The group used the power of social media to do some serious good
There’s a drought in Somalia right now and as a result, much of the region is facing catastrophic famine. Celebrities and social media stars have united to help the cause, and their fast success means sending serious help to people in need.
Stars like Ben Stiller, Colin Kaepernick, Vine and Snapchat star Jérôme Jarre and CNN’s Casey Neistat had a mission — to raise one million dollars for Somali famine relief in just 10 days. Well, they did it.
In only 19 hours.
On top of the funds raised to feed over six million people — more than half the population — the influential crew also managed to get a plane to transport the food for free. According to CNN, it all started with one tweet from Jarre pleading with Turkish Airines to allow the group to fill one of its cargo planes with food and provisions.
Celebs like Stiller also tweeted out the message with videos asking Turkish Airlines, who Jarre notes is the only airline with flights going to Somalia, to help the cause.
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) March 15, 2017
Only two days later, Turkish Airlines responded that they’d be willing to help and would allow the group to fill a cargo plane with food. 60 tons of food can fit on just one flight and along with this initial cargo shipment, the airline is also going to allow the group to transport shipping containers full of provisions on its commercial flights to the region until the famine ends.
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) March 17, 2017
“This is the story of what can happen when the power of social media is leveraged for something good,” Neistat says in a YouTube video chronicling the group’s journey.
After the plane was secured, the group set up a GoFundMe page with their stated goal of $1 million in 10 days, meeting it in less than a day. As of now, they’ve raised over $1.5 million and the cargo plane is set to depart for Somalia on March 27th bringing rice, flour, cooking oil, nutritional biscuits, sugar and porridge to the drought-stricken region.
The group writes, “We’ve proved how much our power doesn’t mean much individually, but has the potential to move mountains (AIRPLANES!!!) when we UNITE!” the group wrote. “We’re committed to making sure Somalia has the relief they need.”