K-pop army raises funds for OzHarvest
Last month, OzHarvest was surprised and delighted to see a flow of donations come in from an unexpected source – K-pop fans. Specifically, fans of the best-selling South Korean boy band BTS. This fanbase, affectionately known as ARMY, has an incredibly strong online presence, which they’ve used to support many charities and causes in the past.
Just last year, ARMY fanbases all over the world rallied for Australia’s bushfire recovery effort, and also raised $1 million for the Black Lives Matter movement. Their latest campaign, ShareARMeal, is a global cause dedicated to raising money for food relief organisations. The Australian ARMY group chose OzHarvest as the Australian charity.
No barmy army
The ShareARMeal campaign was launched to combat hunger by raising funds and coordinating food drives around the world. It was held in conjunction with a BTS/McDonald’s collaboration, in which a special meal deal was created in BTS-themed packaging. Running for only a month, the immediate response to the campaign was huge, with ARMY members donating more than $6000 in just the first few days.
“We shared our milestones regularly to keep up the donation momentum, and our city-based ARMY chapters also hosted events, such as Sydney ARMY who woke up at 6am to appear live on Sunrise,” says Australian ARMY member Vanessa.
“COVID has had such a huge impact in ways we never could have imagined. More people than ever are experiencing food insecurity. BTS fans were so excited about the collaboration with McDonald’s. We felt it was only right to give back to the people who need it the most. We created a fundraising page and used Twitter to get the word out to ARMY.”
Vanessa says that the Australian ARMY chose OzHarvest because they believed the organisation’s commitment to ensure vulnerable people have access to food is critical.
“When we were researching charities to support for the campaign, we wanted to be able to help those closer to home,” she says. “We saw that OzHarvest is more than just a food rescue organisation; they help people all over Australia. Not only by providing vulnerable people with access to food, but also by providing food education.”
The total amount raised for OzHarvest now exceeds $10,000. And Vanessa says this is what ARMY loves to do. “BTS has given us so much,” she says. “So we always want to make sure we give back, whether it’s raising funds or volunteering. Joining the ShareARMeal campaign was a great opportunity for Australian ARMY to help make a difference.”
Don’t love K-pop but do love to help Australians in need? You can still make a donation to OzHarvest by heading to ozharvest.org