Chicano Writer Mobilized An Army To Help Out-Of-Work Families Pay Bills, Over $65K And Still Going Strong
UPDATE: He and his #FOHarmy are back at it - $198K and going strong. Click on the Tweet below to @ him.
it’s payday— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 17, 2020
if you got furloughed or lost your job send me your CashApp
let me send you a paycheck
"...Who has a bill coming up that they’re not sure they’re gonna be able to pay[?] Send me your bill and your venmo," tweeted Mexican-American author Shea Serrano, who mobilized a Twitter army that has donated over $65,000 to help struggling families pay rent, bills and put food on the table.
Shea Serrano. who worked construction before struggling to support his family on an ESL teacher's salary, knows what it's like to face bills you can't pay.
Now, Serrano is not only a New York Times best-selling author three times over for The Rap Year Book, Basketball (And Other Things), and Movies (And Other Things), he is the leader of a 370,000-strong Twitter following ready to rise up when called.
And he's paying all of his success forward.
fuck coronavirus— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 13, 2020
who has a bill coming up that they’re not sure they’re gonna be able to pay
send me your bill and your venmo
"Fuck coronavirus," Serrano tweeted back in March after seeing and hearing how out-of-work people were struggling during the quarantine. "Who has a bill coming up that they're not sure they're gonna be able to pay[?] Send me your bill and your venmo."
And, as the tweets poured in from out of work moms and dads, grandparents and students, so did the donations from followers, from a couple bucks to a couple hundred bucks.
"Let's lighten that weight on your shoulders a little," he tweeted last week, again asking people to send their bills and cashapp info, pledging, "we'll pay what we can."
fuck coronavirus— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 1, 2020
let’s start the month off right
if you’re looking at a bill you’re not quite sure how you’re gonna pay then send it to me with your CashApp
we’ll pay what we can
let’s lighten that weight on your shoulders a little
So far, Serrano and his followers, known as the FOHarmy (FOH stands for "Fuck Outta Here"), have so far raised over $65,000 to help people pay rent and medical bills, buy groceries, support elderly parents and special needs kids.
bang— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 7, 2020
there’s another $1000 from The FOH
we’re up to $65,100 in cash donated these past three weeks which is fucking beautiful
They maxed out the daily Venmo limit. TWICE.
OKAY MOTHERFUCKERS WE’RE BACK IN BUSINESS— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 13, 2020
my homie josh who works at venmo got them to raise my limit today so we ain’t gotta wait until next week to give out more money
send me your bills and your venmo i got money in my account that people need more than me
lol we hit the limit again lol— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 13, 2020
i’ll try and grab more of y’all when they let me
in the meantime if you can help someone out then definitely just grab people from the thread here
The amazing thing is that although Serrano started off as the middleman, with donations being funneled through his Venmo, he is encouraging his followers, veteran and new, to reach out to people in need direclty. And they are.
Thank you so much to the 6 beautiful people that donated to me and my family in our time of need.— Molina (@alexmolina_jr) March 19, 2020
I was able to surprise my family by paying off the bill in full with the donations I received. Shoutout to @SheaSerrano and all of the #FOHarmy RISE UP!!! pic.twitter.com/nLRaYJ20cl
His movement, of reaching out to people directly, was recognized by former President Barack Obama.
And it is exactly the type of energy we need right now, from each one of us towards each other, in order to get through this crisis. Not charity, but solidarity.
You don't need to follow Serrano on Twitter to join the army of giving (though I would definitely reccommend it), just reach out to someone in need.