50,000. The Twitter challenge garnered enough visibility to receive dollar-for-dollar matches from three organizations and double matches from two others. This resulted in $400,000 dollars for UNICEF to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

I’m also an Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Most people don’t know that 1.4 billion people have one or more neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These diseases blind, disfigure, and stigmatize its victims, but there is a solution. Just 50 cents can treat an individual for many of the most common NTDs for an entire year. All it takes it pocket change. What was the last thing you bought for 50 cents?

There are many opportunities to spread awareness of global health issues through social media tools like Twitter. I’m optimistic that with the right campaign we can mobilize people to learn about how we can improve people’s lives. This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on NTDs, and while the report highlights successes in combating many of this diseases worldwide, it is evident that there is much more that needs to be done.

I’m optimistic about successes we’ve had in global health and development. But how can we spread the word? The ONE Campaign’s Living Proof project highlights the incredible stories of individuals whose lives have been saved because of interventions that work.

We can use the success highlighted in Living Proof and spread them through social media to educate and inform people that while we still have a ways to go to rid the world of disease and poverty, we are moving in the right direction.

And Love,


  1. No offense to all the causes out there…they are many and each one is important…so I guess this is more a personal question:
    With all the tragedies out there why focus more on international issues vs. domestic? I’ll admit I’m haven’t researched your philanthropic pursuits in depth but this website appears to focus on the international. No fault implied either way, just curious.


  2. hi..
    hi alyssa nice for you and i like you charmed movie…and you know i am miss you all…when you cant mike the season 9.thankss love you

    from you fans in indonesia: santi fritz

  3. hi…me again sorry i just want tell…cant you add me in facebook or twitter.thanks you.

  4. Thank you for all your support Alyssa. God bless you.

  5. You are smart and beautiful. Thanks you so many people see how most important is help another. Thank you all my heart.
    I’m sorry for my english, but I don’t study this language. I speek Polish and Germany.

  6. Great job !!!

  7. Alyssa, you are fantastic and fashionissima!

  8. Your thoughtfulness for the many different activities is appreciated by the people that they affect and by everyone that understands the importance. Yet many do not know you are a star, just some woman who belives in making lives better. Many people who have “made it” forget that many people that are still suffering or need help. In America, the government does a better job at making sure we have water, the water is safer to drink, and that other basic needs are also protected for the population. In other countries, the government is at best by calling itself a government without doing much because of lack of money or the advancement in technology. You lead the charge, trying to get support wherever you can. Thank You!

  9. Alyssa, I am so impressed by your efforts! Thank you. I work in water resources and dream, too, of a time when all people have access to clean water, sanitation, and health care. I’m a dad, w/ a 5 yr old boy and 12 yr old daughter. Our children have brought so much joy to the hearts of me and my wife. God bless you and your husband David in your pregnancy and gift you with a beautiful healthy child. My daughter introduced Treak or Treat for UNICEF to her school. Your ambassadorship touches me. I thank God for people like you.