Giving a $200 tip to a waitress, paying for other people’s gas and picking up the tab for other cars in a drive-through aren’t things you see a lot of high school and college students doing.
But that’s exactly how Josh Gibson and Kyle Oreffice spend their spare time.
“It’s a lot of fun to dream up ways to help people,” said Gibson, a 25-year-old film student at Brigham Young University.
Gibson and Oreffice are the creators of Give Back Films, an increasingly popular YouTube channel where the duo post films of themselves and their friends doing “pay-it-forward and charitable acts,” as Oreffice calls them.
Why do it? To help those in need and encourage others to do the same.
“We hope that by making these videos we are able to inspire as many people as we can, which is the ultimate goal of the channel,” Oreffice said.
Gibson, a Salt Lake City native, and Oreffice, who lives in Atlanta, teamed up over a network of Twitter accounts. “Kyle’s actually quite the little entrepreneur,” Gibson said. “He had some money he wanted to put into a project like this, so that’s why he contacted me and wanted to partner up and make this happen.”
Give Back Films posted its first video to YouTube on Oct. 15, 2013. Filmed in Salt Lake, the video shows Oreffice giving $100 to several homeless men and women throughout the city. Recipients responded to the gifts with hugs, expressions of gratitude and many wishes for Oreffice and Gibson to have a “blessed day.” The film now has more than 3 million views, and they have other films that have been featured on Huffington Post.
From there, Gibson and Oreffice continued coming up with ideas, filming and posting. Some of the ideas have been more simple and others more intricate in their planning and execution. Videos include experiences from tipping a hairstylist $100 to a family makeover where Give Back Films organized haircuts, job coaching, groceries and gifts for a homeless family of three.
Seeing the growing success of Give Back Films’ YouTube channel, Udi’s Gluten-Free Foods proposed a partnership. The company has now organized a way for viewers to contribute to future Give Back Films projects. The company will donate $1 for every film idea submitted, up to $50,000. Ideas can be submitted through Udi’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Three ideas will be selected and filmed later this year.
And thanks to that partnership, the team was also able to hire an additional videographer, BYU graduate Derrick Lytle, to help with future projects.
“Our goal was eventually to get it to the point where (the project) was kind of self-sustainable where we could partner with companies like Udi, and they could help us with some capital to make some bigger and better ideas happen and help people out in bigger and better ways,” Gibson said. “And now it’s happening.”
Oreffice and Gibson plan to continue with the project and post one new video every Monday. Most importantly, they hope to continue having a good time and making a difference.
“We are the lucky ones that get to experience it firsthand,” Gibson said. “We hope when people watch the videos they are inspired and kind of vicariously live through us in that moment then whether it be a big or a small thing maybe go out and do it on their own.”Comment on this story
BYU student helps create pay-it-forward YouTube channel
BYU student Josh Gibson and Atlanta high school student Kyle Oreffice pay for other people's food in a drive thru. The two teamed up to create the YouTube channel, Give Back Films.