Today when I was walking to work it hit me like a ton of bricks that YouTube is also a social networking site. I hadn’t even really considered blogging about it before, but it turns out that there’s more to this video uploading site than crazy twin babies and Rebecca Black. Founded back in 2005 YT became an overnight sensation. After only one year 65,000 videos were posted a day, and today more than 24 hours of video are posted every single minute of every day. Viral videos are quickly becoming the best thing since sliced bread, and charities and non-profits are getting in on this high exposure social network. Thanks to YouTube you can broadcast yourself for good.
I’m not a huge YT buff so I did just a simple search with the word charity today and found some really amazing causes. World Bicycle Relief was one of those causes. Their cool intro video really caught my attention as I was trolling for ideas. We use our bicycles here in America for a nice afternoon ride, to compete in races, or a few of us use them to get to work when the gas prices get really high. In rural Africa a bicycle in the hands of a girl changes everything. Owning a bicycle means freedom, education, confidence, knowledge, and power. Fewer girls attend school in Zambia because of the risk of a long commute to school, early marriages, and poverty, but bicycles are changing all that. They are able to travel up to four times the distance they would on foot, and reach their goal of getting an education. WBR is stopping the cycle of poverty with cycles of hope.
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I would be fibbing a little bit if I said I found this next charity on YT first, because I discovered their YT channel after they started following me on Twitter this afternoon. A Broader View makes it as easy to volunteer as it is to tie your shoes. ABV was founded by Sarah and Oliver Ehlers after they returned home from a trip Chile, South America, because they were so moved by the difference volunteers were making at local orphanages. When they started researching volunteer programs it quickly became clear how expensive and restrictive most of the opportunities were, and they were determined to change that. ABV has over 180 customized volunteer programs in 21 countries that last anywhere from 1 to 24 weeks. You choose when, where, and how long you want to volunteer and they help you make it happen. In case that wasn’t enough to sell you, all of the program costs and the airfare are all tax-deductible! Still not inspired? Watch this video on their YT channel.
World Bicycle Relief Donation
A Broader View Donation
So here’s to you YouTube! Because of you we can watch music videos, talking dogs, live concerts, and tutorials on how to fold origami elephants out of a dollar bill. You have helped us broadcast our best and worst moments over the past five years. You help us be in two places at once, and see and experience things we could only dream of. You spread comedy, news, joy, technology, knowledge, and encouragement all over the world. Thanks for helping us tune into what really matters and channel our inner giver.