Yesterday we posted the story of Melissa Smith. Melissa survived Hodgkins Lymphoma twice only to be stricken with a rare disease called Transverse Myelitis, an extremely rare neurological disease in which your immune system attacks your spinal cord. She was left paralyzed from the waist down.
We traveled to Annapolis to surprise Melissa at her favorite restaurant. Surrounded by her closest friends and family, we delivered the news that theCHIVE Fund would be giving Melissa $50,000 to put toward a down payment on a handicap accessible home. At the time, Melissa told me that even $1,000 donation would be a huge help.
But in the back of my mind I knew we had to go bigger for Melissa. We rely so heavily on our Chive Fund donors to get the charity ball rolling but I made the decision on the plane home to take the campaign to all of Chive Nation in the hopes they would contribute to this amazing cause.
But nobody could have guessed what would happen next.
I asked Chive Nation to match our $50,000 donation. We launched Melissa’s story and I went across the street to get a coffee – I don’t sleep much in the days leading up to our charity launches and I just needed some caffeine. When I returned to my desk, I refreshed the page – $20,000?? Could that be right?? The hashtag #wegotyoumelissa began to spread on Twitter like wildfire.
Within 30 minutes, theCHIVERS had hit the $50,000 mark and y’all were just taking batting practice at that point. After you hit the goal, not only did the number of donations begin to increase, but the average donation amount also spiked. You could see a collective shift in the comments, the Chivers had no intention of putting a down payment on Melissa’s house at all. You had every intention of buying the entire house instead.
The Chivers were finished taking batting practice. Now they were swinging for the fences.
The amounts surged past the $100,000 mark and, just as quickly, $200,000. The story had ignited and spread far beyond theCHIVE. Melissa’s story went something beyond viral, it was in orbit.