Social Media Can Save Lives, Literally
Social media is a very powerful tool in today’s society whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn. They connect thousands of individuals on their platforms, providing a giant interconnected online community.
Social media is also a valuable tool to get important issues trending. The endangerment of animals, the Affordable Care Act and North Korea have all been trending recently on a social media platform and are all very important issues that require our attention.
In more recent times, the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia has been trending. If you are not aware, a famine and drought has been affecting East Africa for months, specifically Somalia.
In 2011, there was also the same problem in Somalia and around a quarter of a million people died. The current famine is not only affecting the people, but their livestock as well. Therefore there is no means of food; at all.
Jerome Jarre, is the person behind this hashtag. He is a famous and very active social media icon. He created hilarious Vine videos back in the day when it was still an app. He was the 4th most followed on the app and was also featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show twice.
Jerome has transformed into a very active humanitarian, which is a human who helps other humans. His work focuses mainly in Africa. After Jerome found out about this extremely important humanitarian crisis, he immediately tweeted out a video of him explaining his plan.
His plan: Fill a plane with food to send to Somalia.
With the help of other celebrities such as Ben Stiller, Colin Kaepernick, Casey Neistat, and Gabriel Conte, they got their message all across the internet.
They started a GofundMe and their goal was to raise 1 million dollars in 10 days. The food they will be sending is:
- Vegetable cooking oil
- Nutritional biscuits
They are also using the Ben Stiller Foundation to make all donations tax deductible.
They have teamed up with the NGO, which is the refugee committee actually on the ground in Somalia and will send pictures of all the donated food.
While they originally asked for 1 million dollars, they have updated it to 3 million since they completed their goal in under 24 hours. As of writing this article, they currently have $1.5 million donated by 57,000 people in just 2 days.
This incredible story shows us how powerful social media can be. What started as an idea, turned into a message, into a movement, into action, into resources, into relief.
If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe, click here.