Playing with Fire
The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas is always happy to have volunteers stop by, even when they are internet celebrities who are known for getting drunk and cooking poorly.
If you haven’t heard of Hannah Hart’s unexpectedly popular YouTube series, My Drunk Kitchen, then you’ve never had too much wine to drink on a Thursday and tried to make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich while filming the whole process to send to a friend. For most of us, this would result in a small kitchen fire, but for Hart it meant a booming new career and a fan-sponsored cross country tour.
With over 54 million views on her YouTube Channel in two years, Hart decided it was time to take her show on the road. Hello, Harto! is an IndieGoGo funded national tour that is part video blog, part travel show, part getting drunk in her fan’s kitchens, and part community service.
While Hart has earned her fame off of kitchen misadventures, she is certainly not letting a single crumb of her celebrity status to go to waste.
Realizing how important it was to foster the community that has supported her, Hart let her fans choose her tour stops. She picks a different fan’s kitchen in each city to film a My Drunk Kitchen episode and she invites her followers to join her to volunteer at every stop.
Hart pulled over in Austin (the tour’s 16th stop) on June 12, where she invited her Hartosexuals (her fans) to meet up at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas to lend a helping hand.
Sara Peralta, the Food Bank’s communications manager, explained, “The support of the Food Bank by Hannah and her fans arrives at a critical time…1 in 4 Central Texas children are at risk of hunger. When children are not in school, they cannot access important nutrition programs like free or reduced lunch…The Food Bank needs the support of the community to keep children nourished & healthy, now more than ever.”
Taking the time to help local communities as well as hang out with her IndieGoGo donators has been Hart’s way of thanking her fans for funding this tour.
“I could have made people pay tickets to go to live events, but I thought it would just be better and a more authentic way to spend time by volunteering together. [Our hope for every city that we go to is that the people that we visited are encouraged to continue to volunteer at their local Food Bank together, even though I’m not there anymore],” said Hart.
The Hello, Harto! fundraising campaign was so successful that she will be doing an international tour as well. Hart says she plans on taking that opportunity to continue spreading awareness about hunger on a local and international level. “When you’re given such encouragement and positivity, the only thing that feels good to do with it is pay it forward.”