This week I’m sharing the story of how I came to write Twitter for Good and become an early employee of a strange little startup called Twitter. It’s a story that begins in the highlands of Kenya, where I first learned to tweet (and blog).
You can catch up here on Part 1 & Part 2.
To enter to win a digital copy of Twitter for Good (my book on using social media to make a difference in the world), leave a comment answering the question below this post. Two winners will be selected from today’s post and will be announced on Friday.
image by J.Carrier, Runner’s World Magazine
Although the kids called me “coach” (and even Runner’s World did, for a spell), that was never true. I may have bought the glucose (think Gatorade mixed with dirt and you’ll get a close approximation) and brought the shoes, but I ran five times slower than the average 6-year-old Kenyan child, and never knew where I was going.
That year turned out to be one of the most important years of my life, and many a life-changer came my way.
I became an accidental social entrepreneur when I co-founded a nonprofit organization – Hope Runs – to extend the benefits of athletic programming and educational scholarships to children in AIDS orphanages in the region.
And one of those runners stole a special place in my heart. I’ve been a guardian to Sammy Ikua for three years now, and this month celebrated his graduation from high school in the USA.
Now, he’s making his own news – collecting thousands of used running shoes for his friends back home at Tumaini Children’s Home — and is set to spend his next year serving in Ecuador.
Oh, and I also started doing a little thing I like to call tweeting.
Join me for Part 4 tomorrow…
GIVEAWAY: To win a copy of Twitter for Good, just leave a comment below sharing your favorite thing about Twitter.
I love this! Your story is so inspiring. What I love most about Twitter is how there is only enough space to say the most meaningful thing. It helps you focus on what really matters, what you REALLY want to say.
Amy Hunt says
When I posted yesterday, I left out the specific detail that when I was a young kid I’d say “I’m going to adopt an AIDS baby from South Africa.” Crazy. Reading your story, I’m head over heels in awe of what you founded. It’s incredible how God places us in situations, pokes around at our heart to do some thing, and it’s usually us who are changed more than anyone.
I’ve worked in the field of distance running for the first part of my career in PR and marketing, major marathon partnerships, sponsor negotiations and VIP hospitality…I’d love to talk with you about what you’re doing and see if there’s a way I can help.
I’m just reading your story through these posts and so haven’t yet learned how the Tweeting came into play…can’t wait to see!
my favorite thing about twitter is that unlike facebook, most people allow anyone to see what they’re saying so I don’t have to be friends with everyone to follow conversations.
Also the picture with this post is adorable.
I like how Twitter makes you ponder the best way to say something with the limited amount of characters you can use. Also, that you can follow things that interest you with hashtags.
It often keeps people from sharing TMI! 🙂
Okay…I’ve been pondering this whole tweeting thing for months now. I think I need to dive in 🙂
Mary M says
Twitter is a wonderful way to spread God’s Word immediately to thousands of people. You can have instant access to people around the world. Thank you for your service to the Kindgom.
It allows me to share Jesus, Pinterest loves, & my new business <3
Elizabeth @ DogFurandDandelions says
Kelly S says
Twitter is profoundly HUMAN … you can share, praise, pray, write, post, laugh, ask ‘what?’ and sometimes just all for yourself 🙂
I love being able to post a bible verse in the hopes that it will prompt people to pick up their bibles to find it! ;o)
Kathy Wilbur says
I am quite new to Twitter but I know that if I don’t continue to grow and stay in touch with the way the world functions, I will be left behind. No one wants that. Twitter is not frivolous chatter but well thought out insights and ideas. Fabulous!
Jessica Olivares says
Thanks for sharing your story Claire 🙂 , it’s inspiring!
You know what I enjoy about twitter is how you can follow and learn from like-minded people, how sometimes God speaks to you through a tweet someone posted and then sometimes you’re the person God uses to speak to other people in need. Twitter is for many people out there like the pillow you talk to at night.
