US couple raise funds for child health online

Dealing with the loss of a child can be devastating for any family. US TV reporter and media consultant Amani Channel and his wife Daphne lost their firstborn twin sons hours after their birth three years ago. They made a video documenting the pregnancy and shared it with the world, hoping to raise awareness and funds for March of Dimes, a leading nonprofit on pregnancy and baby health. Using social media, the Channels hope to use their own experience to not only raise funds, but to also provide support to other families going through the same ordeal.

On the first and second anniversaries of the twins’ birth, Amani sent out an unofficial email blast and blogged to friends and family, asking to donate to the organization. Through those efforts, they raised $US550.00. This year, Amani and Daphne decided to step up their efforts, and raise an official amount of money -$US 5,000.

“I used several different methods to raise money, but each was related and used social media as the focal point,” Amani said in an email interview. “I revised a video that I produced, and put it on my blog. I also Twittered about the March of Dimes and the twins for about four hours on Friday April 17 through Sunday April 19. To date we’re raised $1,300.00 total, and it seems each day someone is adding to the pot.”

So far, there has been both financial and emotional impact. Amani said that repeatedly talking about it on Twitter, posting the video on Facebook, and his blog, and his enewsletter have helped.

“Success can be measured a few ways,” Amani continued. “First, the amount of donations that have come in. In less than a week we were able to more than double the amount we had raised in more than two years. I think overall awareness is another way. Some of those who donated said they never thought to support the March of Dimes, so our efforts have helped raised the visibility of the charity. Also, our story has helped other families who have experienced something similar. We’ve heard from friends, and strangers who say everything we’re doing is an inspiration.”

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