YouTube Star MrBeast Rethinks Old Notions of Philanthropy
Who was behind this act of holiday kindness? A community foundation, perhaps? Or a food charity with deep pockets? Would you believe a young man who once spent 50 hours buried alive or went through the same fast food drive-thru 1,000 times?
Jimmy Donaldson — the widely popular YouTube video maker who goes by MrBeast — has built, alongside his fun viral stunts, an unusual charity playbook that leverages his fame and skills with the goal to end hunger. Philanthropy as entertainment.
“I want to feed millions of people on a monthly basis, tens of millions one day,” he tells The Associated Press. “I’m not stopping. I’m 23. I’ve got decades left in me and we’re not going anywhere.”
Donaldson — who has over 150 million subscribers on his combined YouTube channels — created the Beast Philanthropy channel last year at Thanksgiving and it donates 100% of its advertising revenue, brand deals and merchandise sales.
Beast Philanthropy has distributed over 1.1 million pounds of food, currently helps feed nearly 1,000 households in the Greenville area on a weekly basis and delivered over 9,000 hot meals for victims of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.
The turkey giveaway — on Nov. 7 at the Pitt County Fairgrounds with almost 700 volunteers — featured turkeys donated by Jennie-O, which got plenty of shout-outs. The 4-minute video has been watched some 5 million times.