The Project for Awesome: YouTube Gives Back

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Article by Shivani Phadke

If you came across the terms “Project for Awesome” or “The Foundation to Decrease World Suck” within the first week of your holiday, you might have thought it to be some sort of joke or scam. The Foundationto Decrease World Suck however, is a legitimate charity, and The Project for Awesome (P4A) is possibly its most important event of the year. An initiative that was started in 2007, P4A involves the entire YouTube community, and asks that each vlogger upload a video regarding a charity of their choice. A 48 hour live stream show is then hosted by several of these YouTubers starting at noon (EST) on December 17th to promote the videos that have been uploaded, and ask for donations. The donations of course, go to The Foundation to Decrease World Suck, and are eventually divided amongst the 10 charities that received the most votes.

Involvement in the project can come in many forms. Some choose to upload videos, others vote on these videos and donate funds; donors can even avail of some perks that are available to them, and for those who can neither donate nor make a video, every comment they post on featured videos is equal to a penny in the fund. This year, some of our own Bearcats decided to get involved in whatever way they could. I personally watched the live stream whenever I could manage, and added to the comments. Shine Chin, currently a Sophomore at ISM chose to do the same, “I think it was a great experience to feel like you we’re part of a community and cheer for something positive together. It felt like I could really help decrease World Suck.”

Over 800,000 US dollars have been raised by the project this year, exceeding by far the original goal of $250,000. These funds will be divided amongst the top 10 voted charities –  that means over $80,000 per organization. Unfortunately, the project has now ended, and we can no longer donate to this fund or participate in the efforts. However, P4A is an annual affair, and if you didn’t participate this year, you can still find it in 2014.

So here’s how you can get involved: ISM has a massive number of service partners, and you might even have access to some charities that the school isn’t involved with. If there is a cause that speaks to you, that you feel needs to be promoted through this project, then this is your chance. Look through the P4A website and see if your charity is already being sponsored. If it is, then you know who to vote for next year, and if it isn’t, then you’ll be wanting to get your camera out to put together a video for your cause. Whether we do it through the school administration, or via your personal YouTube accounts, ISM can get involved. How’s that for a New Year’s Resolution: let’s be part of P4A 2014, and get the word out!

P4A website: http://www.projectforawesome.com/

Video from P4A 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kab9yTQr2c

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