Happy TweetsGiving!

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What is Thanksgiving all about? Is it about stuffing yourself until you’re sure you’re going to explode, but instead you just go take a nap? Or maybe Thanksgiving is about the football – rooting and cheering for your favorite team until your voice is hoarse or playing your own game out on the front yard. Is it the yams? And the pumpkin pie, pecan pie, turkey, cranberry jelly, rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing… well, you get the idea. All these things make up Thanksgiving traditions, but are they really what the day is about? It’s important to remember the best part of Thanksgiving is spending time with loved ones and expressing thanks for the various ways your life has been blessed.

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For the last two years, the non-profit, Epic Change, has taken the spirit of Thanksgiving and translated it into TweetsGiving, a global celebration to change the world through the power of gratitude. For 48 hours, people all over the world are encouraged to express their thanks publicly through social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and various blogs. In addition to spreading messages of gratitude, people are invited to make contributions, both big and small, to Epic Change. During the inaugural TweetsGiving last year, Epic Change raised nearly $11,000 in 48 hours and built a classroom in Tanzania with the money. This year, TweetsGiving has already raised over $16,000 in just over 24 hours. The money raised this year will help to build other classrooms, a cafeteria, a library and a dormitory/orphanage for the same school in Tanzania.

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As a former elementary teacher, I will always have a soft spot for children and schools. I believe education – in a safe, nurturing environment – should be available to everyone. Maybe that is why I am so drawn TweetsGiving, Epic Change and the Shepards Junior School in Tanzania. All I had to do was look at the photos and videos of the adorable students, to get the inspiration do anything I could to help. Fifth graders at the school are even on Twitter, dubbed the TwitterKids, and supporters are invited to tweet with the kids.
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The best part is simple blog posts like this one will help Epic Change in their endeavors. So lend your support by spreading your gratitude to your network and let them know about TweetsGiving: tag tweets, status updates, pictures, videos and even songs with the hashtag #tweetsgiving. In addition to messages of gratitude, you can make a donation. Contributions big and small are welcome and needed! There is less than 24 hours left of TweetsGiving, so unleash your gratitude now!

Happy TweetsGiving and have a lovely Thanksgiving tomorrow. Enjoy your turkey, pie, football and loved ones!