PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The good deed of a young woman backfired but she’s taking it all in stride.
When Danni Messina, 19, outlined her pledge to give back to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the families helped by the organization on Twitter on Friday, she did not foresee owing $210,000.
Messina pledged 25 cents for every favorite her tweet received and 50 cents for every retweet.
By the next day, the Washington State University student amassed more than she could handle.
“I was originally planning on donating personally $1,000,” Messina told CBS News.
She tweeted the following on Saturday after going viral: “Wowza ok – so we are stopping it here.”
Almost 195,000 retweets and 450,000 favorites, Messina owed about $210,000.
She then took to GoFundMe to ask for the public’s help in making good on her word.
“It started with a friend. He was telling me about his Thanksgiving, and how he was spending time with his grandma who was in the hospital. It made me start thinking about the children who were spending their holidays in the hospital, and how it really was a reality for others. Then I tweeted about it. I tweeted because I had absolutely no idea there would be that much support around the idea. So, unfortunately, I don’t have the funds to support this, but here is a link to donate to one of the best hospitals there is. St. Jude is changing lives. This is where we start,” she posted.
Setting a goal of raising $50,000 in funds, Messina has outdone herself again by raising more than $55,000 in just two days.
“I am still in shock. I think it’s so incredible that people are donating because they saw my tweet,” she told CBS News. “I love the awareness part of it, and it’s been awesome talking to St. Jude more.”
Despite not being able to come up with the $210,000 total, Messina has inspired others to give back as much as they can.