Community Spotlight:
Simply Aretha


Tell us why you wanted to make a difference for amfAR?

During the pandemic, I have met many wonderful people and one of them is my friend Ongina. When she reached out asking for people to do a fundraiser for amfAR I not only wanted to support the work Ongina has done to bring awareness but the research and advocacy that amfAR does as well. HIV/AIDS research is something I have always wanted to support because growing up I knew people who had HIV and unfortunately didn’t survive. And although there were medications that helped them live longer the research and education have developed a lot since then and it’s because of research, education, and advocacy work of organizations such as amfAR. I am participating in Ongina’s December 11th Charity Stream in support of amfAR’s World AIDS Day 2021 campaign so that I can help build a future where there are zero deaths from HIV/AIDS.

What inspired you to make a difference through fundraising?

As an indigenous person, I have always tried to give back. It’s a cultural teaching that I was raised with, never take more than you need. I’ve raised money for many charities and organizations. The hardest part is determining which charity to raise money for and that is when I decided to not only donate to as many as I can but really help support the ones that I have a connection to as well. I’m not the richest person in the world, so even when I cannot afford to donate even five dollars I donate my time. During the pandemic that can be as little as sharing and liking posts so that the message gets shared with as many people as possible. Give what you can and even if you think it’s not enough.

What motivated you to become a content creator?

As an Introvert with an anxiety disorder, I am a very shy person. Networking and self-promotion were always hard for me but I pushed through and trained myself to go into spaces where I felt uncomfortable. When the pandemic happened, I was ready and willing to stay home but I noticed that my anxiety from leaving the house was starting to build back up from the lack of interaction. So I started streaming online. And I felt I needed to keep building my platform online to bring attention to issues that matter to me by creating content, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone was a way to do that online. I created content before but now more than ever I needed that connection to the outside world, and focusing on content creation has really helped me grow as a creator and an advocate.

What are some of your favorite rewards or incentives you used while fundraising?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I notice my community likes to see me suffer. One year, I decided to raise money for a new gaming chair for my stream, I was sitting for such long periods of time working from home. So I started an initiative that every five dollars I ate a Beanboozle and every 20 dollars I ate a Spicy Bean. I used to think black pepper was hot. Needless to say, I died. And after about my fifth spicy bean ending with the Carolina reaper flavor, I had to bow out. My poor tummy was not going to survive. But it was a creative initiative that I borrowed from other great streamers. I might do it again but make the redeem much much higher.

What are your philanthropic goals for 2021?

I don’t have any philanthropic goals for 2021. Having any goals in 2021 just seems so unrealistic, when you are unsure if you have work or a job. So I do my best with what I have month-to-month and try to continue to support as many people, charities, and organizations as I can.

What sort of games do you prefer to stream and which ones are you most excited about this year?

I play a lot of Dead by Daylight and I’ve recently gotten into Knockout City and Fortnite. I’m a bit of a noobie gamer but I enjoy games I can play with friends because laughter is the best medicine. There are two games that are coming out soon that I’m interested in, VHS and The Day Before. I will be streaming them the first time I play.

What makes a game great for streaming?

I’m still learning what makes a good game to stream, but if I had to identify it today it’s one that I enjoy. Games help introduce you to people, but for me streaming is about building a community of people. They generally stop by for you, and not always the game you play. I generally like to play games with people and on occasion have played solo games but it’s not the same.

What game franchises define your taste?

My taste in games is a mixture of Dead by Daylight, Knockout City, The Sims, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, Fortnite, and Solitaire. I’m all over the map really but as I suspect most people are, I’m a sucker for building and buying different skins.

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Please contact with any questions. If you plan to host a live stream fundraiser, please reach out! We would love to make sure that you have the support you need, and we might even feature your charity stream on our website and social channels!