I like how Twitter keeps me learning – you can search from hundreds of hashtagged conversations and (with a little time) learn about a topic and what is important to the members of that conversation. It’s so much easier to find the “think-leaders” now, and I’ve gotten turned on to so many blogs and websites that I never would have found otherwise! Including this one 🙂
I like the idea of condensing a thought down to 140 characters. Although I am kind of afraid of Twitter, I would love to find out how it can help change the world.
Twitter is fast and fast is efficient for most of us these days!! Thank you so much for serving those that are “the least”!! May all of us do our part!
I love how fun twitter is with friends…with tagging each other and with pictures 🙂
What I love most about Twitter is its ability to reach anyone anywhere (who is on Twitter, too).
Is Sammy still trying to collect sneakers to send to Kenya?
I love that twitter provides connection between people and encourages us to use our words efficiently in the designated space. Amazed often how short and sweet words can inspire and encourage. I can follow other bloggers when I see that have posted by their tweets, reminding me to go to their blog for a visit. And the tweets that connect on facebook provide that reminder of threes I have always heard, adults or all people need to hear something three times to have it really penetrate and sink in. I just started following your blog. I am excited–go me 🙂 I look forward to reading your book this summer. Blessings…..
Janis@Open My Ears Lord says
The Lord works in amazing ways! How He led you without you having to plan the runners club. The work you did there sounds wonderful.
my favorite thing…meeting new tweeple 😉 who are not only great but inspiring and encouraging too!!!
New learning opportunities and encouragement from a community
I love that Twitter is short and sweet in what is talked about – no wordy paragraphs.
anytime i get discouraged or feel lonely i can look at my tweets and get a burst of refreshment.
Erin @ My Mommy World says
I love how you can tag people and use hashtags to discuss a certain topic! Plus, I don’t have to look through a bunch of ads or extra stuff to see what is going on with my friends or favorite bloggers.
Sarah Comley Caldwell says
Great post! What I love about Twitter is the concise nature it requires. I also love sharing photos with short sound bites – it inspires me to be more creative with image and word. I so hope to read your book 🙂
Lana at ilovemy5kids says
I love hash tags. I find myself using them everywhere including grading my kids’ papers. Lol! #love
Jen @ BigBinder says
Hmm, I never thought about what I like best about twitter! I like that I can bring national and local organizations together with it in just a single tweet.
Beth Williams says
Haven’t seen or used twitter–if it is anything like facebook–then I like it! I also don’t like having to “like” or “befriend” people in order to read their tweet/facebook.
I’m just getting into running and ran my first 5K on the 9th of June 2012. Came in around 42 minutes.
Speaking of adopting–my husband and I adopted/sponsored a young man in Mexico from the Ninos de Mexico mission. We since stopped sponsoring him as he graduated and moved on and have taken on a precious little girl (not so little any more as she is 12). She writes the most precious letters thanking us for Christmas and birthday gifts (usually money to buy what she wants). She stole my heart in one letter when she mentioned getting purple boots. She was super excited about those boots. Made me stop and think about my priorities in life.
I love connecting with other bloggers and making new friends! It is fast, fun and a quick read between baptize !
Sarah Comley Caldwell says
Great post! I love the concise nature of Twitter – it helps me put words and thoughts together in a way that my normally rambeling self isn’t so good at doing. I especially like the use of photos and words about and around the image – it always helps me see the world differently and more creatively. 🙂 I hope I get to read your book! 🙂
I like that it’s connected me with all sorts of people I never would have met otherwise, and we can have real conversations online with Twitter.
Melinda McCray says
I love the encouragement and inspiration I receive from other Christians and writers. I also love being able to use Twitter to encourage others in their daily walk with Jesus.
Marina Bromley says
I love being able to connect prayers to people (or for a people group) and then retweet them around the globe!
Stephanie T. says
I don’t know a THING about twitter! =/
I love the inspiration here! Although I use Twitter because it is necessary, I love how it can grow mustard seeds into mighty plants. Thanks for showing your heart and showing the way! I am now working to change my perspective on how a single tweet can become a strong and beautiful chorus!