YouTubers raise money for charity

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In December, YouTubers raised $71,348.30 for charity as part of Project for Awesome, a video charity drive spear-headed by Hank and John Green, aka the vlog brothers.

Under the tagline “online creators decreasing suck” (or “decreasing world suck”),  the vlog brothers have been actively fighting the spoiled and self-centered YouTuber (and millennial) stereotype since 2007.

YouTubers were asked to upload videos highlighting their favorite charities on December 17, and this year, roughly a hundred participated. Viewers could then donate on the Project for Awesome Web page and vote for their favorite charities. The money collected through the site was split evenly with the five charities that received the most votes.

The 2011 winners, announced last week by the Hank Green via vlog, are the Kind Foundation, Kiva.org, the Harry Potter Alliance, Water.org, and This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation, which received the most votes. Each charity will receive $14,269.22.

One of the recipients said the money will be put to good use.

It’s “a huge honor” to be chosen as a “favorite charity for Project for Awesome 2011,”  said Lori Earl, cofounder of This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation, which aims to financially assist families struggling with a child living with cancer. With $14,000, “we can help more families in 2012.”

Earl and her husband launched the foundation after their daughter Esther died in 2010 following a four year struggle with thyroid cancer. She was only 16.

“Esther was a huge fan of the Vlogbrothers, and she admired both Hank and John immensely” wrote Earl, Esther’s mom and president of TSWGO, in an e-mail to the Daily Dot. “I vividly recall her spending her entire weekend during the Project for Awesome 2009 on the computer, passionately viewing videos, multi-tasking as she commented for hours and hours in order to promote various charities online.”

The vlogbrothers actually wear Esther’s foundation bracelet and celebrate Esther Day every August 2, a day when the two brothers show each other they care, as that was Esther’s last wish.

Nerdfighteria (the community formed by the vlog brothers) raised over $20,000 in 2011 which TSWGO used to help 12 families with children diagnosed with cancer, according to Earl.

“It’s also amazing because it proves that her star really hasn’t gone out, that she continues to inspire people around the world to reach higher, dream bigger, and live larger,” Earl said.

“I can imagine her doing a happy dance for sure!”

Fruzsina Eördögh

Fruzsina Eördögh

Fruzsina Eördögh was the Daily Dot's first YouTube reporter. In addition to working as a producer for the now-defunct digital channel TouchVision TV, Eördögh has been published by Vice, the Christian Science Monitor, the Guardian, Variety, and Slate.