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Twitter Away for Injured Iraq Veterans

New technology can make folks all atwitter, but one nonprofit thinks that’s a good thing.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation, named for the ABC correspondent who was injured in 2006 by a roadside bomb in Iraq, is launching a fundraiser through the social media network Twitter.

Twitter users communicate through “tweets,” which are frequent, short messages sent to friends and family to stay connected. The free service can be used both online and through cellphones.

The foundation, through its Tweet to Remind campaign, seeks to raise $1.65 million to help military men and women get assistance through a variety of services—from adaptive housing to psychological care—once they return from war.

“We wanted to do something in a grassroots way,” says foundation executive director Rene Bardorf. “It’s a great way to reach out to the community and assist service members to reintegrate into their families and society.”

The campaign is asking supporters to pledge $1 per tweet for a total of four tweets during the Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25. People can sign up to contribute online and then use their Twitter accounts to send messages to families and friends about the needs of U.S. service members. Bardorf says the messages can highlight data and statistics about veterans or encourage others to get involved locally with veterans’ issues.

Supporters are asked to use the hashtag #tweettoremind when they make their tweets.

Bardorf’s team calculates that if 400,000 people pledge $4, the Woodruff Foundation will raise $1.6 million. Bardorf looks for the remaining $500,000 to come from people who pledge more than $4, and she hopes the 50-plus generation will lead the way.

“We’re all new to this technology, but the older demographic understands why this issue is so important. They understand how much sacrifice there is when you serve,” she says.

Angela Bryant Starke is a writer based in Knoxville, Tenn.

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