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 from all over the world rallied for Australia’s bushfire recovery effort and raised $1 million for the Black Lives Matter movement. Their latest campaign, ShareARMeal, is a global cause dedicated to raising money for food relief. OzHarvest was lucky enough to be chosen as the Australian charity by the Australian ARMY group.
The ShareARMeal campaign was created to help combat hunger by fundraising and coordinating food drives around the world for a month in conjunction with the release of the BTS and McDonald’s collaboration – a special meal deal that came in BTS-themed packaging – which ran from May 26 to June 25. The immediate response 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-19 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 for 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 the ARMY fan base.”
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 food rescue organisation – they help people all over Australia, not only by providing vulnerable people with access to food, but also providing food education.”
More than $10,000 has now been raised for OzHarvest, and Vanessa say this is what ARMY loves to do: “BTS has given us so much, so we always want to make sure we give back, whether it’s raising funds or volunteering,” she says. “Joining the ShareARMeal campaign was a great opportunity for Australian ARMY to help make a difference.”
You can still donate to the ShareARMeal OzHarvest campaign by clicking here.