Texting "IRISH" to Help MDA This Year

By: Ralph Hipp, 13 News
By: Ralph Hipp, 13 News

The nation’s first and most successful mobile giving program is now underway with a new twist. The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s venerable Shamrocks Against Dystrophy program is celebrating its 27th year of sharing the luck of the Irish by making it even easier for tens of millions of Americans to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day-themed event that annually raises more than $20 million to help families affected by neuromuscular diseases.

Across America, it’s almost impossible to not see MDA Shamrocks when shopping and dining in March. (See the attached list of Kansas retailers participating in the festive program).

The grass-roots fundraising program owes its success to tens of thousands of cashiers, store associates, waiters and waitresses. They ask hundreds of thousands of patrons every day to each “buy a paper Shamrock to help MDA fight muscle diseases.” Now, for the first time, their “asks” are being reinforced by a text giving option for the more than 250 million cell phone subscribers in the United States and Canada.

“People buying and signing their names on Shamrocks literally transforms thousands of supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and other retail businesses into festive green and gold settings in honor of St. Patrick’s Day,” says Gerald C. Weinberg, President and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “They know the $1 and $5 donations they make at their favorite retailers will add up quickly – especially since the prominent display of personalized Shamrocks challenges other shoppers to help MDA, too.”

The new Text IRISH to 20222 giving option is fun and quick, explains Weinberg. “It takes just seconds to Text IRISH to 20222 on your cell phone to make a $5 donation to MDA that will help speed treatments and cures for muscle diseases. Plus, cell phone donors will receive a link for Shamrocks wallpaper to download for their cell phones. The Shamrocks wallpaper will make friends green with envy, as everyone celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.”

The world’s first text giving effort to automatically thank donors with custom wallpaper for their cell phones, Text IRISH to 20222; and the in-store Shamrocks Against Dystrophy mobile program, are being promoted as a public service by media outlets across the country using special broadcast, print and electronic PSAs. These PSAs remind people that everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day; and that one of the best ways to celebrate is to share the luck of the Irish by buying a Shamrock to help MDA fight muscle diseases.

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