Memphis, Tenn.

I’ve heard the confused refrain over and over, from friends, colleagues and certainly my wife, “This Twitter thing everyone is talking about … I just don’t GET IT. Who CARES what you had for breakfast this morning!?” They are referring to the 140-character “micro-blog” messages that users publish to a web page for a list of “followers” interested in what they have to say.

AOL announced today that its customers helped save the lives of children by generously donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) through its fifth-annual Thanks and Giving(R) campaign. AOL, whose users doubled the amount of money they donated year over year, mounted an extensive promotional campaign across its network of sites, generating more than 467 million media, editorial and promotional impressions during the Thanks and Giving campaign, a national awareness and fundraising initiative for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital that runs throughout the holiday season. AOL contributed a total of $1.5 million to St. Jude in donations from AOL users, AOL employees, company matching grants, as well as in-kind promotions and ads on the AOL network.

The Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association is a Memphis, Tenn.-based social-service organization that serves more than 60,000 people a year with programs ranging from transitional housing for homeless families to nutrition to day care for infants to job opportunities for teens. The organization runs four main special events a year, according to Charlie Nelson, director of special events/volunteers for MIFA. One of the organization’s most successful events actually is a non-event: the No-Go Gala. For this, the organization recruits people to serve as hosts and has them supply a list of names of potential donors. MIFA prints up and sends out invitations to these people

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