It's finally December, which means it's the most wonderful time of the year: Project For Awesome time!! If you are familiar with the world of Youtubers, the names John and Hank Green are probably names you've heard before. Aside from John's book career and Hank's music career, the two brothers do a lot of good for the world via the internet. They have created Crash Course series which can be shown in schools and are an edutaining (educational/entertaining) look into history, literature, and science. Hank has also created modern web versions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Frankenstein which are all well thought out stories. My favorite part of being a part of the Nerdfighter community (the name given to John and Hank fans) is 100% the Project for Awesome (affectionately known as the P4A).
Since 2007, John and Hank decided they wanted to use their platform to help make the world a better place. In the beginning, all they wanted to do was trick the Youtube algorithm so that a bunch of videos supporting charity were shown on the homepage. No money was raised originally, but awareness was created. Every year since then the Green brothers have continued to organize the Project for Awesome. In 2010, money started to be donated to charities on behalf of the P4A. Because contributions started being made, John and Hank created the "Foundation to Decrease World Suck" (yes that's its actual name lol) which is a non-profit that collects all of the money from the P4A as well as any money donated throughout the year.
Now, here's my favorite part of the Project for Awesome. A 48 hour livestream on the Vlogbrothers Youtube channel. Every December, the Green brothers along with many other Youtubers spend 48 hours live raising money for charities. There is a corresponding IndieGogo page that gives perks created by many famous Youtubers. In the years I've been watching the P4A I have received a "The Fault in Our Stars" poster, a prop version of "An Imperial Affliction" which was used in "The Fault in Our Stars" movie, and a foreign version of a John Green novel that was in his personal book collection. Hank literally donates his own shirts for charity and calendars, coins, socks, etc are all available.
To raise awareness to charities, the P4A invites any and all Youtube users to create a video about their favorite charity and submit it using a thumbnail created specifically for P4A. Every hour during the livestream, everyone pauses to watch a featured video and then they discuss the charity for a few minutes. During the first half of the P4A, the money donated goes to 2 specific charities chosen by John and Hank. The last half of the P4A raises money for the top 20 charities whose videos get the most likes. So as you watch through the charity videos, you get to choose how you want the money to be split up. Last year over $1.5 million was raised. It was pretty incredible to watch.
As with every 48 hour livestream, silliness is bound to ensue. John usually ends up with Sharpie drawn all over his face or peanut butter smeared all over his face. Hank always takes the late night shifts with a bunch of his friends and they get a little loopy late at night. Last year, I suggested they play a game where you put whipped cream in your hand and try to smack it into your mouth. Not only did they play it (more than once!), they starting calling it #WhipItGood. It was wonderful. Guests like Wil Wheaton and his wife Ann have come on and through the silliness, there are also some really amazing conversations about life. All while raising money for charity.
The Project for Awesome live stream this year starts at noon on Friday, December 9th and ends at noon on Sunday, December 11th. John and Hank Green along with many other Youtubers have used their voices to add joy and compassion to the world and we all could learn a thing or two about awesomeness from them. Please consider looking at the perks on the IndieGogo page and also consider donating or voting for your favorite charities!
For more information look at http://www.projectforawesome.com/