Wendy Harman, the Red Cross's director of social strategy, tweeted that Obama sent the tweet as a temporary "digital volunteer." He apparently responded to a tweet at random, thanking a Twitter user who had urged her followers to donate to the disaster relief fund. The Red Cross Twitter account often interacts with followers but typically does not identify who is tweeting. In this case, Obama put a face to a tweet.

The Red Cross used Twitter extensively to share information during and since the storm hit the East Coast Monday, and urged donations by text message. According to the volunteer organization, nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 Red Cross-provided shelters in 16 states due to the hurricane.

Obama has sent several tweets urging donations to the Red Cross over the past few days, as has GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. A week from the election, both candidates canceled several campaign events Monday and Tuesday due to the storm.