War Child UK is using Facebook’s birthday fundraiser tool in a campaign fronted by its Global Ambassador, singer-songwriter Sam Smith.
Smith fronts the charity’s new ‘Donate Your Birthday’ campaign, in aid of children affected by conflict. Instead of gifts or cards, the star is calling on his fans around the world to help him celebrate his 26th birthday by donating money using Facebook’s birthday fundraiser tool.
In a video to his fans, Smith says:
“This year I’ve decided to dedicate my birthday to my favourite charity, War Child UK, in support of the incredible work they do for children around the world. Please celebrate my birthday with me by donating what you can.” People can wish him a happy birthday and make a donation by visiting his Facebook fundraising page.
Smith has already beaten his initial target of £5,000, and has now raised over £17,000, with the aiming of raising £26,000 by his birthday, which falls on 19 May.
Facebook rolled out its charity fundraising features, including the option to donate your birthday in the UK in November last year. Users can create a fundraiser for charities like War Child UK, set a financial goal, craft a personal message and include a ‘Donate’ button. When the fundraiser clicks ‘create’, the fundraising goes public and friends can receive a notification inviting them to donate to that cause.
Smith’s birthday fundraiser will support some of the world’s most vulnerable children; helping Syrian children to access education, reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic, promoting justice for young people in detention in Afghanistan and much more.
Rob Williams, Chief Executive at War Child UK said:
“We’ve been asking people to donate their birthdays to War Child since 2016, but since Facebook introduced this feature on their platform, we’ve been overwhelmed with people’s generosity.
“Having Sam get involved in this campaign is just the icing on the birthday cake, and we’re incredibly grateful for his support. His passion for our work and dedication to help some of the world’s most vulnerable children is truly inspirational. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to his fans and everyone who has donated so far. The money raised will help support children and their families around the world whose lives have been torn apart by war.”
Smith has visited War Child UK programmes in Iraq and Jordan where he met children who had fled the brutal violence in Mosul as well as Syrian refugees living in the Za’atari camp. His single, Pray, is based on his experience and the children he met.
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