Aussie streamer uses video game passion to raise more than $1M for charity
22 August 2020 at 8:00 am
The money raised will help thousands of sick kids in hospital nation-wide
An Australian man has raised $1.1 million for the Starlight Children’s Foundation in just seven months after live streaming himself playing video games for around 1,400 hours.
Paul Licari – also known as “Pestily” – has been showcasing his video game skills to his 617,000 followers on popular streaming platform Twitch five to six times a week in 2020, directing viewers to donate at every point.
Two major events on Twitch have helped drive mass donations and awareness of the foundation’s work, including a non-stop 25-hour stream-a-thon from an Amsterdam apartment that raised $270,000.
Licari has been streaming video games on Twitch full-time since 2018, after spending time as a rifleman in the Australian Army and as a firefighter in South Australia.
He said he was inspired to help the charity because Starlight helped his close mate’s family when his little sister was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“They were there every step of the way through the difficult journey and her eventual passing, so I wanted to do what I could to raise funds for their all-important work,” Licari said.
“I never imagined starting a streaming career would have allowed me to build such an amazing community that would also help so many lives of sick and unwell children.
“I’m humbled by the generosity of everyone and look forward to finding new ways to use my platform and mobilise my supporters to help people in the future.”
The money raised will help give sick Aussie kids access to Starlight Express Rooms – medical-free havens in children’s hospitals nationwide where kids can have fun by playing games, creating art, making friends and watching movies.
Louise Baxter, Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO, said the donation will help Starlight change pain, fear and stress into fun, laughter and joy for more than 25,000 sick kids across the country.
“Working with Pestily… and [the] broader gaming community [to] raise $1 million for Starlight has been a truly amazing experience,” Baxter said.
“With the money they’ve raised, sick kids in hospital will have access to Starlight’s in-hospital programs such as the Starlight Express Rooms at a time when they need it the most.”
Lewis Mitchell, partnerships lead for ANZ at Twitch, added that they were also proud to be a part of Pestily’s fundraising journey, which highlights “how the communities formed on Twitch can be just as impactful as those we have offline”.
“We love seeing our global community come together each day to create unique, live, unpredictable experiences, and it’s so special when they rally support behind a worthwhile cause close to their hearts,” Mitchell said.