During national TV during a University of Iowa vs. Iowa State a few weeks back, Carson King, 24, held up a sign asking viewers to Venmo him so he could buy a case of Busch Light.
He and his “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenished” sign got picked up by ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast the following morning and he was able to raise $400 in just an hour.
“I made the sign as a joke, and just hoped maybe a couple of people in the crowd would see the sign and maybe toss me $20 so I could get a case of Busch Light,”
An Iowa State fan, King told Marketwatch how after he raked in $600 — he decided to donate to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which is adjacent to the football field in Iowa City.
During Iowa home games, fans do the “Iowa Wave” for the children who watch the game from the hospital windows.
King’s mother and his brother shared his fundraiser and Venmo handle (@Carson-King-25) on both Facebook and Twitter and that is when the overwhelming amount of donations poured in.
As of Friday morning, folks had donated over $200,000 to his fund and if brewer Anheuser-Busch and Paypal-owned money-sharing app Venmo match the donations like they have pledged on Twitter to do, King will be able to give $600,000 to the hospital. He shares how individuals have donated anywhere from 25 cents to $300.
“It’s turned into something really cool, and a way to help families and to help the kids,” said King, who has taken a break from his studies to work as a casino security officer, and pay down some of his student loans. “It’s getting shared around the country, and we’ve had people from Canada and Australia [donate.] I actually got a message from someone in Poland on Facebook today, saying how great this story is.”
While this is not the first time he has launched a fundraiser, his beer sign movement is next level.
That’s in part because he was savvy enough to tweet at Anheuser-Busch and ask them to match the total number of donations that he collected. And the brewer is game, tweeting back that
The brewer tweeted back how “this is the best thing we have read all year” and offered to match the funds, and throw in some beer too.
Venmo caught wind of the last minute fundraiser and offered to match the donations as well. A company spokesperson told MarketWatch the following:
“We’re constantly amazed by the kindness of the Venmo community and what they’re able to achieve together, which is why we felt inspired to match the donation.”
King recently announced the figures at the hospital and the donations totaled a whopping $3 million dollars.
Cheers to that!