If you’ve used the internet in the past five years, there’s no doubt you’ve come across the infamous blinking white guy meme at least once (but probably way more than that). It’s one of the most popular gifs ever, expressing confusion, righteous indignation, and shock all in one. Now Drew Scanlon, the man behind the meme, is using his internet fame for good by raising a ton of money for multiple sclerosis research.
Scanlon, who has roughly 73,000 Twitter followers, took to the social networking site on September 19th asking those who’d seen and enjoyed the gif to consider donating whatever they could to an MS research charity.
“Hi Internet! I’m Drew and THIS IS MY FACE,” he posted. “If this GIF has ever brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to consider making a donation to the National MS Society. It would mean a lot to me and to those I know affected by the disease!”
Hi Internet! I’m Drew and THIS IS MY FACE.
If this GIF has ever brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to consider making a donation to the National MS Society. It would mean a lot to me and to those I know affected by the disease!
— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) September 19, 2019
Scanlon included a link to his Bike MS fundraising page, where he was collecting donations leading up to his 120-mile ride from San Francisco to California’s wine country that took place from September 21-23. Within two days of his original post, the donations had already crossed the $20,000 mark, leaving Scanlon overwhelmed with the response.
“Folks, we have raised over TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS so far!! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has contributed, this is truly astounding!” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Scanlon, who has two friends who are battling MS, admitted that it “feels a little uncool” to use the meme he became famous for to get people’s attention but felt that it was worth it in order to raise money for such an important cause.
Folks, we have raised over TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS so far!! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has contributed, this is truly astounding!
Pictured: live footage of my astonishment.
— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) September 21, 2019
“It feels like the band wearing the band’s T-shirt a little bit,” he told NPR. “But I figured if I could somehow find a way to leverage the popularity of the meme for a good cause, that’s something that I should try to do.”
By the time the event took place, he’d raised a whopping $28,343.99 of his $30,000 goal. Scanlon has noted that while the bike ride is over, donations will be accepted until November.
You’re amazing, Internet. Your response has attracted news outlets around the world, giving us incredible reach!
Without you, we wouldn’t have just hit TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!
— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) September 23, 2019