FORT MYERS, Florida — Jacksepticeye, or Seán William McLoughlin, is an Irish social media influencer and creator of one of YouTube’s most popular gaming channels. Jacksepticeye has more than 26 million YouTube subscribers and more than two million followers on Twitch. He and his circle of friends are most known for their live streams of playing the popular game Among Us. However, his work has proven to be much more than just fun and games. Jacksepticeye’s “Thankmas” 2020 provided substantial aid to combat global poverty.
What is “Thankmas?”
Jacksepticeye annually hosts “Thankmas,” a multi-platform digital fundraising holiday event. The term originates from the idea that people are in a thankful and giving mood around Christmas. It plays upon the notion that individuals are likely to donate and be open to fundraisers around this time of year. Jacksepticeye, along with Read Good Tutoring, created this event to help children and families dealing with hunger issues during the winter season.
For the seasonal event, Jacksepticeye organizes and mobilizes several people in the gaming community to use their platforms to raise funds for charities by playing select video games. Jacksepticeye also partners with the crowdfunding platform TilTify to collect money for these causes. Essentially, gamers raise awareness about the organization “Thankmas” currently supports by encouraging their viewers to donate during the live-stream. Viewers can also take their own initiatives. TilTify allows individuals to create personalized “Thankmas” fundraising campaigns to support the specified charity.
“Thanksmas” 2020 went toward a special cause. Thankmas partnered with Red Nose Day, a fundraising campaign aiming to end child poverty. Given how COVID-19 has worsened hunger and food security, this year’s funds will be used to provide meals for families and medical treatment for malnourished children worldwide. Going into this “Thankmas” 2020, Jacksepticeye had large aspirations to tackle this global issue.
Jacksepticeye set a high goal of surpassing “Thankmas” 2019’s total donation of $302,000. The large sum that year went to the charity Child’s Play to provide games and toys to hospitalized children all over the world. Jacksepticeye challenged himself to yet another goal. He aimed to exceed the amount he raised during the “#HopeFromHome” fundraiser earlier in 2020, which was over $670,000. Those donations went to Red Nose Day, United Way and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The stakes were not only raised by Jacksepticeye, but also by Red Nose Day. For “Thankmas” 2020, Red Nose Day promised to match up to $1.5 million raised. In the end, “Thankmas” 2020 blew these goals out of the water.
Every Gamer Counts
The highlighted game this year was Among Us and the biggest events were hosted by Jacksepticeye, CrankGameplays and JaidenAnimations. Jacksepticeye’s main event was held on December 13, 2020. He live-streamed for over nine hours and played Among Us with big creators, such as Valkyrae and Corpse Husband. He raised over $1.4 million in that single stream where promised viewers to dye his hair after passing his initial goal. CrankGameplays raised over $510,000 in his 11-hour stream where he also played Among Us. JaidenAnimations rounded out the top three by raising over $160,000 for “Thankmas” 2020 in her nearly 10-hour stream playing Pokemon.
Through collective efforts by Jacksepticeye and several other gamers, “Thankmas” 2020 raised over $4.6 million to aid those suffering due to COVID-19. The pandemic has impacted vulnerable families across the globe and these funds will go a long way in helping relieve some of the burdens of those deeply affected. Jacksepticeye was able to use his passion for gaming to combat a global crisis and global poverty. “Thankmas” 2020 is an inventive solution to garnering monetary aid for impactful charities. With continued efforts from Jacksepticeye and other gamers, global poverty might meet its match with its toughest component yet — the gaming community.
– Giselle Ramirez-Garcia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons