College student raises more than $50K for St. Jude with a tweet

Posted at 2:47 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 14:47:06-05

(KXLY/CNN) - Danni Messina wasn’t expecting it, but she ended up raising many thousands of dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Research.

Messina, a sophomore at Washington State University, spent Thanksgiving at her parents’ home with family. But she was moved to act when a friend told her he spent the holiday in the hospital with his grandmother.

She realized that’s quite common – so she came up with a plan. She took to Twitter and asked friends to tweet and favorite her in exchange for donations to St. Jude Hospital, where many children spend their holidays.

She had about 700 followers when she posted the tweet and expected she might have to donate about $500. But the tweet exploded and by Monday she had raised $50,000, and the total kept rising.

She had nowhere near that kind of money, so she started a GoFundMe page to make good on her promise. Three days later, she reached her $50,000 goal – and cried when she heard the news.

Since she reached her goal so quickly, she decided to keep going. She was up to $58,000 at last look.

Want to help? Go to and search for Danni Messina.

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