Calgary Aids Haiti via Massive Tweetup

January 21st, 2010 by Victoria Peterson

As the world comes to grips with the devastating impact of the earthquake that struck Haiti last week, three Calgary women have banded together to mobilize the city’s social media community, as well as the corporate population, to provide aid to the impoverished country.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, YYC4Haiti will be held at Flames Central (219 – 8th Ave SW) during the Calgary Flames PPV game against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Flames, Calgary Stampeders, Calgary Roughnecks and many other businesses and individuals have generously given donations for a silent auction and door prizes.

All proceeds from YYC4Haiti will be forwarded to the Canadian Red Cross.

Admission to the event is free but attendees are asked to make a donation, in whatever amount they can afford, to the Canadian Red Cross.

YYC4Haiti was born when Camilla Di Giuseppe (@C_Dig) of CTV Calgary tweeted about a way to help the victims of the earthquake. Alex Ruiz (@alex_ruiz) of Calix Media & the Calgary Flames and former Calgary sports writer Angela MacIsaac (@that_angela) quickly jumped on board and feverishly began to plan.

“All three of us watched and read the news feeds on the devastation in Haiti and it tore our hearts out,” said Di Giuseppe. “We all knew we had to act somehow and we came together over the social-media platform, Twitter, which we are using as our primary tool in engaging the Calgary community.”

Using the hashtag #yyc (the airport code for Calgary) as a method to spread the word about the event, the information about YYC4Haiti spread like wildfire. Businesses in Calgary, as well as those outside the city, began to offer donations, services and whatever help they could give.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 20, 38 donations had been contributed to the event, ranging from Westjet flights to autographed Flames jerseys to yoga packages.

“In just the span of one day on Twitter, we had Calgarians come forward to volunteer, to make donations and to say they’ll attend,” said Ruiz. “We’ve even had people from across Canada and the U.S., who have noticed the YYC4Haiti effort, offer to mail us donations for the silent auction.”

For more information on the event, order YYC4Haiti t-shirts (all proceeds go the Red Cross), RSVP for the event or to find out about how you can contribute, please visit or follow @yyc4haiti on Twitter.

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