I woke up on September 8th to an OU Daily article discussing how the OU Food Pantry was beginning to run low on supplies. My father had texted me about it as well, remarking how unfortunate it was that some students were so burdened by tuition that they were being forced to choose between attending college and being able to eat. I realized he was right. It’s terrible that anyone should be put in a position where they might have to worry about getting enough food to eat. For the next couple of hours, I thought about what I could do to help. I came to OU from the suburbs of Chicago, so while I haven’t been in Oklahoma for very long, I’ve found that OU has helped me reinvent myself into the person I wanted to be five years ago. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to start giving back to the community that helped shape who I am. I found a few Target gift cards, siphoned off some money from my bank account, and pooled together about $125 that I would use to buy supplies for the OU Food Pantry.
However, I didn’t feel like that went far enough. So, before my 10:30am class, I posted a tweet pledging $0.10 per retweet and $0.05 per like for supplies for the food pantry. I hoped that the tweet would spread enough to get about $30 worth of supplies and raise some awareness in the process. What actually happened was far beyond what I could have expected. I soon upped my pledge to $0.25 per retweet and $0.10 per like, again only expecting a relatively minimal response. As the day wore on, however, the tweet started getting more and more attention. By the afternoon, the tweet reached about $25 worth of likes and retweets.
The next day, it started spreading like wildfire. At the peak, I believe $30 worth of likes and retweets had been accumulated in an hour. People from Oklahoma State, the University of Texas, even as far away as USC and New York City were sharing the tweet. It was truly a dream come true to see how many people cared. As I type this, nearly four days later, just over $330 worth of likes and retweets have been accumulated. I’ve already donated $250 in food and supplies to the pantry and plan on another $150 donation in the next few weeks. Through a single tweet, the OU community came together to raise awareness for the OU Food Pantry, to help keep the pantry stocked, and to help keep OU students well fed. It’s simply caring for our fellow classmates and our community as a whole, and it’s truly a privilege to help in whatever way I can. Other organizations need assistance, too, and hopefully this experience will give others the initiative to help.