The Schwaggin' Wagon was conceived at a Thai restaurant in Los Feliz, CA. Social Media Consultants Michael Liskin and David Preciado were chatting about how much swag goes to waste after tech conferences. Michael noted that, in addition to children, there were plenty of adults who could use some extra t-shirts and hats for free! Why not collect the stuff that no one wants and donate it to charity? Half-jokingly he paused, then asked David if he wanted to drive with him to the next tech conference in a big van, and collect this stuff for charity. David was immediately on board, and the ideas began to snowball between them.
And thus, the Schwaggin' Wagon was born...
Michael put in a call to Blogger Reps/Sociable PR Guru, Marjorie Kase who immediately lined up sponsors. A van was rented, a charity was selected - InnerKids, (and then later Operation Gratitude) and a plan was put into action. Andy Sternberg hopped aboard to give birth to this very blog and Kyra Reed lent her organizational skillz and navigating expertise to the cause. Technology biz dev whiz Daniel Hartman, who currently resides in Chicago, immediately bought a ticket to SF to assist the group as well.
The Schwaggin' Wagon made its debut at the Web 2.0 Expo. Starting Tuesday, April 22, 2008 the tricked-out Schwaggin' took donations outside the Moscone convention center and various 2.0 parties throughout the week. Michael, David, Marjorie, and the rest encouraged the attendees to give as much as they could and party like rockstars in the process. What was unexpected was the outpour of support, both for the several days in SF and for future Schwaggin' endeavors.
Visit the blog and Schwaggin' Facebook page for regular updates on where the wagon is headed and what will be created out of this journey. You can also follow the wagon on Twitter (follow "Schwaggin").
Schwaggineers Michael Liskin, David Preciado, Andy Sternberg, and Daniel Hartman have embarked on a new mission during July 17th-19th, 2008: to collect monetary donations and unwanted schwag for Operation Gratitude at Twiistup 4 and Mashable's SummerMash Los Angeles, part of their Summer Tour. For this, the Schwaggin' Wagon will be a Schwaggin' Eco Wagon! (a Bio-Diesel Ford Excursion SUV, courtesy of Eco-Limo). Current sponsors include: GeoGraffiti, Jambase, and Eco-Limo. For more info on their products and services, please visit their websites. We are tremendously grateful for their support, and could not do this without them.
For current projects, we thank Adam Hirsh, Karen Hartline, Mike and Steph Macadaan, and Pete Cashmore for their progressive, charitable, and eco-conscious mindset! We also thank the folks at Rubicon Project for hosting us; Beta PR for Press Release expertise; TechZulu for great coverage; PDI, Pic Member, and DPS for their great work, and our other media sponsors EarthFirst, GirlGamer, and GoToGreenLA.com.
Thank you to those who continue to support our philanthropic endeavors for Operation Gratitude, but who remain anonymous.
Original Schwaggin' Wagon Sponsors from April 2008 include: Heavybag Media, Hydra, Dogster, Twiistup, JamBase, Mashable, e-storm, Girlgamer, and Bullspot. Special thanks to those in SF who did more than contribute schwag, and who did so with such enthusiasm and generosity: Shannon Clark, Pastor Dave, Espree Devora, the folks at Kompolt, and more.
Click to read press coverage and hear interviews with the Schwaggin' team
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