PayPal and Facebook Gift Fruitcakes for Charity

Posted by at 1:20 pm on December 3, 2008

The holiday gift that everyone loves to hate may be just the thing to “re-gift” on Facebook this holiday season, providing support for those in need. Two-pound fruitcake bricks will be given away through a PayPal application built on Facebook Platform by Tony Hawk, Jimmie Johnson, Yao Ming, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, Ben Roethlisberger, and Fall Out Boy-”to benefit their favorite charities. Recipients will be invited via a personal video to contribute through PayPal to the charities and “re-gift” the fruitcake to friends and family all across the world.

Celebrities will kick off the fruitcake’s virtual voyage starting with 10 friends each. As the fruitcakes make their way across Facebook, recipients can choose to donate to the celebrity’s cause or continue the fruitcake’s journey simply by re-gifting to friends for free. The Re-gift the Fruitcake program is presented by PayPal, which will make a $20,000 donation to each celebrity charity.

“The fruitcake has always been a bad gift. You never eat it or keep it. You just always end up re-gifting it,” said Tony Hawk, skateboarding legend. “This year we’re changing the fruitcake and making it a symbol of giving and charity.”

“The fruitcake has been a great addition to our team and we’re thrilled it will be working to raise money for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation,” said three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson.

“We’re trying out different kinds of technology and approaches to get people involved and learn about causes,” said Joel Madden, lead singer of the band Good Charlotte. “This time, it’s a fruitcake.”

“By re-gifting this fruitcake you will help build more than 8,000 Classrooms and give children the education they deserve,” said Houston Rockets’ Center Yao Ming.

“Re-gift the fruitcake,” said Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Send it to whoever you want to. Your friends, family, anyone.”

Even in tough times, people plan to be charitable. PayPal’s 2008 Holiday Survey found that nearly three quarters (73 percent) of online shoppers intend to give to charity this season, compared to 60 percent in 2007. About 70 percent of respondents intend to give the same amount to charity as last year; 10 percent actually plan to increase their giving.

The Re-gift the Fruitcake PayPal application built on Facebook Platform will benefit six worthy charities:

  • The Tony Hawk Foundation supports recreational programs with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities.
  • The Jimmie Johnson Foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States.
  • The Yao Ming Foundation at the Giving Back Fund rebuilds schools in China that were destroyed by the earthquake in May of 2008.
  • The Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation brings meaningful opportunities to children in the U.S. and abroad, while striving to bring light and laughter into their lives through unique entertainment and special events.
  • The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at the Giving Back Fund disperses grants to police and fire departments’ canine units throughout the country, supporting the brave men, women, and even dogs who protect our cities and homes.
  • Fall Out Boy supports Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life for war-affected children.

The Re-gift the Fruitcake PayPal application built on Facebook Platform ( or, was created by digital marketing firm EVB San Francisco and is just one example of PayPal’s efforts to enable nonprofits and individuals to raise money on social networking sites. PayPal also offers widgets that provide a secure way for donors to contribute, while allowing recipients to track progress and acknowledge top supporters Currently, more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations are using PayPal to raise money online.

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