Tyler Oakley might be one of the nicest people on the planet. Not only does he spend his birthday doing charity work with The Trevor Project, he wants to fly two lucky fans out to Los Angeles to do a meet n’ greet with him at one of his favorite restaurants.
Oakley has already outdone himself from his 2013 goal — this year (2014, for you teenagers in the distant future reading this article in your history books), he raised nearly $35,000 in just four hours (and this is back when the American dollar was still a valuable thing — not like in your millenium). And the money isn’t done rolling in. On Prizeo, a site where celebs can raise money for good causes, Tyler has reached over $115,000 of his $150,000 goal — and there’s still 46 days to go on the campaign.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24, so you can see how the openly gay Tyler would connect with such a benevolent organization. And like I said, not only is he doing this campaign during his birthday month, but he’s also giving away a lot of cool stuff to people that donate (including that aforementioned trip to L.A.). This is one of those times where I wish I didn’t live in L.A. — because if I win, I totally don’t get to fly anywhere.
And since Tyler was nice enough to do a huge fundraiser for an awesome charity, I tested his kindness to see if he would also take the time out of his busy existence to do a quick interview. Of course, it being Tyler Oakley, I shouldn’t have even had to wonder. Make sure you read the interview and then head over to Prizeo to help out with The Trevor Project.
How exciting is it that you’ve already beat last year’s goal and you still have well over a month to go?
Tyler Oakley: I was so nervous for the launch of this campaign but seeing us pass last year’s total in just a few hours completely blew my mind.
You started with the Trevor Project as an intern in 2009, right? How did you find out about them in the first place?
Every year the YouTube community comes together to support the causes closest to our hearts. On this day, “Project For Awesome Day” we each make a video about the charity we support and encourage our audiences to get involved in any way possible. Back in 2008 while looking for a charity to support I stumbled across The Trevor Project and was instantly moved by their story and mission. I made a video about their work and it was featured on the front page of YouTube. The founders of The Trevor Project saw the video and reached out to see how we could work together in the future. Since then it’s been my mission to use my platform to raise awareness for a cause that’s saving so many lives.
You celebrate your birthday every year by doing a charity fundraiser? That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard!
Yeah! I feel like if I can use my birthday to ensure other people get to celebrate more of their birthdays, it’s a win-win situation.
This certainly has to be a highlight of your 2014 so far — what was your best moment of 2013?
Traveling the world and getting to meet so many of my viewers — from Australia to Europe to all around the US — connecting with the people who make my dreams possible was easily the best part of last year.
A lucky donor and guest get flown to L.A. to go with you to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants. Do you already have the place picked out, and if so, what’s your favorite dish there?
I’ve got a few places in mind depending on what they prefer and I wanna keep it a surprise … but I can neither confirm or deny that it’ll be a fast food chain.
Here’s more Tyler: