Paul Licari, known online as Pestily, has managed to raise $1.1 million for the Starlight Children’s Foundation in just seven months by livestreaming for roughly 1,400 hours. The Australian streamer, who has 617,000 followers on Twitch, has been broadcasting five to six times a week while asking followers to donate to the charity, which provides clothing, games, and other items to hospitalized children.
The charity was originally founded in 1982 in Los Angeles and has had two major fundraising events on Twitch, including a non-stop 25-hour stream-a-thon from an Amsterdam apartment that raised $270,000. Steven Spielberg serves as the organization’s chairman Emeritus, though its current CEO is Adam Garone.
Pestily has been streaming on Twitch full-time since 2018, beforehand serving as a rifleman in the Australian Army and a firefighter in South Australia. He decided to help the foundation after a friend’s younger sister was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
He says the girl’s family accompanied her through the illness until she eventually passed. Pestily was inspired to help the charity after seeing how the organization had supported his friend’s family. Throughout the undertaking, he’s been humbled by witnessing strangers selflessly offer their assistance to the cause.
The money raised helps enable hospitalized children have access to Starlight Express Rooms — non-medical rooms in children’s hospitals where kids can play games, socialize with other children, make arts and crafts, and watch movies.
Louise Baxter, Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO, said the donation will help Starlight assist more than 25,000 sick children across Australia. She says that working with Pestily and the gaming community to raise more than $1 million has been an incredible experience, noting that the funds will help kids when they need it the most.
Lewis Mitchell, partnerships lead for ANZ at Twitch, says they were proud to be a part of Pestily’s fundraising effort, which shows that communities on Twitch can have as much of an impact as those offline. He added that as the global gaming community comes together, seeing more support for worthwhile causes is a wonderful thing.
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