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U-M freshman raises money via TikTok to build school in Malawi

Posted at 10:36 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 10:36:29-05
(WXYZ) —

A freshman at the University of Michigan turned a TikTok trend into plans to build a school in another country.

Simon Kim raised $30,000 through a social media campaign using the slogan, "keep it wholesome."

"I think when people see something like this being mobilized and this sort of movement and the momentum behind it, and spreading positivity, they really like to gravitate towards that and I'm so grateful for all the support," said Kim.

@wholesomesimon

TAG EVERY BIG CREATOR YOU KNOW LETS DO THIS!! ##keepitwholesome

♬ original sound - Keep It Wholesome

The money will be used to build a school for hundreds of kids in the east African nation of Malawi. The school building is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Simon came up with the idea after spotting another trend on TikTok.

"People were saying, 'hey, if everyone that was seeing this video right now would Venmo me a dollar, then I could get this Gucci bag or this ring,' and I thought it would be pretty cool if we tried to hijack that trend and do something good with it," said Kim.

The U-M freshman says his work isn't over yet.

He hopes to grow the Keep it Wholesome brand and help create scholarships and even a network of mental health tools for the children he's helping.