by Brandy D. Anderson
Did you know there are great YouTube channels representing non-profit and charity organizations? Did you also know some of these channels help you to raise money for charities just by watching the videos? Many of these videos are highly entertaining as well, especially those made by Jerry Lewis and his friends. Here’s a list of the four best YouTube Charity/Non-Profit Channels:
About: “Find out more about the charities that are making a difference. Show that you care, subscribe and share at www.youtube.com/give. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visogive Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want your channel featured.”
This channel is a platform for YouTubers to raise awareness and money for causes, and it’s open to everyone with an altruistic idea whether it’s big corporations, seasoned YouTube celebrities, or kids with initiative. The introduction video invites you to “Watch and Give to your favourite charities just by watching their videos!” Some of the vids also feature some impressive big names, like Community alumi Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, and Ken Jeong.
One entry entitled “Don’t Hate On Love” sponsors United Way and it promotes tolerance, with the ending message “Let’s stop homophobia”. Another United Way video is called “Bullet Mouth” about the dangers of teenage bullying, with the sobering words, “Bullying kills – Figuratively and Literally”. “I Wish” tells the sad story of an elderly single mother waiting for her absent son to come home. She calls, he reluctantly says he’ll be home for dinner but then promptly blows her off. She sits, alone, and blows out a single candle on her own birthday cake: she says, quietly to herself, “I wish you would spend more time with me. I wish I could tell you.” The video ends with a statistic: “1 in 4 seniors live alone putting them at risk for social isolation and related problems… ‘No one can live entirely on their own, nor can any country or society exist in isolation. – Daisaku Ikeda”.This channel boasts twenty-nine play lists and over two hundred videos.
About: “Celebrating the classic Telethon that one man created to benefit the patients and find a cure for muscular dystrophy – the Jerry Lewis Telethon www.thetelethonyears.com”
The Telethon Years is an enthusiastic channel devoted to the decades-long tradition by Jerry Lewis for raising money to battle muscular dystrophy disease. Lewis did his first telethon in the 1950s, and starting in 1966, Lewis spent 21 hours every Labour Day raising money for these kids, right up until his last MDA telethon in 2010. During his lifetime, Lewis has helped to raise over two billion dollars for MDA.
On thetelethonyears.com, the sister website to this YouTube channel, you can read a detailed history on the telethon, Lewis, his famous guests, and you can also find fun media clips and puzzles (“We all enjoy a little fun and distraction. Hell – that’s why we love Jerry. He can be funny and mischievous in such a wonderful innocent way that it’s genius”). There’s even a very sweet account by the webmaster about his/her discovery of Lewis and why Lewis and his charity work is so important. The best thing about this channel is the treasure trove of telethon footage! There are long videos here, mostly in half hour to hour intervals, and they span many decades and guests. The videos are neatly categorized by theme, years, and guests. For instance, you’ll find videos for “Awesome Telethon Openings”, “1970s Tribute part 1 [there are many parts here] – Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr, and more”, “1970s Tribute – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Robert Goulet, and More”, and “1980s Tribute – Johnny Carson, George Burns, Mel Torme, Johnny Cash, and More”.
About: “Financially supporting the medical and social welfare of children and funding research into children’s diseases.”
This Australian channel showcases the annual telethon held in Perth, running strong since it was first established in 1968 by Australian philanthropist and WWII hero Sir James Cruthers. The telethon raises money for a number of different charity organizations, but the principle two recipients are the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the Telethon Kids Institute. According to Steve Mummery, Telethon’s general manager, Telethon is “the highest donating Telethon (per capita) in the world”.
The videos on this channel are mostly short one to five minute clips from telethons, promos, and advertising spots, but it’s updated constantly. A lot of the videos concentrate on the beneficiaries of the telethon. One recent clip has an interview with Zack from the “Telethon Beneficiary – Telethon Type 1 Diabetes Centre”. A spokesperson at WA talks about the ways in which the money raised through the telethon help patients and their families through the difficult process of diagnosis, treatment, and healing. There are videos promoting events where proceeds go to Telethon, like the advert for a production of Grease on stage. You’ll find short informative bits about how you can become a fundraiser for Telethon, like the one called “Maggie Dent Base”. “Telethon Kids Institute” asks kids what they would want to help discover and how it would help to change the world for the better. One girl says, “I want to discover if I can fix a broken heart”: “What would you discover to help a child?” There are extensive play lists for each recent telethon year. There are also some whimsical play lists, like the lists for “Telethon Adventurers” and “Shirts Off”.
About: “The nonprofit dedicated to saving and improving lives for people fighting muscle disease. MDA also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education. For more information, visit http://www.mda.org.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t include the official page for “Jerry’s Kids”, MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association). MDA has been around since 1950 and was founded by families of kids suffering from MD. As their website states, “MDA is leading the fight to free individuals – and the families who love them – from the harm of muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related muscle-debilitating diseases that take away physical strength, independence, and life. Together with our supporters, we’re helping kids and adults live longer and grow stronger.”
Many of the YouTube videos focus on their “Live Unlimited” series, where they interview recipients. A recent “Live Unlimited” video focuses on the Mallen Family. Their son was diagnosed with Juvenile dermatomyositis. The firefighter father details what an unbreakable spirit his son, Chandler, has and how much MDA has helped them to achieve their health goals. Another series is called “Jiffy Lube Muscle Up! PSA”. There are celebrity endorsements as well, like the recent “Live Unlimited” video made by singer Carly Rae Jepsen. There are also a number of play lists including “American Idol MDA Telethon Appearances”, “FDA Advisory Committee Meeting for DMD Therapy”, “MDA Profiles”, “Historic Telethon Memorable Moments”, “Stories of Strength Profiles – 2014 MDA Telethon”, “MDA Research Minute”, and “Classic MDA Telethon Videos”.