This is the story of one Tweet’s journey. Friday, April 13th, 2012, was a day people were encouraged to wear purple in support of Military Kids. Across the nation, communication services in the Cooperative Extension system went to work promoting the event. News releases were published and a social media effort was pushed out encouraging everyone to wear purple. We often ask ourselves what is the payback or “reach” of off these new outreach methods. This is where the story of one Purple Tweet started.
On April 5th, one person saw a Tweet about “Purple Up” day from the Military Families Learning Network Twitter channel. This one person sent one email to the superintendent of one school district in Texas. The superintendent of Gatesville Independent School District sent one email to each one of his campus’ administrators sharing the hope that staff and students would wear purple on Friday the 13th to support military kids on their campus’. This may have been the end of this one Tweets adventure, but it wasn’t.
On Friday, April 13th, in what was a separate journey, one soldier was finally returning home to his family after finishing his deployment. Unbeknownst to his children, he was headed home to Gatesville to surprise them. At 11:30 a.m. he walked into the building and the classroom of one of his children. He was happily reunited with his child and opened his eyes to find one classroom full of purple on this one special day. The local newspaper was there to capture the moment. A few hours later, after everyone had laughed – and cried a little – the superintendent of the one small town, of the one school building, of the one purple classroom, of the one happy family, sent one email back to the person who sent him to message about the Tweet, “timing is everything!” Sometimes, all it takes is one!