I am a firm believer in the power of social media and the ability it has to make a difference in people’s live. With all the social media platforms that are available right now, you can easily tweet or post about anything and someone across the world from you can see it. Social media isn’t just about posting your OOTD or a selfie of you with your BFF; it has made a big difference in the world of philanthropy and helping others.
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you will already know that I am a YouTube fanatic. I’ve seen how YouTubers have used the platform to spread awareness about issues around the world and made a difference in people’s lives.
One of the best examples of YouTube philanthropy that comes to mind is Dancember. Dancember was started by Benji and Judy Travis of ItsJudyTime (Judy’s hair and makeup channel), ItsJudysLife (the family’s vlog channel), ItsMommysLife (Judy’s channel about motherhood), and BenjiManTV (Benji’s channel about food and wellness). The four channels combined have over 3.5 million subscribers. The couple and their 3 daughters have amassed a large following on YouTube, so it’s not surprising to see that they have hundreds of thousands of followers on their other social media channels.
Judy and Benji have used their large following to make a difference for causes they care about. Dancember is an annual fundraising event that they host on YouTube– it’s basically a 24 hour live broadcast of dancing and fun that encourages viewers to donate to the year’s cause. Each year, they choose a different charity to support. This year, Dancember teamed up with Convoy of Hope, a charity aimed to feed the world– they have served over 79 million people in the last 22 years.
Dancember 2016 reached its fundraising goal and over $500,000 was raised for Convoy of Hope. The event has developed so much over the past few years and I’m excited to see how it will continue to grow for years to come.
Another example of the power of social media came to my attention through my favorite YouTubers (which I’ve written about in another blog post) just a few days ago.
In this video, Casey Neistat talks about the famine in Somalia (which has been given very little media attention) and how we can help the population gain access to necessary resources. Casey’s friend, Jérôme Jarre (a Vine and Snapchat “celebrity” who also has over a million subscribers on YouTube), posted a video on Twitter about the famine and how to help.
With the help of social media influencers and celebrities like Casey and Ben Stiller (!!!), they were able to get Turkish Airlines to agree to send food in their aircrafts (it is the only airline that goes to Somalia). They have also raised over 2.3 million dollars on their GoFundMe campaign in just 8 days! Visit the campaign today to donate or help spread the word.
It’s great to see people using their influence to help create positive change for the world. The power of YouTube and other social media channels provides that we can all make a difference.
These are just two examples of philanthropy work that is happening through social media– influencers around the world are using these platforms to help others.