Category Archives: TwestivalCLE

Social Media Doing Social Good in Cleveland

The community's overwhelming response to Twestival was just one example from last week of the positive impact social media can have in Cleveland.

When I use social media outside of work, it’s always for my own enjoyment – often for sharing things from my blog or learning about what’s going on around Cleveland. However, the last week showed me how social media can also bring about social good through both the recent Ohio Bloggers Meetup and Twestival Cleveland.

Wednesday night was the monthly meetup for Cleveland bloggers in the Ohio Blogging Association.  Past meetups have been social gatherings at Whole Foods and AMP 150.  This month’s was a volunteer night at the Cleveland Foodbank.

The Cleveland Foodbank supplies a majority of the food used in local hot meal sites, shelters, and food pantries. In addition, they provide vital food to child care centers, group homes, and programs for the elderly. They accomplish this by working closely to organize programs with other Northeast Ohio hunger relief organizations and hunger centers like the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, the Catholic Hunger and Shelter Network, and the Salvation Army.

The Cleveland Foodbank at 15500 South Waterloo Road houses and supplies a majority of the food used in local hot meal sites, shelters, and food pantries. The facility also is the first LEED accredited commercial building in NEO.

After being given some background on the Foodbank and a tour of the facility, Hungry in Cleveland, Why CLE, Healthy Heddleston, Finishing Firsts, Cooker Girl, Green Dog Wine, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog and I got to work.

Our job for the evening was to sort and pack donated oranges that would then be given out to those in need. Each bag had to be around 6 pounds – which is a lot more difficult to measure by hand than I thought. Fortunately, there was a scale there, since I only hit 6 lbs on my first try once the entire night. However, despite my lack of measuring skills, that evening’s group of volunteers was able to sort through a number of large crates of oranges.

Afterwards, a few of us grabbed a delicious dinner at nearby Grovewood Tavern where I enjoyed savory Zinfandel Short Ribs, conversations about Cleveland, and discussing my mutual love of the tv show Castle with HungryinCLE.

The only time all night I measured 6 lbs of oranges on the first try. Winning.

Wednesday night was my first time volunteering at the Food Bank and it was great to be introduced to the friendly and hardworking staff there through the Ohio Blogging Association.

If you’d like to help the Food Bank, they’re currently in the middle of their Harvest for Hunger CampaignHarvest for Hunger is one of the largest annual, community-wide food and funds drives in the nation, providing critical resources to local hunger relief organizations in twenty-one counties in Northeast and North Central Ohio.

Last year’s campaign raised the dollars and food needed to provide over 10 million meals to individuals and families who were struggling to make ends meet. There are a number of ways to support the 2011 campaign including:

  1. Visit the FoodBank’s site and make a donation. I really like the website because it shows you how much your donation will help. For instance, a donation as little as $10 provides 40 meals, while a $500 donation can provide 2,000 meals.
  2. Donate $1, $5, or $10 in the check-out aisle at a participating retailer from March 13 through April 23. Local stores include Acme Fresh Market, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Dave’s Markets, Fishers Foods, Giant Eagle, Inc., and Heinen’s Fine Foods. Dollars donated in your community stay in your community.
  3. And as I learned at lunch yesterday with Healthy Heddleston, Cooker Girl, Poise in Parma, and Project Mommy, you can contribute through the Chevy Girls Do Good Fan Pledge by liking Gotta Love Chevy NEO on Facebook. With this program, the Chevy Network Dealers will be making a contribution of $6,000 to the Harvest for Hunger campaign.

The day after the Foodbank Volunteer Night, I headed over to Twestival Cleveland. As I mentioned in earlier posts, Twestival Cleveland is an annual Twitter Festival to raise money for local charities around the world. Cleveland’s charity was We Run This City, a youth marathon program that helps students in the Cleveland School District run the Rite Aid Marathon and learn important goal-making skills.

