Yes, it is Time for Your #SelfTree

Yes, it is Time for Your #SelfTree

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A new charity fundraiser hopes to cash in on our love of selfies and our Christmas spirit. All you have to do is take a picture with your Christmas tree. It doesn’t even matter that your Christmas tree is a little bit dodgy-looking (fix that thing up, peasant!).

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First, there was the ice bucket challenge, which was an “activity” involving dumping a bucket of ice on someone’s head to promote awareness of the motor neurone disease. It was painfully fun. It went viral on social media starting in 2014. Its combination of competitiveness, social media pressure, online narcissism, and low barriers to entry led to more than 2.4 million tagged videos circulating Facebook.

Money-wise, its success was staggering. It raised an astonishing amount of money across the world. In Ireland, €1.6 million was added to charity coffers. Over €600,000 went directly to research. Some of this research was carried out by Prof Orla Hardiman and her team in Trinity. This led to a significant breakthrough in identifying a key gene linked to Motor Neurone Disease. So this stuff is a big deal and has actual hard results that work towards cures. We like it.

Then there was the No Make-Up Selfie challenge. This one added €200,000 to the Irish Cancer Society, with more still coming in after that final total was publicised. The #nomakeupselfie wasn’t even started by a cancer society. It was started by an author with a different hashtag but for some reason people attached it to a cancer cause. Then next thing we all knew is that there was more money to help more people.

So the next selfie-inspired money raiser? The #SelfTree. This initiative raises money for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI). Yes it is a picture of you with your Christmas tree. So how do you take part in the charity bit? You post your #SelfTree picture to Facebook with the hashtag. And then you text SBHI to 50300 to donate. The best #SelfTree posted online between now and Christmas day this year will receive a brand new smartphone. But that’s not what motivates us… we want to show everyone a picture of ourselves looking hot and hugging our pine tree.

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With around 40 babies born with Spina Bifida each year in Ireland, we have one of the highest incidence rates in the world. 1 in 1,000 live births are affected by Hydrocephalus each year. So this posing with a tree is all in the name of a charity that could do with some research funding thrown it’s way.

Happy tree-bothering, people!

 

 

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