For the second year in a row, YouTuber and internet personality Tyler Oakley has established a fundraising page through Prizeo for his birthday to raise money for The Trevor Project. Tyler interned at The Trevor Project while in college and because The Trevor Project is so near and dear to his heart, he has continued to work with the organization even post graduation.
So, in lieu of fans sending him presents or bringing him gifts to Playlist Live, Tyler urged them to donate to the charity which dedicates time to providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth. Last year, Tyler raised over $24,000. This year, Tyler’s fundraising goal was $150,000. But Tyler’s viewers, friends and family far exceeded that marker by raising over $500,000. And in the time I’ve taken to write this blog post (which is about 45 minutes), the campaign has raised almost $1,000.
This all has to do with the power of the internet.
Tyler Oakley’s viewers can rally better than almost fandom I’ve seen. And I hate to use the word fandom because that puts Tyler up on a pedestal but the powerful connotation of the word seems appropriate here. To promote the campaign, Tyler tweeted tirelessly, made Tumblr posts, and hosted several live stream shows. During these live shows, Tyler encouraged fans to donate and was joined by fellow and YouTubers Troye Sivan, Marcus Butler, Connor Franta, Korey Kuhl and the Youth Advisory Program at The Trevor Project who explained to fans why donating was so important.
“Your money goes toward the call center – all the call centers, maintaining education, the YAC I’m sure is part of that. The different locations,” Tyler said in a live stream on March 9. “To keep those running it takes a lot of donations and generosity from people at home.”
Tyler may have reached his $500,000 goal, but the fundraiser still has a little bit more time to go! Go HERE to donate to the Prizeo campaign to aid LGBTQ youth.