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Twitter inspired new way to give

April 22, 2009

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As published in the Oxford Eagle.

Twitter may be a waste of time to some people. For others it is a self-aggrandizing source of useless information. For others, it is just a fun way to talk to friends and celebrities. I’d recently grown bored with it as reading what people were doing was a novelty that had worn off. I hadn’t been checking it quite as obsessively as before, that is until the birth of troopflix.

Troopflix is a simple but great idea to combine social networks with charity. Emerging organically through a simple tweet of one person, writer and movie lover Scott Neumyer, a movement was born. For someone like me who wants to be able to give back, but doesn’t have a lot of money or time, giving out some DVD’s of which I have too many anyway and that can help wounded soldiers is a pretty great concept.

“The idea came from me wanting to donate 100 DVDs to the troops and then I kind of came up with the Twitter concept to donate 200 and get more from others. It was pretty wild,” Neumyer said.

When he was about to get his 2,000th follower on Twitter, he decided to “tweet” to the masses that when he received that follower, he would donate 200 DVD’s to the troops.

Well, it didn’t stop there.

People following him on Twitter loved the idea and began sending messages to Scott that they would also like to donate. Film critics at Cinematical, Rotten Tomatoes and other popular film sites donated anywhere from 1 to 100 DVD’s. And like wildfire, the concept went from a select few to dozens of people tweeting to Scott that they wanted to send DVDs to troops also. Over 850 DVD’s were pledged in less than a week, and Neumyer said more are coming in. He hopes to reach 1,000 by the end of the day.

The movement soon grew a name, #troopflix and hundreds of pledges have streamed in, all through Twitter.
I pledged five DVD’s I had lying around but then thought, why should this idea stay just on Twitter? I bet there are a lot of people who would love this idea as much as I did and that have a spare DVD lying around that could be donated.

The DVD’s are all going to the warrior return unit in Kuwait. Any duplicate films will be forwarded out to other deployed commands.

If you are interested in donating some DVD’s to troops, send the package to:
Care of LCDR Tim Drill
Camp Arifjan, EMF Kuwait (Navy)
Warrior Return Unit
APO AE 09366

Be sure to write DVD donations on the customs slip that you fill out at the post office. I suggest USPS Media Mail as a cheap but safe way to ship the materials.

But if you are on Twitter, follow the story as it grows by following www.twitter.com/scottneumyer or by doing a search on Twitter of #troopflix. If you decide to donate but are not on Twitter, let me know so I can tweet it over to Scott. Oh and if you are on there, say hi at twitter.com/oxfordfilmfreak.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2009 6:39 pm

    Hi, interesting post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be coming back to your site.

  2. April 23, 2009 12:41 am

    That is a great idea! and also green!

  3. April 22, 2009 11:22 pm

    I just sent mine off today. It turns out that to send them to that particular APO location requires priority mail, and a different custom form, even with the weight being under a four pound weight limit. It has to do with the military address, apparently. Still, it didn’t cost that much to ship ours out.

  4. April 22, 2009 1:45 pm

    That’s pretty cool. I’ll have to look through my DVD’s when I get home tonight to see what I can give. 🙂

    • April 22, 2009 2:11 pm

      Yay good news Pat – and forward the story on to geektastic readers too! (Don’t forget to tweet #troopflix when ya get your DVD’s together!)

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