Hundreds of the internet’s biggest stars and more than half-a-million supporters have officially raised $20 million dollars to plant 20 million trees. Known collectively as #TeamTrees (teamtrees.org), the campaign reached its audacious goal in just under two months and crossed the line before its self-imposed deadline of Jan. 1, 2020.
For every $1 raised, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one new tree in a forest of high need. The $20 million #TeamTrees has raised to date means that 20,000,000 new trees will go into the ground. Planting begins in January 2020 and will be completed by December 2022.
“We are proud to have partnered with #TeamTrees and are humbled at the outpouring of support,” says Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We recognize the trust that’s been placed in us. Now it is time to begin carefully planting these 20 million trees all over the world.”
Visitors to teamtrees.org can continue to donate to plant trees into the new year and can also see a running total of donations. More than 200 countries and territories are currently represented.
Organized by YouTubers Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson (27 million subscribers), ex-NASA engineer Mark Rober (10 million subscribers) and a growing network of other creators, #TeamTrees announced itself by flooding the site with videos about trees – all filtered through the creative lens of participating channels.
From its YouTube origins, the campaign spread quickly across the internet and captured the imagination of millions. #TeamTrees content has received over half-a-billion views on TikTok alone. Redditors made memes to spread the word, gamers held benefit live-streams on Twitch, students organized fundraiser bake sales and kids asked for trees for Christmas. Elon Musk gave a million dollars in response to a tweet and then changed his twitter name to Treelon.
“We know 20 million trees won’t cure climate change, but this is a clear message that we care about our planet and about each other,” says Matt Fitzgerald, campaign director for #TeamTrees. “Solutions are all around us and it’s time to get to work. #TeamTrees is here for it. This is just the beginning.”