You've probably heard of it.
The popular site for music videos, clips of adorable cats and immortalized shots of political blunders is hardly known for its charitable tendencies.
Or is it?
In 2007, video bloggers -- "vloggers" -- John and Hank Green had an idea: to turn YouTube from a place where you could watch videos of dogs on skateboards to one where people could affect real social change. Or, in their words, "decrease world suck."
And thus, Project for Awesome was born.
With the help of their many subscribers -- affectionately called the "Nerdfighters" -- the Green brothers planned on taking over YouTube. They asked people to make and upload videos supporting and asking for donations for their favorite charities. All of the videos would be uploaded at the same time with the same tag and thumbnail and YouTube would be, as Hank Green described it, "taken over in a flurry of awesomeness."
It was an astounding success, last year raising more than $100,000 for various organizations. This year, it gets even bigger. Project for Awesome will be an entire weekend -- this weekend, in fact (Saturday and Sunday).
And some local teens are getting in on the action.
Kayla Ryan, a senior at Maryvale High School, is making a video with a club at her school, the Global Activist Group (GAG).
"I decided to make a Project for Awesome video to raise money for Doctors Without Borders, and I figured that the Nerdfighters could help me do that," Kayla said.
GAG hopes to raise more than $1,000 for the charity by the end of the school year.
Monica Wrobel, a junior at Immaculata Academy, isn't planning on making a video, but definitely wants to do her part to support the event.
"I plan on watching some of the videos and trying to find out how to support different organizations," Monica said. "You don't just have to help with monetary contributions. You can also donate your time. With this being so close to Christmas, it reminds us of people who don't have as much as we do and how we can help them.
"The Internet is such a large community; messages can really reach a wider audience, especially for teens. Teens use the Internet and go on YouTube every day. Things like Project for Awesome give them a way to communicate things about organizations that they otherwise may not have been able to," she said.
"I think Internet-based programs such as Project for Awesome are great," said Kayla. "Not only do they bring in a ton of donations to many different organizations, but they also open people's eyes and raise awareness."
Project for Awesome also has the benefit of having the whole Nerdfighter community behind it. Much of its success is due to the dedication and creativity of those involved, both behind the camera and in front of the computer screen.
Want to help? Be sure to clear your schedule this weekend so you can spend hours browsing through videos, and like, favorite or comment on the ones that you like the best. With everyone's help, Project for Awesome can be even more, well, awesome.
To see Kayla's video, check out youtube.com/user/BuffaloPrincess. If you want to help GAG help Doctors Without Borders, go to firstgiving.com/fundraiser/GAG/gag.
Jenna Kersten is a junior at Mount Mercy Academy.