When Austin Teegarden graduated from university , he marked the occasion by choosing to help those who are less fortunate. A 22 year old from East Bay, California, he was especially concerned about the effect of the coronavirus on already vulnerable people.
“I was looking up COVID-19 relief programs to get ready for my 24-hour stream and I saw what FundLife was doing for kids and women and I realized that it was perfect for what I wanted to do”, he said.
He came up with the idea about a month before his graduation and immediately set donation goals and designed infographics to support them. He networked ferociously, spreading the word on Twitter, telling his classmates, teachers and his parents’ co-workers. He wanted to reach as many people as possible in order to hit his goal.
“I think the donation goals really motivated people to help, as well as the cause we were raising money for. For example, when we raised $500, I shaved my head bald! That was something I never imagined would happen until I would reach very old age! Even the minor donation goals helped bring people in to donate. When we hit $50 I tried balut for the first time and let me say, it was absolutely delicious!”, said Austin.
One of the reasons he choose the Philippines was his girlfriend. She is Filipina and lived in Cebu for 9 years. She always told him what a beautiful country the Philippines is despite the struggles some people go through.
He wants to let others know they can do the same: “If you have an idea that you know can have a great outcome and can do a lot for others, keep telling yourself it is possible. I was expecting to only raise about $200 because I’m not a popular streamer, I don’t have a large social media gathering and I don’t even stream that often”
In the end, Austin was able to raise over PHP 65,000 for FundLife, which is directly going to helping some of the most vulnerable children and families without work and income and are worst hit by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The message Austin’s story shows is that everyone has the ability to make a difference and help others. Despite “not having a large following and not streaming often” Austin’s contribution will be enough to provide emergency food support and hygiene packs for over 150 families.
If you would like to know more about the work of FundLife visit their facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/FundLifeInt/ or to make a donation, you may visit their global giving page bit.ly/2R1kObJ