2016 Twitter Blanket Drive Ends With Passion

On 26 May 2016 the first ever annual Twitter Blanket Drive #TBD2016 to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay will come to an end. Since 2010 people with passion have joined the #TBD2016 call to donate old or new blankets across South Africa for this campaign.

Twitter Blanket Drive started in 2010 in South Africa when Melanie Minnaar challenged the Twitter Community to each donate one blanket during winter. The Twitter community responded with compassion and engaged on the social media platform to collect blankets for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Over the past six years, thousands of blankets have been collected in the weeks leading up to winter to provide some relief and, of course, warmth to those in need.

During Nelson Mandela Bay’s first participation partners such as the Protea Hotel Marine, Summerstrand; Wild Rapids Spur in Uitenhage and Panarottis in Despatch all hosted the drop-off zones for the 2016 Twitter Blanket Drive campaign.

The fact that we could participate in this year really warmed my heart, and this really motivated me to collect blankets to keep Port Elizabeth warm,” says Eileen Koeberg, one of the #TBD2016 volunteers. “It opened hearts that my colleagues and friends gave their blankets and those who donated blankets, did so with much love.

The Salvation Army has been chosen as the NGO to receive the blankets this year as they are known for their work among the poorest and most destitute people in local communities. Twittering people with passion donated over 100 blankets.

The Twitter Blanket Drive helps people to get involved by helping organisations like ourselves make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us. It is important for us to count on each other to make this possible,” says Major Valerie Potgieter, head of the Salvation Army in Uitenhage. “We will make sure that those on the streets become our priority with this drive and so meet the most needy during this winter time.

Twitter Blanket Drive Event Invitation:

All are invited to join the hand-over parties on Thursday, 26 May at the following venues and times:

Nelson Mandela Bay residents can make their final blanket donations at the above venues, join the hosts and people with passion from Twitter.

Twitter Blanket Drive Media Contacts

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2016 Twitter Blanket Drive

Twitter Blanket Drive arrives in Uitenhage

The drop-off zones in Nelson Mandela Bay:

Twitter Blanket Drive started in 2010 in South Africa. The Twitter community moved by compassion and has engaged the social media platform to collect blankets for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Over the past 6 years, thousands of blankets have been collected in the weeks leading up to winter to provide some relief and, of course, warmth to those in need.

Nelson Mandela Bay residents can now also take part in the Twitter Blanket Drive with two drop-off points – one in Port Elizabeth and one in Uitenhage.

“More than any other social media, Twitter is about local conversations,” says Ramon Thomas, local co-ordinator for the Twitter Blanket Drive in Port Elizabeth, and founder of TEDxPortElizabeth. “The #TBD2016 campaign shows how we can use social media to take action in local communities not just for national issues of a political nature.”

“For us as a Twitter community, social responsibility is a serious business,” says Merentia van der Vent, the national co-ordinator and Cape Town host for the Twitter Blanket Drive (TBD). “As winter’s bite fast approaches, we are aware that charities are under a huge amount of pressure to meet the demand for blankets. In today’s digital world, we have the power to make significant change, in the area of social development, harnessing the power of social media.”

The TBD started 7 years ago, in 2010, as a single tweet by Melanie Minnaar, as she contemplated the cold winter ahead and in true Twitter style, tweeted the following thought: “what if each person on Twitter donated a blanket?”

Melanie Minnaar Twitter Blanket Drive South Africa

Since then, the TBD movement has exploded and now has a national footprint with campaign drives taking place in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and the West Coast. Previous years it was also held in Bloemfontein, East London, George, Knysna and Mossel Bay and countries like Zimbabwe & Namibia. This year the official hashtag is #TBD2016.

Last year, the Instagram community in South Africa, also supported the #TwitterBlanketDrive and collected blankets on their #Instawalks across the country. South Africans are also asked via Facebook to donate blankets.

In today’s fast paced world, using social media to increase community awareness is not only smart, but essential. According to the founder of the campaign, Melanie Minnaar, the Twitter Blanket Drive has injected a true sense of community into the South African Twittersphere, as the number of Twitter users involved with the TBD has grown exponentially since 2010. Tens of thousands of blankets have over the years been donated, to those in need.

Support Our Twitter Blanket Drive

Blankets can be dropped off at drop-off zones across the country from 7 April to Thursday 26 May 2016.

Call the local co-ordinator 081-4399555 or via Twitter: @RamonThomas