YouTube users have proven they care about more than just binging on cute animal videos and funny parodies.
Project For Awesome, an annual YouTube-wide charity marathon, raised a record amount of funds this year -- almost $785,000 as of press time. The online event, held Dec. 17, galvanized users to upload videos of causes with the aim of increasing awareness and raising funds.
Videos supported causes ranging from children's issues to homelessness. Smarter Every Day, a YouTube educator, shared footage from a home for underprivileged children that his charity Not Forgotten is building. And another participant, MoonShoesPatty, made a colorful animation to introduce the charity Child's Play.
The money will be divided among 10 charities voted on by participating community members. Previous recipients include Save the Children, the Alzheimer's Society and the Uncultured Project.
As with past years, this year's project also included a charity auction with various donated items, such as personalized haikus written by rapper George Watsky and footie pajamas worn by vlogger Kristina Horner.
The philosophy behind the initiative is simple, co-founder Hank Green explained to Mashable.
"How is watching your video going to make their lives better...how will supporting the organization in the video make the world better?"
Project for Awesome was founded in 2007 by Hank Green and his brother, John, who run the YouTube channel Vlogbrothers, which has more than 1.6 million followers.
John Green, everyone.
The duo launched the project with the simple objective of highlighting worthy causes that needed more attention, and they've gained huge amounts of traction. Donations have increased 10-fold in just the last two years.
Check out some of our favorite videos from this year below. One thing's for sure: They didn't forget to be awesome!