We called it #HopeFromHome for a reason.

And this one-of-a-kind virtual fundraiser lived up to its name, raising more than $1.7 million in its first day to fight COVID-19 and support frontline workers everywhere on World Health Day.

More than 2,000 individuals in 34 countries — gamers, comedians, musicians, actors, athletes, and authors alike — took to their social media channels to mobilize resources for the international pandemic response. The global gathering rallied online communities across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tiltify, and Twitch and reached tens of millions of people across the planet.

Broadcasts ranged from the wacky and weird — like English author Neil Gaiman introducing the world to his six identical chickens — to the downright useful, like actor Russell Brand and his wife giving a tutorial on how to make “Squishy Soap” as a quarantine activity for children. Director Aisha Tyler hosted a “Liquid Courage Happy Hour.” Jewel performed a new song. Artist and YouTube star Jaiden Animations hosted a four-hour livestream called “Punch coronavirus with me” that raised $260,000.

What all of these efforts showed is that we’re in the fight against COVID-19 together. Donations to #HopeFromHome will benefit the World Health Organization (WHO) through our COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, as well our partners United Way and Red Nose Day.

Below are some of our favorite moments:

1. Irish YouTuber Seán William McLoughlin — better known as Jacksepticeye — led efforts and kicked off yesterday’s launch by raising more than $660,000 from his online community of 23 million subscribers. He personally donated $100,000 to the cause.

2. From his own living room, college senior and U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations Jay’len Boone interviewed UNF’s President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens about the significance of World Health Day as an annual moment to spotlight the courage and sacrifice of health workers across the globe and commemorate the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). Talking about the WHO’s vital role in leading the global fight against the ongoing pandemic, Elizabeth explained that the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund exists, because “We need them to succeed.”

3. In a bold move to solicit donations, American vlogger Ethan Mark Nestor — who goes by Crank Gameplays — pledged to shave his head if he met his fundraising goal of $75,000.

So did he succeed? His latest selfie speaks for itself. (In fact, Ethan has raised more than double his initial goal so far!)

4. Welsh actor Michael Sheen treated viewers to a socially distant stroll with his baby daughter, at one point using his teeth to adjust her sunhat as they walked through the British countryside.“Thank you to all of the medical workers who are doing such an amazing job at the moment,” Sheen said, before giving a shout-out to his neighbors, a farmer and a flock of sheep in a nearby pasture. “If you can’t get out today to walk around — if you’re not as lucky as we are — then I hope you enjoy this little video at least. Stay safe.”

5. As millions of families stay home to help stop the spread, home-cooking is on the rise and British food writer Nigella Lawson is here to help. As part of yesterday’s #HopeFromHome launch, Nigella shared her recipe for baking what she rightly calls “emergency brownies” using basic pantry staples:


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6. Emerging hip-hop artist Oba Bonner — who goes by O/B/A — shared a new and very catchy track on his Instagram account about the coronavirus that begins: “Hello hello corona, no it ain’t flu or pneumonia.”


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7. With his distinctive baritone voice, American-Congolese basketball star Dikembe Mutombo shared an important message with his fans yesterday as an official ambassador for NBA Cares: “To all of the doctors, nurses, EMTs, hospital administrators, staff and everyone who is putting themselves out there every day to help us beat this global pandemic: Thank you.”


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8. Actor and sartorial icon Jeff Goldblum dressed up in a suit, tie, and hat for his #HopeFromHome broadcast, sharing a new ditty on the piano that he’s aptly titled, “Alone Together.”


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9. Our very own Kate Dodson, UNF’s Vice President of Global Health, talked with Rainn Wilson, star of NBC’s “The Office,” during a live interview on the @SoulPancake Instagram channel. Kate noted that more than 230,000 people have already donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund: “Almost all of them are everyday individuals who just felt motivated by this concept that we have to both help at home and communities around the world — especially those less fortunate.”


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 In New York City, nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff are working around the clock to care for critically ill patients battling COVID-19 as the city that never sleeps has now become the U.S. epicenter for the ongoing pandemic.

To honor these heroes and draw much-needed attention to the shortage of equipment to protect these health workers, the American stock exchange Nasdaq highlighted the #HopeFromHome event on its billboard in Times Square.


These are just a handful of the creative and generous ways that people across the globe are showing their support for frontline health workers battling the ongoing pandemic. Thank you!

donate today

Every donation makes a difference. Support WHO’s life-saving efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by giving to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Donations made via Facebook will be matched up to $10,000,000. Through April 30, 2020, for every $1 you donate here, Google.org will donate $2, up to $5,000,000.