JacksGap: Making a Difference One Video at a Time

 Image Credit: JacksGap

Image Credit: JacksGap

YouTube is a place of endless possibilities. You can spend multiple hours getting sucked into one funny cat video after another, or you could be on the opposite end of the camera, filming yourself for the world to see. If you are one of the lucky few, you gain a following of fans, sometimes even reaching the millions. How do some handle this type of newfound fame? For British YouTubers Jack and Finn Harries, they chose to use their fame to help change the world.

It all started in 2011 when Jack Harries began his YouTube channel JacksGap to document his gap year before heading off to university. Jack began with just purely entertaining videos, documenting his boredom or other adventures captured on camera during his gap year. After introducing his twin brother Finn into the videos, the channel’s popularity started rising, resulting in a flux of subscribers, soon growing into the millions.

As the years went by, and JacksGap earned more subscribers, the videos started changing as well. About two years after starting the channel, a video went up documenting a trip made by the twins to South Africa to help with the charity Comic Relief. After this was a trip to Sri Lanka to help with the Rainbow Centre, which provides children living in poverty in Sri Lanka with education and a supportive community.

These types of videos started to showcase the direction the channel was heading one that can entertain such a large following, but also educate them and make a difference. Jack and Finn Harries even made a video in 2013 called, “Using Social Media for Change” where they talk about how powerful social media is, and try to get viewers to use social media for good and not abuse it.

In late 2013, Jack and Finn Harries set off to do the “Rickshaw Run” which is a race driving the width of India for 3 weeks in rickshaws. Doing this race allowed the twins to raise money and awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust Fund while being able to travel and experience new things. JacksGap describes itself as, “a storytelling project inspired by travel,” which is a good summary of what the channel embodies.

While not losing the sense of humor and adventure that began JacksGap almost 4 years ago, the channel has grown into a platform for awareness and social change catering to over 4 million subscribers. The channel not only gives awareness to different organizations that help make a difference throughout the world, it documents what the traveling the twins do. It shows that, at only 22 years old, you can achieve your dreams. It all started with a kid who didn’t  know what to do with his gap year and has transformed into that same kid traveling and making a difference in the world, one video at a time.

Katherine W.