Kindness is part of Jimmy “Mr Beast” Donaldson’s DNA, according to Barefoot No More, the business with which he collaborated in his Beast Philanthropy channel to donate 20,000 shoes to South African children.
Mr Beast, who is 24-years-old, has made a career out of creating content for YouTube and is now the platform's biggest creator, with over 131 million subscribers.
Barefoot No More, which was founded in 2011, claims to produce, distribute, and sell a variety of purpose-driven goods.
‘’Our school shoes have proven to be a perfect solution for children, especially those in rural areas. They are manufactured in South Africa out of an innovative material (EVA) through an injection moulding process.
‘’The shoes are a solid mould (have no stitching), are shock absorbent, will stretch to accommodate a growing foot (while remaining perfectly comfortable), do not cause blisters, do not require shoe polish, are waterproof, washable and are fully recyclable,’’ said the organisation.
Each pair of the utilitarian shoes costs R80. Working with Mr Beast, the world’s biggest YouTuber, the organisation sings his praises.
They claim that Mr Beast is determined to utilise his fame and fortune to help change the world in any way he can.
‘’We are extremely grateful to the Beast Philanthropy team for running various projects across South Africa. We fully support their efforts in teaching and encouraging the youth of today to get involved in projects that uplift the lives of people in need and less fortunate.’’
However, when the video came out, Mr Beast faced criticism online and was accused of exploiting South Africa’s poverty for views.
“Beast Philanthropy was created to help achieve this not just by providing funding, but by raising awareness about issues and inspiring others to take action,” they said in response.
“Beast Philanthropy accounts for well under one percent of his views. Considering the time and resources this endeavour takes, it is not being done for any reason other than genuine kindness and concern.”
Barefoot No More encouraged South Africans to get involved and purchase or donate school shoes to children in need.
“School children can challenge their schools to run a campaign to raise funds for school shoes - employees can challenge their employees to do the same,” they said.
“Business can purchase school shoes as part of their CSI initiatives. Every pair of school shoes donated helps change the footprint of disadvantaged children across South Africa.”