During Cure Rare DIsease’s Rare Rave event, two Canadian DJs Jessu and Pyka raised over $26,000 for the cause through their Twitch stream.
Last month Cure Rare Disease hosted Rare Rave 2022, a music fiesta pinned to the frontpage of Twitch. Rare Rave was a 72-hour fundraising event which saw Cure Rare Disease raise $75,548 for children and adults living with rare genetic diseases, with Canadian DJs Jessu and Pyka a big part of the event’s success.
Cure Rare Disease is a non-profit biotechnology organization that develops advanced genetic therapeutics for patients suffering from ultra-rare diseases who need them urgently.
$26,037 of the money raised from Rare Rave 2022 came from Jessu and Pyka’s stream on Twitch. Jessu and Pyka are two music loving Canadians who met by chance on their way to a music festival.
The pair swiftly became real-life friends and after Jessu’s live DJ sets on her Twitch channel began to take off, she invited Pyka to join the action.
Jessu and Pyka – who are represented by global sports and entertainment management agency Turopium – have also been unofficial ambassadors for the Cure Rare Disease cause, taking part in all three of their fundraising events so far. We caught up with the pair to learn more about what motivated them to get involved with Cure Rare Disease and what advice they would give to aspiring charity streamers.
You’ve been involved in all three of the Cure Rare Disease events. What attracts you about this charity in particular to make you want to do a charity stream for them?
Jessu: For a long time now, I’ve followed “SBSK”, an organization that gives a platform to people with rare diseases and always felt so inspired from hearing their stories.
When the opportunity to raise money for CRD was brought to me, I was thrilled with the idea of being able to use the power of music to support these less fortunate people I’ve heard so much about.
Pyka: I also think the fact that CRD is designed to help find treatments to those who are often overlooked makes it really special.
You both managed to raise $26,037, the most of any of the streamers involved in the Rare Rave. I took this screenshot from your stream and you still both seemed legitimately shocked when the big donations came in. How is the feeling different to when you receive a donation or sub to yourselves individually?
Pyka: Honestly, it feels much more significant getting donations during a charity stream. Knowing that it’s going to a great cause and feeling that generous energy from our audience is incredible.
Jessu: A lot of feelings rush over you, you get a sort of high from it. When you witness your community coming together like this, it’s a combination of feeling humbled, amazed, and being part of something bigger.
Is doing a charity stream much different to a typical stream? For anyone looking to run their own Cure Rare Disease stream, what advice can you give to them?
Pyka: We make an effort to make our charity streams especially exciting. Implementing donation goals as rewards for certain milestones is important.
Our charity streams are usually marathons going for 7 hours or so, so we have to keep it interesting in order to keep the momentum high.
Jessu: Our charity streams are like our typical streams, just on steroids. We go all out in every possible way we can to make it a great time for everyone.
As DJ’s, we’re pretty limited to what we can do other than mixing music so we’ve had to get creative in the past to implement different ways we can entertain, we always have fun doing it though.
Recently I watched an episode of Dragon’s Den in the UK (it’s a bit like the US show Shark Tank), and two entrepreneurs got an investment for an app called Toucan that makes giving “proactive, flexible and fun” that gives users the power to create a flexible giving portfolio with one donation split across multiple charities. The entrepreneurs were saying it was a modern solution to engage the modern generation. How do you two feel the modern generation feels about giving to charity, and how can companies like Cure Rare Disease get more people involved?
Pyka: I think finding unique online avenues to endorse your charity is key to appealing to the current generation. Teaming up with influencers who already have large audiences of people who support them is a good way to ensure more involvement. CRD is doing a fantastic job at this.
Twitch is a great platform for charity because it allows streamers to use StreamLabs charities, which is the only free charity fundraising platform. It basically guarantees that all donations go straight into the pocket of the charity and isn’t passed through the streamer first.
Jessu: We live in such a fast paced world nowadays where it becomes easy to overlook things like this. I’ve found using Twitch as a tool to bring awareness to important issues, such as CRD, has worked immensely well since you have that sense of community that gets lots of people involved and makes giving back a lot of fun.
When considering running a charity stream for Cure Rare Disease, some streamers might feel their stream is too small and the amount they raised would be so negligible it’s not even worth doing. However, every little bit helps. What would you say to those streamers?
Jessu: If you’re running a charity stream then you’ve already made an impact before you even raised a dollar. Bringing awareness to a good cause is just as important as raising money for said cause.
Pyka: Just remember that it’s not only about the money, it’s also to simply raise awareness about a charity that means a lot to you by getting their name out there. Throwing a charity stream is guaranteed to do this, regardless of the size of your stream!
Finally what have been your favorite memories streaming for Cure Rare Disease?
Pyka: It has been touching reading messages from people who have been impacted by rare disease, whether it be themselves or loved ones, and hearing how much it means to them to see that we are advocating for this cause. It really puts it into perspective for us.
Jessu: The chat during these streams really makes it for us. They make us laugh and cry with their crazy antics and moving stories about their loved ones dealing with a rare disease and how happy they are to see us making a difference in people’s lives.
If you want to find Pyka and Jessu you can find them on Twitch.