A Pea Green Twitter Miracle of the Heart*


Do you believe inMiracles people miracles? On this day, or eve, perhaps you're popping by after the last package has been wrapped, I'd like to tell you a, as CK (@ckEpiphany) calls it, a social media Xmas miracle story. Steamy hot chocolate or spiced cider along with a cookie or two would be lovely to indulge in right now.

Connie Reese tells the story best of how a tiny snowflake twit grew into a green pea snowball of love. A green pea snowball .. how odd you may say but true stories are often stranger than fiction. Our story includes invisible people, a big scare, a brave woman and the spirit of kindness from so many.

Chapter One By Connie Reece (@conniereece)

A friend I’ve never met in person is scared. Very scared. Susan Reynolds (@susanreynods) is having a mastectomy tomorrow. She found the lump on December 5, went to the doctor the next day, and was immediately sent to a diagnostic radiologist. Big words, big fear: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

You can read about Susan’s journey through the cancer experience in her new blog, Boobs on Ice. The story I want to share is how a community of so-called invisible friends rallied around Susan to support, comfort and cheer her up–and somewhere along the way turned it into a fight–and a fund–against cancer.

It started on Twitter, where Susan is the self-proclaimed nana; she’s also a power networker with hundreds of followers. When she posted a new Peavatar_susan_reynolds_2avatar–a photo of a package of frozen peas tucked inside her camisole to relieve the pain from multiple biopsies–she joked about putting her boob on ice. Her friends continued the joke.

On the Friday before Xmas Susan's surgery was a success. Joyous twits flew across the globe.

Chapter Two The Peavatars

Peavatars Then came Ann Miller (@annohio) who changed her avatar on Twitter to a package of peas. Within a twit Twitter was a wash in green peas. Of course the peavatars must have a Flickr Peavatar Group. When last checked  Frozen Pea Friday had almost 300 PPPs!

Chapter Three Frozen Pea Fund

One of social media's strengths is the evolution of ideas. Cathleen Rittereiser (@cathleenritt)'s suggestion went from simply friends-helping-friends to a challenge to raise money for cancer research.  In honor of Susan, the Frozen Pea Fund was launched. In the first 15 hours $3,493 was raised from 118 peaple on 3 continents.

FrozenPeaFund launched in under one week w/ no budget, no biz plan, no mtkg plan .. just a handful of volunteers who understand social media - Connie Reece (@conniereece)

Chapter Four Lessons Learned and Questions To Ponder

Peas_in_a_pod_2_2 As in any really good story there are lessons that we take with us. Frozen Peas teaches us lessons from a belief in the goodness of people to the power of micro blogging. What made this work was a sense of community. A sense of belonging. tiny snowflake messagethat grew into a green pea snowball of love.

Jonathan Trenn (@jtrenn) insightful observation - We weren't being consumers. We were just being people. Spontaneous caring.

Could a company accomplish as much as quickly with a formal strategy? Could a not for profit make a similar impact?  Can Spontaneous caring occur as a social media marketing strategy? What happens if say, Birds Eye was part of a community would you feel the same? Would you embrace this type of marketing initiative if the American Cancer Society was behind it?

Chapter Five It's Personal

I must tell you I don't know Susan. But we have dear friends in common who through hundreds of twits connected me to Susan's world. Her fight touched my heart for you see my sister fought a brave battle with breast cancer. Susan__wedding_3 Her name was Susan too.

You are fabulous, thanks so much for encouragement, smiles, support. You really make me feel like this is a team effort. Susan Reynolds (@susanreynods)

Chapter Six The Community Fundraising Challenge

CK words "community" fundraising are spot on. The Frozen Pea Fund is growing quickly organically. Perhaps the time has come to dream bigger. The Peavatar Group is now challenging corporations to join in the fight.

Birds Eye Jolly Green Giant how about matching funds with what the community raises?

We will not apeas cancer!

Blog title inspired by a twit from Drew McLellan *  Drew's post on Marketing Profs is wonderful and these are too!


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Toby - what a masterful way of recounting the story from all the different sources. Thank you!

Posted by: Connie Reece on Dec 24, 2007 11:34:00 AM


Nice post. Blessings of peace to all.

Posted by: Lewis Green on Dec 24, 2007 11:35:24 AM

I've loved watching this story grow over the past few weeks, what an inspiration.


Posted by: Kyle on Dec 24, 2007 11:52:55 AM

Thank you Toby for putting together the story.

Fight cancer with peas!

Posted by: Michelle / chelpixie on Dec 24, 2007 12:15:45 PM

Toby...great story! I have been proud to be a part of this community over the past week or so. Now...corporate America...get on the bandwagon! We won't bite...

Posted by: Kait on Dec 24, 2007 1:44:38 PM


What we've been a part of is an awe inspiring example of what we can do together.

No egos, no one looking to make a dime -- just people reaching out and linking arms.

A perfect holiday miracle indeed.


Posted by: Drew McLellan on Dec 24, 2007 2:52:26 PM

This is David Neff over at the American Cancer Society. Thanks for helping us the spread the word about something that effects thousands of women every year. Breast Cancer is treatable when caught early.


P.S. If your coming to SXSW hear us talk Frozen Peas at our Interactive Panel.

Posted by: Dave on Feb 7, 2008 11:38:47 AM

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