Ringing In Festivus: You Light Up Our Festivus Tree, We’ll Donate to The SF Food Bank

Festivus Tree

Festivus, The Holiday For The Rest Of Us (To Give Back) Via SMS

This holiday season, we’re ringing in Festivus by offering you a way to give back to the San Francisco Food Bank via Dropcam and Twilio SMS.

We’ve set up the ceremonial Festivus aluminum pole at Twilio HQ, donned with holiday lights you can control via SMS. To make our Festivus pole come to life, text “RED” “BLUE” or “GREEN” to 202-417-FEST(3378) and watch the pole change colors via our Dropcam video feed.

Every time you text in, Dropcam and Twilio will donate one dollar’s worth of food to the SF Food Bank, up to $10,000. We’ll be livestreaming every donation and every flicker of lights until the end of Festivus on December 24th (or whenever the Festivus airing of grievances and feats of strength conclude).

Learn more about how you can donate, volunteer or help out the SF Food Bank by visiting their website here.

  • Hello

    Cool, you going to do a write up on the technical aspects of how you did it?

    • Yes. We published a Halloween-themed blog post showing how you can use Twilio + Arduino to change the color of lights via SMS. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1igrUhr and let us know if you have any questions. We’re happy to help.

  • Mike

    Aw man, it’s not working. I tried 3 times and I get a response but the lights don’t change.

    • Hey Mike, it should be back up and working now.

      • Mike

        Sweet! Pretty rad, guys

      • Kelly

        Looks like it is not working again. Also, you should to a .toLowerCase() on the input in your Arduino code so you can text BLUE, Blue, etc.

  • Ben White

    Can we request that our donation be directed to the Human Fund instead?

    • Hey Ben. Although we would love to, in the words of George Costanza, “pull a Whatley” and donate to the Human Fund to give “money for people,” we think the SF Food Bank could do more with the donations than Costanza’s fictional non-profit.

  • Jay

    so cool.

  • Deverix

    Worked like a champ – VERY COOL you guys! Happy Holidays from WeBuyHouses.com!

  • andyjiang


  • Gregory Schilsson

    The Festivus Pole seems to be sleeping. It is neither changing colors nor responding to my text messages. Bummer.

    • We have awoken the Festivus pole.

  • Jack Jones

    Not responding…

    • Hey Jack, we’re back up and running now.

  • naomi

    got the response message but the pole didn’t change color for me :(

    • Hey Naomi, try it again now. We’re back online.

  • TeAlgoWhoDoesntReallyUseTwillo

    It was working yesterday…

    • We’re up and running now.

  • astewartmoore

    got a response sms right away, but no lights changed on the pole… oh well a good cause is a good cause. at eatabit.com here in Charleston, SC we love twilio and wish happy holidays to all of you out there on the west coast

  • No update =( No Response =(

    • Hey Guys, we’re back on line now.