With the support of the WRTC volunteers and the Cleveland social media community, we had over 100 attendees and raised over $2000 for the organization. As WRTC Program Director Tara Taylor explained, the money from Twestival came at an excellent time with the proceeds going to the race fees and t-shirts for the 871 students participating in the race.

Thanks to the support of many social-media savvy Cleveland businesses, Twestival Cleveland was able to put together a number of auction baskets which contributed to the $2000+ proceeds for We Run This City.

After only a few weeks of planning, the large turnout of people eager to support Twestival made me very happy. In particular, one of the most rewarding aspects of the planning process was the response we got from local bloggers and tweeters as well as social media-savvy businesses.

When I was at Twestival, I had a guest at the Marriott come up to the registration table and ask me what was going on. When I mentioned Twestival was a Twitter Festival, she launched into how she thought social media was a waste of time used only for oversharing information.

While you can’t win everyone over to the benefits of Twitter, this past week’s two events brought home the fact that these tools have significantly positive offline implications. Social media for social good for sure.

It's Twestival Cleveland Time!

Just a quick reminder that Twestival Cleveland is tonight from 5-9 pm at AMP 150.  There will be tasty food and drink specials, as well as an incredible selection of Chinese Auction items donated by a number of very generous Cleveland businesses.

Admission is only a $10 donation to Cleveland’s We Run This City, 100% of which will go to the youth marathon program.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, don’t fret! You can purchase them at our ticketing site ahead of time or at the door.  If you do purchase them at the door, we’ll be accepting cash only.

For the top 5 things you need to know about tonight’s event, check out the blog post I just put up on the Twestival Cleveland site.  (After many bouts of spotty Internet this morning, I finally caved in and drove to Caribou Coffee in Avon for tea, a tasty daybreaker sandwich and free wifi!)

Hope to chat with you there as we participate with 150+ other cities who are tweeting, meeting and giving around the world today.

And if you can’t make it, please make a donation to We Run This City.  100% of those donations also goes to the youth marathon program.

Ok, gotta go — few more errands to run before tonight.

Cleveland.com's Twitter Twenty: How I'm Celebrating Twitter's 5th Birthday

Each month, Cleveland.com selects its Twitter Twenty to comment on topics with the #CLE20 hashtag. (logo from facebook.com/clevelandcom)

With Twitter celebrating its 5th birthday today, I was happy to get my own Tweet-related present: being selected as one of this month’s Cleveland Twitter Twenty!

The Twitter Twenty is a program created by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer that’s now in its third month.  Each month, twenty Clevelanders on Twitter are chosen to weigh in on different local issues.

A new question is posed each week and the Twenty will comment on it using the Twitter hashtag #CLE20. Anyone else can weigh in on the conversation by using the hashtag, but the Twenty’s comments will be featured online at: cleveland.com/twitter-twenty and also used in The Plain Dealer each Friday on page A-2. Topics range from the light and entertaining like Cleveland movies to more serious issues such as rebuilding the Cleveland region to hold onto a younger workforce.

In addition to myself (@ADHicken), this month’s Twitter Twenty include:

Our group’s first topic is ‘Spring Has Sprung‘ – exploring the different things Clevelanders do to shed ‘Old Man Winter’ and celebrate the beginning of Spring.  Follow along with the conversation by watching the #CLE20 hashtag and feel free to add your thoughts with your hashtagged tweets!

If you’d like to be considered for a future month’s Twitter Twenty, direct message @denisep (Denise Polverine) or @dawgpndgirl (Alana Munro).

***

Can’t get enough Twitter-related fun? Don’t forget to join @KaseyCrabtree, @KimiKay and me on Thursday, 5-9pm at AMP 150 for TwestivalCLE. It’s an extended happy hour featuring food and drink specials as well as a Chinese Auction. Admission to the event is a $10 donation to We Run This City youth marathon program.

For more information, to buy tickets or to donate to We Run This City if you can’t make it, visit www.cleveland.twestival.com or follow @TwestivalCLE.

