When we remember 2018, we will remember it as the Year of the Youth. Or for me, I’ll remember it as the Year of You, the DoSomething member. Better yet, the Year of Us.
We showed up by the thousands to the March For Our Lives and The National School Walkout (which was created by a DoSomething member. We love you, Lane!). We teamed up with Parkland students, Black Lives Matter organizers, and activists around the country, who played a crucial role in passing 50 new gun laws and bringing gun violence prevention to the forefront of the national consciousness like never before.
Our work impacted the most pressing issues to our communities, our country, and our world. We called our lawmakers to demand justice for immigrants and protections for our planet. We created the largest crowdsourced anti-bullying guide ever. We literally saved lives at the intersection of health and racial justice by adding thousands of diverse donors to the national bone marrow registry. We turned out to vote at rates that haven’t been seen in 25 years.
And all this is just the beginning.
When I think about the DoSomething community, I’m amazed. I’m inspired. But more than anything, I’m hopeful. Hopeful because as 2018 ends, the future begins. And that future begins with us.
Let's Do This,
CEO & Chief Old Person,
OUR STAFF, OUR PARTNERS AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, OUR MEMBERS: TOGETHER WE POWERED ONE OF THE MOST HISTORIC YEARS OF YOUTH ACTIVISM IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY.
THE YOUTH WAVE IS HERE
HISTORIC YOUTH VOTER TURNOUT
DoSomething registers 115,000+ voters and powers historic youth voter turnout.
When experts call this year’s youth voter turnout “extraordinary” and “historic,” they’re not exaggerating. The 2018 elections had the highest youth voter turnout for a midterm in the last 25 years, with a dramatic 47% increase compared to last midterm.
Young people showed up. We showed up for ourselves, our friends, our families, and our communities. In a year where our generation has been more fired up than ever to advocate for change in our lives, we crushed turnout records to make a government that better represents our diverse interests.
Regardless of our party affiliation, we saw problems that needed fixing and collectively worked to ensure our voices were heard. We demonstrated that when our generation bands together we can truly change the country and change the world. That’s no exaggeration either.
Civic Action Lead,
TO EVERYONE WHO SAID WE WOULDN'T VOTE:
THANK U, NEXT.
Members knocked on doors, tabled at their schools, and ran personalized drives online to register thousands of friends to vote. This is what democracy looks like!
Members knocked on doors, tabled at their schools, and ran personalized drives online to register thousands of friends to vote. This is what democracy looks like!
“As a 17-year-old who is unable to vote, I want to do everything I can to make sure I can still get the people around me to exercise their political voices. I hope to pursue a career in politics, and the experiences I have had helping out with several voting-related efforts and drives will be unforgettable.”
Tuesday, October 9 was the first-ever National Absentee Ballot Day! Yep, we created nationwide holiday to celebrate and empower millions of young voters making their voices heard from afar. Our reddit AMA was the site’s most popular of the week, we were featured in theSkimm, 75% of the absentee ballots requested that day were from voters under age 30.
On November 6, DoSomething helped thousands of voters find their v-spot (the “v” stands for voting). By making a plan, finding our polling location, and helping friends do the same, DoSomething members helped drive a historic surge in youth voter turnout.
“This campaign is important to me because I think as a first time voter, I’ve realized how amazing it is that I’m able to vote. And I think it’s everyone’s duty to show their involvement in our government by voting, especially since many people have fought for that right. It took so many years for women and 18-year-olds to gain their voting rights, and it would be an injustice not to take advantage of our rights.”
IN THE NATIONAL
16-year-old DoSomething member Lane Murdock co-founded the National School Walkout, which mobilized students across the country to demand gun violence legislation.
Nupol Kiazolu, 18, is a DoSomething member and Black Lives Matter activist who was named to Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21 Class of 2018.”
Katie Stagliano, a 19-year-old DoSomething member, won a $50,000 Feeding Better Futures Scholarship from General Mills for her not-for-profit, Katie's Krops, which has distributed 40,000+ pounds of fresh produce to communities in need.
DoSomething member, Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier, 24, was named a Clorox Young Changemaker for her Close the Loop project which aims to create a more sustainable community and allow equal access to resources by collecting, cleaning, and organizing clothing donations for those in need, ensuring no material goes to waste.
ALLISON QUINTANILLA PLATTSMIER
GRAB THE MIC
Grab the Mic is our groundbreaking year-long campaign to create the most civically active generation ever. Each month we chose a new pressing issue and gave young people a way to amplify their voices online, in their communities, and at all levels of government. Here are a few of the highlights!
Share our guide of inclusive Netflix shows/movies, and recreate your favorite movie posters with more diverse casts.
Immigration. Make a “My family came from ______” sign and a caption about you support immigrants to unlock a Kiva promo code, sponsored by Pearson, for a $25 loan to an immigrant entrepreneur based in the US.
Share a gun laws quiz with friends, call local reps to push for policy change in your community, and show up to an IRL event to demand change.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Share our mythbusting guide about Islam and create Happy Ramadan cards for mosques targeted by hate crimes.
Share our guide to help friends be better allies and show support at Pride event in your community.
Share our guide for spotting the signs of dating abuse, and plaster your campus with intervention tactics.
Climate change. Make a sign declaring why you’re a #ClimateVoter and and join other young people in a climate justice march.
OUR SPONSORED CAMPAIGNS
Members shared 39,441 anti-bullying tactics, which were compiled into the largest peer-to-peer anti-bullying guide EVER.
“This campaign is important to me because I, along with my four other siblings, have been bullied before. Being made fun of made me question myself daily: Am I really ugly? Are my ears too big for my face? Am I too chunky? But standing up to my bullies made me embrace who I am, and I hope that one day other young people would do the same. Until then I choose to be their voice and empowerment.” - Aubryanna, 19
GIVE A SPIT
Over 10,000 DoSomething members spread the word about racial disparities on the national bone marrow registry. In a two-month span, 1,512 young people swabbed their cheek to join the registry in the hopes of providing a lifesaving donation to someone in need.
“Signing people up to be on the registry is something that I only just learned about recently. But after educating myself, it became much more important to me. I asked myself what would it be like if someone I loved was in this situation. It made me connect with a bit of the pain the family members of these patients are feeling along with the patient. I signed myself up and am hoping that I will be able to donate one day to help save a life!” - Stephanie, 20
Members made bathroom recycling bins and recycled 20,321 empty beauty and personal care products.
“As a young lady with long (and I mean reallyyy long) locks, I use a lot of hair care products...so what is a better way to dispose of those products? Recycling, of course! I find this campaign as a creative way to motivate myself and other girls (and lads) on my campus to recycle their personal care products. As a student leader, it is always great to set an example and encourage others to join the movement. Together, we can become a sustainable nation. P.S. I also think it important to reuse other items, such as this old flower pot!” - Chelsea
Thousands of members made signs to inspire friends to pursue their passions.
"[My friend] Marissa’s passion for coding is rad and disruptive. Her skill set has the potential to revolutionize our world!" - Shannon, 24
FEEDING BETTER FUTURES
Members used our guide to spot and suggest solutions to 3,656 food-related problems in communities across the US.
As a third-grader, Katie Stagliano grew a 40-pound(!!!) cabbage to benefit a local soup kitchen.
“I thought, ‘If one cabbage can feed 275 people, then imagine how many an entire garden could feed,’” the 19-year-old DoSomething member says.
So she started Katie’s Krops, a not-for-profit that grows and distributes fresh produce to those in need. No surprise here: Katie’s idea grew and grew and grew. Beyond maintaining her own garden, Katie provides grants to young people growing gardens in 31 communities across the country, which, in 2018, have yielded 40,000+ pounds of produce to feed those facing food insecurity.
This year, Katie participated in DoSomething’s Feeding Better Futures campaign and earned $50,000 as the winner of Feeding Better Futures Scholarship from General Mills. It’s a huge accomplishment, sure, but no surprise: Katie’s goals keep growing bigger.
“We are bringing communities together and kids together to end hunger one vegetable garden at a time,” she says.
Members took to twitter to tell their colleges to ban tobacco. Because
secondhand smoke harms *everyone* on campus...including our beloved mascots.
“Through my nursing classes I have learned that secondhand smoke is detrimental to the body and can cause harm to not only the smoker, but also the students around them and the environment we live in.” - Tanisha, 20
7,694 members took a quiz and shared customized tips to keep their best friends safe as drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Members made 3,696 cards to start conversations with their parents about staying HPV- and cancer-free.
“No one should feel too shy to protect themselves. The Talk campaign not only normalizes heavy topics such as the transmission of STIs but celebrates communication among families. A sex-positive campaign like this teaches my generation to be comfortable asking for what we need; I believe that the society that is open to discussing what we need too, is the society that progresses.” - Allison, 17
(Bonus! DoSomething member Rachel, 18, made this incredible video.)
Over 26,502 members took a quiz to learn and educate friends about what’s *really* in e-cigs like JUUL.
This could be the beginning of the end for e-cigs like JUUL, and it’s thanks to you. Where is all this backlash coming from? How did the anti-vaping movement gain so much momentum? From the public. From people who know the truth about e-cigs and won’t let them get away with it. From people like YOU.
DoSomething members know that car accidents are one of the number one killers of teens, so they shared keys, notes, and keywords with friends, who texted in to receive tips on preventing impaired driving.
“I worked in bar all throughout high school to help save for college, and I got so tired of watching people stumble out to their cars. Some people would let me call them a cab or a friend, others wouldn’t. THANK YOU for providing this opportunity to spread awareness, make a difference, and hopefully save some lives.” - Jacquelyn, 23
Members posted tire flyers to help friends stay safe by reminding them to keep their tires properly inflated.
“Tire safety isn't a joke, especially because new tires aren't cheap. I never realized until earlier this year how expensive new tires are ($400 just for one). Also, my friend got into an accident earlier this year because his back tires blew out while on the road. Don't tire out your tires!” - Ahmed, 19
HOPE & ACTION IN OUR DARKEST HOURS
DID SOMETHING, EARNED MONEY
We know paying for school is a priority for many, so DoSomething allocated $162,000 in scholarships in 2018. It's simple: do good for the chance to earn money for school. Here are a few of our big winners!
Campaign: We Are Able
“This campaign spoke to me as I have a passion for working with special needs students. Next year I will be pursuing a degree in Gaming and Interactive Media. I hope to develop games that will help students with Autism to develop the skills to succeed in life. Thanks so much for providing awareness in such a positive way.”
Campaign: Grab the Mic (May)
“This campaign is important to me because I believe that everyone should be treated with respect and keep an open-mind to diversity. To contribute to the celebration of Ramadan promotes the awareness of this holiday and Muslim religion, which is widely celebrated but not explained enough in the US, helps decrease the stigma of different beliefs.”
Campaign: Shower Songs
“I love the fact that we can partake in even the smallest of actions and it really does make a great difference on a global scale. The water crisis is one of the more substantial and pressing issues felt by the entire population whether directly or indirectly. Americans are using more than a trillion gallons of water each year for just showering. That’s insane! Reducing our showers to just 5 minutes doesn’t only help our water bills, but helps to conserve one of the fundamental basis of life.”
Campaign: Red, White, and Booth
“As minorities, voting means so much to our club. It should mean a lot to all the youth around the world because we are the future tomorrow. This democratic country has given us the chance to make our voices be heard so it is imperative that we use it.”
Campaign: HALO Scholarship
from participating in seven campaigns (incl. Steps for Soldiers and Uncover the Truth)
"I live in New York City. You'll find smoking everywhere, exposed to everyone of all ages. Due to a lack of education in poorer areas, tobacco tends to hit the impoverished communities especially hard. It's one thing to say these things and know the statistics, but another thing to go to school everyday from the Bronx to Manhattan, and personally witness kids being exposed to smoking. This movement is promoting great things."
Campaign: Grab the Mic (January)
"2018 is a new year for all of us. I felt that it was important for everyone, especially our generation, to know that we are capable of creating change. It takes us, as a whole, to create the change that we would like in our lives."
Your turn to win. Learn how to apply for an easy scholarship through DoSomething!
CELEBS + INFLUENCERS
Campaign: Escape the Vape
Joel Courtney is the star of The Kissing Booth, the most-watched movie on Netflix in 2018! In this video, he got his mind blown on everything from goats (who have accents!!!) to JUUL (which contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes!!!!).
"Lots of people think e-cigs just contain water vapor, and they'd probably find it mind-blowing to know that's not true. Filming this video is an awesome way to tell people my age the truth about e-cigs. Plus, I got to smash stuff with a sledgehammer."
AYO & TEO
Campaign: Give a Spit About Cancer
The rap, dance, and viral internet sensations created the #SwabChallenge to inspire young people to swab their cheeks and join the Be The Match bone marrow registry.
"We love engaging with our fans on social media, and we've seen how much they love competing in our dance challenges. We're excited to join forces with DoSomething.org and Johnson & Johnson for the #SwabChallenge, to get more young people aware of their power to defeat cancer."
Campaign: Friends On Lock
The star of On My Block -- Neflix’s most popular show of the year! -- shared his keys to friendship, which includes keeping friends safe on the road.
"I'd do anything for my friends, from helping them study to helping them get dressed for a date. So of course I want to do whatever I can to keep them safe on the road. Being a part of Friends On Lock is amazing. In the video, I got to open up about myself and my relationships, while making a difference on a really important cause. Talk about a win-win."
Campaign: Rinse, Recycle, Repeat
Mandy gave This Is Us fans and DoSomething members tips on protecting the planet by recycling empty beauty and personal care products.
"I'm very proud to be a part of the Rinse, Recycle, Repeat campaign with DoSomething.org. I didn't grow up with the same knowledge that kids today have in terms of their global footprint, and that's why I think it's great that Garnier is encouraging younger generations to become more aware of how to implement proper recycling habits at a young age to help take care of our planet and our future."
Campaign: You've Got The Power
By sharing his powerful story about the coach who helped him overcome bullying, the NBA hooper inspired young people to support other students through difficult situations.
"My college assistant coach, Coach Blakeney, helped me overcome negativity, use the ignorance as motivation, and embrace what makes me unique. That's why I'm so proud and excited to be a part of You've Got the Power. Through this campaign, a generation of students can become that support system for their peers."
Campaign: Brake It Down
David, who plays young Bruce Wayne on Gotham, showed off some pretty iffy habits behind the wheel to help young drivers, passengers, and pedestrians do it right.
"Brake It Down is an awesome campaign, and filming the PSA was so much fun. This is such a cool, easy way to keep friends safe on the road. I'm so excited for the campaign to launch, and I'm definitely sharing the quiz with my friends.”
Campaign: Feeding Better Futures
In her “Anti Food-Waste Kitchen,” the face of The Carrie Diaries shows young people how to save food, starting with some creative uses for bananas.
"Almost 13 million young people don't have access to the food they need. I'm excited to be partnering with DoSomething.org to build awareness around this topic and encourage other young people to take action. It's my hope that through Feeding Better Futures my generation can create real solutions that can turn this issue around!"
REAL QUESTIONS, REAL ADVICE
Hey everyone, I’m Freddie!
I’m the Director of Mobile Messaging here at DoSomething.org, and I text over 3 million young people every week. Texting that many people, I get back hundreds, sometimes thousands, of replies and questions! I try my best to reply to everyone personally. I get a little help from our chatbot and auto replies, but I’m able to read every message you send me.
Because my texts with DoSomething members are one-to-one and private,
you’re opening up and asking me the questions many of us are too afraid to
ask out loud, in public, or face to face.
So I decided to take your anonymous questions and answer
them the best I can. Sometimes I give advice from my own
experience, and sometimes I tap into the real experts to get
you the answers you need. Here are some of my favorite
Ask Freddie columns so far. Enjoy!
Director of Mobile Messaging,
THE FACES BEHIND THE ORG
We added 18 new hires this year, including one for every single department! They are all passionate, brilliant and, coincidentally, beautiful.
Our annual staff retreat was a chance to bond as a team, strategize around huge upcoming initiatives, and enjoy the fresh, non-NYC air of Interlaken, Connecticut.
After every two years of full-time employment, staff members can take a four-week volunteer sabbatical anywhere they want! We had three staff members take sabbatical in 2018!
Agrupacion Xango (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
African Leadership Academy (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Atlanta BeltLine (Atlanta, Georgia)
FROM THE STREETS TO THE BALLROOM
Before the March For Our Lives, DoSomething hosted a voter registration canvassing training and sign-making party for activists, young people, and others in the New York City area. The next day, we took the streets of New York with thousands of others to demand change and register first-time voters.
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
These free daylong trainings in LA and NYC (thanks, PayPal!) provided young people with the knowledge and tools needed to get their communities registered and out to the polls on Election Day!
GET OUT THE VOTE BOOTCAMPS
Leading up to the State of the Union we partnered with OZY and The Smithsonian to host and livestream events for young people to engage in conversations on the issues most impacting our country.
STATE OF THE YOUTH
This year we hosted a Vote With Pride booth so guests could get registered to vote (in between dance breaks, of course).
We celebrated our 25 years of impact the best way we know how...by throwing a huge party! This star-studded event honored incredible student activists and other game changing leaders shattering expectations and challenging the status quo in the tireless pursuit of a better world. Also there was karaoke.
IMPACT YOU CAN COUNT ON
BY THE NUMBERS
members (representing every US area code and 131 countries!)
“Report-backs” (that’s what we call our members’ verified social change actions)
Allocated for college scholarships (want the chance to earn a scholarship? Let’s Do This!)
Voter registrations (which powered the highest midterm youth voter turnout in 25 years!)
Instagram followers (follow us!)
Cups of coffee consumed by staff (our tech team is BUZZING)
Insomnia cookies delivered to the office (the warmest, gooiest cookies in all of NYC...oh! and they deliver ‘til 3:00 am...not that we’re ever working that late, but still)
Full-time staffers (scroll down for their thank-you note to YOU!)
Interns (they are paid and they are awesome -- apply to join them!)
Summer intern capstone projects (independent projects interns run and present to the entire staff)
Star Rating on Charity Navigator (we’ve done that 11 years in a row, something 99% of charities don’t)
Five-year anniversary celebrations (we send our OG staffers on a little getaway to celebrate)
New DoSomething babies (with two more on the way in 2019!)
Office puppets (Olive and Puppet Sloth...they’re bffs!)
Fail Fest (where staffers wear a pink boa and proudly present on a grand failure and what we can learn from it)
WE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING WITHOUT YOU
STAFF THANK YOU