Social Media Influencer Raises Funds To Feed Thousands Of Utah Kids
Dec 8, 2020, 9:45 PM | Updated: 10:02 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A popular Utah influencer, known for providing her followers with tips on great deals and beauty hacks, helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for a non-profit that provides food for kids in need.
Melea Johnson is well-known in the influencer world as The Melea Show.
She has nearly 500,000 followers. Last week she found out ForTheKids.org needed help providing 450 food kits for kids in the Salt Lake Valley. Each kit has two-weeks of food that will be delivered as kids go on Christmas break.
— Debbie Worthen (@DebbieWorthen) December 8, 2020
For nearly 10 years, Johnson has worked with her fan base to provide toys and Secret Santa programs. She felt this year, she needed to go back to the basics.
“The majority of my followers are moms that all have kids. I knew that it would pull on heartstrings,” said Johnson.
She was right. Within three hours, her fans had donated $10,000. By the next morning, that number had skyrocketed to $30,000. That money, with the help of Harmons Grocery, will now provide meals to nearly 2,000 children.
Minda Zoloth didn’t know what an influencer was, let alone the force behind one. She started ForTheKids.org several years ago. Growing up her family struggled. She knows firsthand what it’s like to be food-insecure.
“My sister and I grew up as underprivileged children,” Zoloth said. “I knew if I ever got out of that situation, I would give back and the focus would be on children.”
Her foundation was out of resources when Johnson reached out. Zoloth couldn’t believe the response.
“I get a screenshot of Melea’s post and it was $30,000 and I thought, ‘Who’s that for?’ I called and she said, it tripled overnight.”
This is the biggest, one-time pickup of food and donations her foundation has ever received. She was blown away.
“I was absolutely floored. I was sitting in the bathroom crying, and I don’t cry very often. Just really floored at how many people care and what one person can do to influence. That’s a great word. I love it now,” said Zoloth.
As for Johnson, she was humbled.
“Being able to give them food so that they don’t have to worry about that and give them something for Christmas, and help their families out who are having a hard time even providing food at all,” Johnson said. “I knew was a really good, Christ-like way to give back at Christmas, which is what Christmas is all about.”
You can donate year-round to For the Kids at www.forthekids.org
Check out “The Melea Show” on all social media formats.