Have you met Shaun King? If you haven’t, allow me to introduce you.
Shaun King is the pastor of Atlanta’s The Courageous Church. He’s the father of six and a husband to Rai King. He’s a blogger, who takes his relationship with the web to levels unheard of in the ministry … and possibly outside of it.
King is known by many as the techie-humanitarian-pastor. He has been on the web since before many of us know what to do with it. He had an email address before anyone in his high school and he was tweeting regularly in 2007, long before even marketers and public relations professionals knew what about Twitter or cared to learn how to use it advance their missions and goals. King takes his web play the extra mile by using it for good.
A serial entrepreneur, Shaun has launched nearly a dozen different successful startups designed to help empower and show compassion to hurting people throughout his hometown of Atlanta, as well as Haiti and other developing nations. These start-ups, many of which are web-based, include:
- 500toys:: Has provided a brand new toy and school uniform to every child of an inner city Atlanta elementary school for the past 2 years.
- hopeATL :: Provided over $1 million of emergency flood relief support to victims of the Atlanta floods
- GiveThemAGoodStart :: Provided every child at an inner city Atlanta elementary school all of their school supplies to start the year
- FreeBreakfastChurch :: Has provided tens of thousands of hot free meals every Sunday morning for over 2 years
- aHomeInHaiti :: Sent nearly $2 million worth of emergency aid to post earthquake Haiti.
- Courageous Church :: Launched in January of 2009, Courageous Church is an exciting, diverse community of faith empowering people to use their faith to change the world.
Perhaps one of Shaun’s greatest achievements (my proclamation, not his) is the development of TwitChange.
TwitChange started after King successfully worked with Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria to raise money for King’s Haitian relief efforts. Longoria agreed to use her network of media connections to help raise money. King tells Black Enterprise that he was skeptical at first, but her help had a huge impact. With Longoria’s help donations for King’s efforts increased to $1.5 million. From there King realized the power of celebrity and started TwitChange.com.
According to BE, TwitChange provides people with the opportunity to be associated with their favorite celebrity on Twitter for 90 days. People go to the Twitchange website, click their favorite celebrity and bid for a chance to have them celeb follow them, mention them in a tweet, retweet them or all three. The highest bidder wins the prize. To date more than 175 celebrities have joined TwitChange (think Serena Williams, Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean).
Follow Shaun’s movement on Twitter at @shaunking and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shauninthecity.