One gamer just raised $135k in an hour with #HopeFromHome

Hope From Home Logo, a charity fundraiser on April 7th 2020

There are some people who aren’t in risk of losing their jobs during the stay-at-home. Streamers and YouTubers, people with those mystical day jobs that occur on their own, at home, are waking up to the same workday as usual. Sitting in front of their computers and consoles, they’ve long been treated like children who don’t have “real jobs”.

And yes, ad revenue goes up and down. YouTube and Twitch can be fickle masters, always changing rules and algorithms in unforeseen ways. And the debate on video games “causing violence” still rages on over all of it.

But, at the time of writing this, they’re the only group I’ve seen try to raise money to help the nurses and healthcare works on the frontlines, to get food to those who need it, and to just generally help combat this virus.

I’m not sure what happened. Do I follow the wrong people? Have I missed charity events to raise money for the Coronavirus? (Please tell me in the comments if so. I want to be wrong on this.) All I’ve seen for the past three weeks seems to be negative news. Even here on Medium, the highlighted articles are about how much worse this will get.

And I don’t mean to downplay that. I believe it too, that things are going to be a lot worse than this before it’s over. As a high risk person, I’ve been in isolation for almost a month now. But it feels like all the charity organizations who would usually step up for this have been thrown for a loop along with the rest of us. Are they sitting at home trying to learn Zoom too?

Yet one YouTuber has stepped up to the plate. One, singular, individual man from Ireland has reached out to the United Way, Red Nose Day, and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to set up a charity livestream. He’s contacted celebrities, streamers, gamers, and his fanbase to ask for as many events as possible on one day. He’s not looking for his own fame — rather asking each person to use their own little pocket of the internet’s universe to come together (virtually, of course) for a day and donate what they can. Right now I’m watching Good Omens actor Michael Sheen speak in a prerecorded message for the event.

Now more than ever, virtual communities are needed. Those who frequent these streams and YouTube communities regularly can tell you, there is a sense of belonging that can come from virtual events like these. That’s part of the appeal of Twitch, to be able to chat with and “hang out” with your favorite personality. As we’re all discovering now, that can be terribly important when you’re feeling isolated in reality.

Not only are these charity events needed for the world, but for the sanity of the individual.

Of course, the money will help. The money will help out a lot. In the time I’ve been writing this (distracted by watching the stream as it happens), another $100,000 has been raised. Each $1 can provide 10 meals for those in need, $50 can provide 10 reusable aprons for healthcare workers. $100 can provide 75 boxes of 50 surgical masks. Each dollar makes a difference, especially in a time where 6 million people have filed for unemployment.

As someone with very little money (though thankfully still employed), I’m writing this article because it is what I can do.

There’s been a lot of talk of what you can’t do — go outside, go shopping, gather in groups, see your grandparents.

But if one lone video gamer can raise $245,000 in two hours by just sitting in front of a camera talking to people on the other side of the world, what excuses do you have? Not to mention the total of $300,000 raised globally by everyone contributing to the same link and #HopeFromHome hashtag.

(update: at 2.5 hours JackSepticEye’s community of beautiful people alone raised $300k. He then donated $100k, by himself, bringing that total to $400k)

So if you see this article land are interested, here’s the link to donate:

Don’t share this article — share the link. Add the hashtag. If it’s trending, more people will notice and have a chance to donate. Watch the stream. If the streams are over, the link to donate may still be live. They’ve promised to keep it open for a few days. If you can’t donate, share the link to someone who might. Or find another charity to donate to! Anything helps.

But don’t sit at home feeling sorry for yourself. Sit at home, feeling good about the kindness shown by humanity. We lift each other up in the hard times, you’ll see. We always have.

Stay home. Stay safe.

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