Twitter and Facebook donations help the world “Show Your Hearts” for the Berry Family Children.

Berry Family Tragedy

On July 3rd, 2011 while returning from an annual family road trip in Colorado back to their home in Houston, Texas the Berry Family found themselves to be victims of a tragic fatal car accident. The Berry’s minivan carrying parents Joshua and Robin Berry and their children Peter (age 9), Aaron (age 8), and Willa (age 6), was hit head on. Both parents Joshua and Robin were killed leaving their three children behind. While all three children survived the crash, both boys sustained serious spinal cord injuries and were paralyzed below the waist.


Show Your Hearts Text to Donate Campaign

Tragedy ignites a worldwide effort to help support the children. Show Your Hearts was created to connect supporters.


The Berry Family needed a mechanism to quickly receive funds.  To further this problem, they had 7 days to prepare for one day of giving. Because of the lack of a donor base for this cause, those closest to the family were privileged to leverage family connections with celebrities. Since social media is the preferred method of communication for celebs, they were forced to create a completely viral campaign optimized for Twitter and Facebook. This brought them to an even larger problem. Though social media spreads ideas fast – it has a lackluster track record when it comes to giving. The family needed a giving method that was as immediate and easy as social media. Their audience was also likely to be younger, an inherent roadblock to typical donation methods.

Show Your Hearts Text to Donate Solution

Text to donate is the only way donors can complete a gift in less than 15 seconds. This was just the kind of time frame the young audience would need to be willing to give. MobileCause responded immediately by providing the technology and support needed to create a successful text to give campaign. MobileCause was introduced to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, a local nonproft whose hearts immediately went out to the Berry family. Because of unique carrier relationships MobileCause was able to request an expedited mobile campaign approval and launch. The HCJF Berry Family Fund for Orphans was able to quickly accept $10 text to give donations.

Technology and Support

Once the keyword BERRY was provisioned the family was given access to MobileCause’s robust real-time reporting system that gauges fundraising efforts. They were also given a web widget (a small online form that can be embedded on any web page) enabling users to make a text message donations online. Additionally, we created a QR code linking supporters to live fundraising results.

The MobileCause team spent dedicated time with the campaigns producers advising them on the in’s and out’s of using text to give with social media as well as helping them to leverage additional technology like bit.ly analytic. Because the bulk of the messaging was going to be done by celebrities, the potential for follower/fan participation rates was very high. MobileCause helped to create engaging content for social media feeds for supporting celebrities. Dedicated strategic support over the course of the campaign was also necessary to tweak the campaign in real time. The support delivered was designed to optimize performance and enhance creativity and efficiency.


Celebrities Promote Keyword on Facebook and Twitter

On July 27th many celebrities began tweeting, posting to facebook and speaking about the Berry family, requesting that their followers change their profile pictures to the ShowYourHearts logo. Followers were empowered to text BERRY to 85944 to make a $10 gift. Within minutes the text to give campaign was raising an average of $7500 per hour. This single day social fundraising campaign resulted in over $98,000+ in $10 text donations.


-Millions of people were given the opportunity to come to the rescue in a single day.
-9800+ new supporters were empowered and completed text to give donations.
-$98,000+ and counting has been raised through text donations.

Learn More About Receiving Text Donations


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