A busy week for TwestivalCLE: Updates on Buying Your Tickets

 

From unveiling our new logo to selecting a charity and getting the ticket site up, it's been a busy week for TwestivalCLE. Not too busy, though, for a short update from the frontlines.

If you’ve been following @TwestivalCLE, you’ll know it’s been a really busy week for the coordinating team as we unveiled our new logo (courtesy of Casual Images Graphic Design!), announced the Cleveland charity that will benefit from the March 24th event and got the ticket and donation sites up and running.

So which charity was selected for Twestival Cleveland? I’m proud to say We Run This City Youth Marathon Program will be this year’s benefiting nonprofit.

Promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles is often a major challenge for schools. Subsequently, the Y of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland Department of Public Health and Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon teamed up with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to create We Run This City.

For the last couple of years, they’ve organized a 14-week program where students prepare to run in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. The children who participate not only learn about the benefits of staying active, but are also taught how to set and achieve goals — skills that benefit them long after the May 14th Marathon has been run.

You can read about how supporters of We Run This City rallied with nominations in my blog post on the Twestival Cleveland site.

After the charity was selected, @KaseyCrabtree quickly got to work with the Twestival organization and our ticket partner Amiando to get our ticket site up and running (thanks, Kasey!).  Now you can join us at AMP 150 by purchasing your $10 tickets for Twestival Cleveland.  The $10 admission is a donation that goes completely to We Run This City. Although food and drink isn’t included in that price, there will be specials running until 9pm since the event is designed as an extended happy hour.

I know there are a number of other events like Emerging Chefs and CIFF’s opening that night, so if you can’t make it to TwestivalCLE you can still donate to We Run This City at our donation site.

Just because the charity is selected and the tickets are selling doesn’t mean things are slowing down.  We’re currently seeking items for our Chinese Auction and Raffle.

If you or your business can donate something, please email us at twestivalcleveland@gmail.com.

The only downside of all this Twestival fun?  I haven’t had a chance to update here as often as I would have liked this week.  So keep an eye out soon for my review of Cleveland Play House’s My Name is Asher Lev.  I would sum it up as a quiet but devastating look at a young man’s struggle to reconcile his true self within two disparate cultures.  However, I’ll have a much fuller review of why I’d recommend seeing it in the next day or two.

Cleveland Twestival on March 24 at AMP 150

Join me on March 24th, 5-9pm, at AMP 150 for Twestival Cleveland 2011. 100% of the proceeds from this event will benefit a charity local to the Cleveland community.

Now that Jump Back Ball is done for the year and I don’t have shop nights to attend or an outfit to throw together, you’d think I’d take a break and relax.  You’d be wrong.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be happy to be helping @KaseyCrabtree and @KimiKay coordinate this year’s Cleveland Twestival.

Short for Twitter Festival, Twestival uses social media for social good by connecting communities offline on a single day. Each city that’s involved organizes an event on behalf of a nonprofit that’s local to their community. The event is organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go directly to the charity.

This year’s Twestival Local will be celebrated across the globe on Thursday, March 24th and the @TwestivalCLE team is currently planning a party from 5 to 9 pm at AMP 150. With great food, a wide selection of drinks, and raffles and auctions, it’ll be an enjoyable evening where you can meet and mingle with fellow Tweeters and Clevelanders.

Most importantly, the evening will benefit a charity that is local to our area.  Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve taken nominations from the community for non-profits that are supporting Cleveland.  Thank you to everyone who nominated a group!  Now, the Cleveland Twestival team is in the process of deciding which nominated charity will benefit.

You can find out which organization is selected, as well as other Twestival updates, by following us on Twitter @TwestivalCLE and the Cleveland Twestival blog. On occasion, I’ll also be posting a few things here. I hope to see some of my Clue Into Cleveland friends and readers on March 24th!

Cleveland Twestival 411: