⓱life – YouTube’s “Good Guy of the Year”

He rides his skateboard to work, has 5 million YouTube subscribers and is GQ’s ‘New Media Man of The Year’. Filmmaker Casey Neistat is a YouTube phenomenon with big numbers and a bigger heart.

His YouTube channel is a daily video blog that chronicles New York life through his own unique lens. It has a total of ONE BILLION views and typically generates another 1 million or more per post. Last month he broke records with his documentation of a $21,000 seat upgrade on a United Arab Emirates flight from Dubai. It has received over 21 million views in less than two weeks. His current review of the Mavik drone has gone viral to a similar effect.

Casey’s UPS driver Marlan Franklyn is a frequent on-camera personality by virtue of his endless product deliveries to the studio. On Sept 29, 2016 Casey posted a 10 minute video entitled “He Needs a Little Help” that included a cameo by Marlan. In it he detailed his sister Merlex’s plight on the Carribean island of St. Vincent. She is suffering from severe diabetes and failing kidneys but can no longer afford treatment.

At Casey’s urging Marlan started a GoFundMe with a goal of $125,000 to cover her medical bills. In just 5 days since Casey’s mention donations surpassed $151,000 and the effort was suspended. They plan to re-open donations to benefit the island hospital’s dialysis unit.

YouTube began 11 years ago as a venue for the sharing of mindless home videos. It has evolved into a social media juggernaut such that a 90 second video appearance (multiplied by 2.3 million views) can blossom into a life-altering event. Thanks to people like Casey Neistat it’s a place where cat videos and miracles can live in the same feed.