Tyler Oakley‘s rise to internet-stardom has been chugging along at a phenomenal pace. The YouTube vlogger has seen his audience (and his influence) skyrocket recently, with his channel gaining more than three million subscribers in the past year alone.
Now, in a move that is unfortunately rare on YouTube, Tyler has used his new-found influence for good by directing his audience (or his “People,” as he calls them) to donate to the Trevor Project, a charity that provides life-saving resources for at-risk LGBT youth across North America.
For his 25th birthday, Tyler challenged his audience to donate $150,000 to the Trevor Project instead of sending him gifts and messages. He gave them 6 weeks to rise to the challenge but, in the perfect demonstration of the power his audience holds, his People blew past the goal and hit $200,000 in just 6 days!
To celebrate hitting his fundraising goal so quickly, Tyler hosted a live stream with fellow vlogger Troye Sivan, offering insights into their lives, calling fans, attempting the splits, kissing, a disgusting overuse of the word slay, and so much more. Hopefully the picture of Troye and Tyler kissing another vlogger Connor Franta below gives you an idea of the kind of live stream it was:
At one point in the live stream, they encouraged the 13,000 people watching to donate all at once, and they raised $6,000 for the Trevor Project in less than one minute.
“All of these people, coming together for a good cause, it just warms my heart… So many people told me that 150k is literally impossible, and we just did 200k in less than a week,” Tyler said during the live stream.
More YouTubers than ever before have started to use their talents and influence to raise money for charity, showing the collective strength of the YouTube community.
YouTube gamer PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, aimed to raise $250,000 for Charity Water to celebrate hitting 10 million subscribers in July last year. He has one of the fastest-growing channels on YouTube, and is now the most subscribed person on YouTube with 23 million subscribers. So, it should come as no surprise he blew past his goal and raised $446,512, which is enough money to provide clean water for more than 25,000 people.
Also last year, vlogging YouTube twins Jack and Finn Harries aimed to raise $100,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK by taking part in the Rickshaw Run, a race across India in tuk-tuks. The pair ended up raising more than $177,496, blowing past $100k just days into their trip.
This is a trend everyone can get behind, and hopefully vloggers will give up stealing ideas for generic view-baiting ‘tag’ videos and start looking to make a meaningful change in the world like these guys are.
Last month, Tyler Oakley took part on the “Generation Like” panel at the Television Critics Association press tour. You can watch him talk about YouTube, and the relationship between teens and brands on PBS on Tuesday, February 18 at 10pm EST.