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YouTubers raise $20 million to plant trees

A group of popular YouTube creators teamed up almost two months ago with a pretty lofty goal: plant 20 million trees by 2020.

Almost two months later, they’ve reached that goal.

The whole idea was started by fans of popular YouTube star Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, who suggested that he celebrate crossing the 20 million subscriber mark by planting 20 million trees.

Donaldson is a self-described “human ATM” has become wildly popular on the video-sharing platform by giving away large amounts of money and performing mundane tasks for long periods of time, like counting to 200,000.

As that milestone was reached, Donaldson launched the #TeamTrees challenge teaming up with other creators from across the platform to help raise money for their effort.

Donaldson, along with former NASA engineer and BYU grad Mark Rober, partnered with The Arbor Day Foundation pledging to plant one tree for every $1 raised.

The announcement video posted on October 25 quickly reached the top trending spot on YouTube. At the time of this writing, it has well over 37 million views.

“The last two months have been crazy,” Rober said during YouTube’s Streamy Awards. “Six months ago when I was first talking to Mr. Beast about how in the world we could accomplish planting 20 million trees, the only thing that was clear from that conversation was that to pull this off it would have to be a massive community effort. Right out of the gate, we were blown away by the response from so many of our fellow creators willing to step up and show some love to freaking Mother Earth. ”

In the first 24 hours after posting, the fundraiser had already raised $4 million dollars, including $100,000 from Donaldson, and other substantial amounts from other YouTubers that had partnered.

Other creators on YouTube quickly jumped in on the trend.

Rober made a video about planting trees with drones.

Tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian created a tree planting cannon.

Quick learner Mike Boyd pledged to give $1 for every time he didn’t hit a hole in one.

After the buy-in from creators from across the platform, the fundraiser picked up a lot of steam with million-dollar donations from the likes of Tesla founder Elon Musk and Shopify founder Tobi Lutke.

According to the Team Trees website, planting will begin in January in high-need forests on every continent except Antarctica, with the goal to have all trees planted by 2022.