Thank You, #CitizenGulf


Yesterday’s national day of CitizenGulf events ranged from the first Social Media Club event in Fredericksburg, VA to a big get together in Honolulu, Hawaii. With tickets starting at $10 a pop, it looks like 400 people came together and raised roughly $10,000 (preliminary estimate) benefiting at least eight children of fishing families in the Catholic Charities of New Orleans After School Program.

Considering that this whole effort is volunteer based on literally no budget and named after a hashtag, I am just stunned. Two months ago, four of us were heading down to the Gulf on a fact finding mission with no idea about what we would find. And two months later we had this incredible day of action, thanks to you.

Next week I’ll provide a post mortem analysis of what did and did not work about the campaign from my perspective. Today and this weekend are all about cherishing the action so many of us have taken towards a positive, mindful result after the oil spill. With BP and Obama responsible for and promising everything, and often falling short, this is not the easiest cause to take on, but a very important one. Taking mindful steps — instead of staying angry and letting the Gulf suffer — are acts of compassion.

There are so many of us who participated, from the more than 750 people who tweeted to the more than 400 people who attended our 20 events. Jeff Dolan even made a tribute music video! I know of at least 60 blog posts written about the Day of Action. It’s impossible to thank everyone, so please forgive me if I’ve forgotten you.

First, let me thank Dan Morrison and May Yu of Citizen Effect, and Jill Foster of LiveYourTalk. It’s amazing how far this crazy little trip went. And Dan, did you think the fajitas at Lauriol Plaza would turn into this?

Eric Johnson at El Studio deserves a huge thanks for designing our Posterous blog, and for his work migrating the site. Thank you to my long term cohort on cause based action Andy Sternberg for his hard work and running the LA event.

Thank you to Sloane Berrent and Taylor Davidson for letting us co-promote with Gulf Coast Benefits. I can’t wait to see what you do next. And a huge thanks to Social Media Club co-founders Kristie Wells and Chris Heuer for believing in CitizenGulf and making it an official Club event.

Thank you to David Bazea and Citrix Online for donating your organizing software and phone services. Michael Ivey, thank you for donating RT2Give set-up. And thanks to iShake for donating proceeds from iPhone application sales.

I want to give a special thanks to a few city captains who just took CitizenGulf on and made it theirs. Gloria Bell (Philly), Kami Huyse and Grace Rodriguez (Houston), Richard Laermer (who helped me co-organize NYC), Heidi Massey (Chicago), and last, but not least Andi Narvaez (DC, our top fundraiser). Each of these cities raised $1000 or more! Also, I owe a personal thank you to Kelly Mitchell (Honolulu), Todd Van Hoosear (Boston), Alex de Carvalho (Miami), Heather Coleman (Fredericksburg), and “Calamity Jen,” Jennifer Navarete, and Colleen Pence (San Antonio) for organizing their cities! Thank you to all of our other city organizers for going the distance.

And finally, as co-organizer of the New York City event, I’d like to thank my committee of outreach kings and queens. Thank you to Damien Basile, Anna Curran, Erica Grigg (Carbon Outreach), Nicole D’Alonzo, Howard Greenstein, and our special guest Eric Proulx! CitizenGulf would not have been the same with New York!

Again, if I missed you, please forgive me. Thanks so much!

Citizen Effect will continue the CitizenGulf Project. You can create your own initiative to benefit Gulf kids, or you can still give if you’d like. Here’s the donation page.