Back to the Beginning of One In An ARMY, After One Year
Updated: Jan 24
One In An ARMY recently celebrated their one year anniversary. So, we took a peek into what they do, looking back to their roots tracing their steps today.
In early 2018, an ARMY named Ana put out a call on Twitter to see if any fans were interested in working on a Syrian Relief Project. Within a few hours, the tweet was viral and One In An ARMY was being created to make this idea happen. This was their first official campaign, running from April 9-30, 2018 with the donations benefiting Medical Teams International.
It had quickly become apparent that the fandom could be used for a bigger purpose, and to make changes for a positive impact around the world. Eventually, a chat was made. Before long after that, an actual group was arranged with a system worked out to help people.
One In An ARMY started off small, just like everyone else. Since then, however, they’ve grown tremendously. They now have over 40k followers, and every month more and more of the ARMY is reached. The number continues to grow. Ranks of the main members in One In An ARMY have always hovered between twelve and twenty, with many people working as a secondary team to prepare translations, events, and ideas.
Their first campaign had around 100 donations, and that number has grown to an average of 400. But to them, it’s never been about the money being raised, but rather that someone has reached out and made a difference for each charity. It’s about the fact that we’re all in the same mindset and that we can do something to help. ARMY is able to trend tags on the spot and break records, so being able to raise awareness and do something positive is the goal.
After their first project focused on helping the Syrian refugees, they realized they were a global fanbase and could reach people all around the world.Around their third month, they released a survey to see what areas people wanted to focus on and what topics were important to them.
It wasn't a system of ranking, what was important and what wasn't important, but rather to see where their following wanted them to focus first. Following the Syrian relief projects, the Love Myself and Thirst Relief campaigns were launched.
Before long, the idea to have birthday campaigns was brought up - a charity focused around a specific member. They took what they knew about each member and decided on a campaign that reflected what they thought would be meaningful to them. And while they're planning on reworking the birthday campaigns for this year, as they do limit the options available because they tailor to each member, last year was filled with wonderful campaigns that mirror each member greatly.
Jungkook's birthday campaign gave money to Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission, also know as KKOOM, which in Korean (꿈) means dream. This gave the campaign the name “Dream With Jungkook.” The funds raised during this campaign were used to fund three semesters of college to two of their scholars, Se-Hee who's studying Hotel Tourism and Yonghoon who's studying Social Welfare. The money raised also helped provide two-year-old Hyungjun with a one-year preschool scholarship.
This campaign, in 31 days, raised $3,839.98 in donations, from 278 people from 40 countries and 22 states across the US. And 200 letters and postcards, sent from ARMY as part of Cooky’s Postmail Mission, were sent from 45 people in 27 countries.
Namjoon’s birthday gave way to the Rebuild With Namjoon campaign, supporting Gili Eco Trust. This organization is committed to restoring reefs and protecting the environment in the Gili Islands of Indonesia. The organization was originally chosen because of Namjoon’s love for nature but ended up also aiding in the cleanup of the Gili Islands after the area was hit by a series of earthquakes. Both parts of the campaign ended up having a direct impact on the environment, as the cleanup helped remove much of the debris and chemical spills that ended up in the water table and ocean after the earthquakes.
Koya’s Clean Earth was a bonus mission for Rebuild With Namjoon, which challenged the ARMY to complete eco-friendly tasks while filling out three BINGO cards. Twitter user @numberjoon donated “Kim Daily”s that were printed off by fans and taken with them as they accomplished their tasks.
Throughout the month of September 276 ARMY from 45 countries donated $3,927.65 to Gili Eco Trust. This was ⅕ of their total donations, which rounded out at $20,000.
MindLeaps International was the campaign for Jimin’s birthday in partnership with Jimin Global, giving way to Flow With Jimin. MindLeaps is an organization that uses dance to advance cognitive skills and social-emotional learning of at-risk youth. This ensures that they’ll be able to do well in school, enter the workplace, and succeed in life. Dance is what brought Jimin to BTS and he, undoubtedly, has a great passion for it.
During this campaign ARMY also took part in 24 Days of Kindness, inspired by Jimin’s kind heart and will to always help others. Each day ARMY was given a prompt to remind themselves to be, like Jimin, thoughtful and kind.
$3,563.67 were raised from 243 people in 40 countries around the world, in just 31 days. These donations will provide kids in Kigali with 128 hours of academic acceleration courses, 244 hours of dance classes, and 6,000 meals.
Empower With Jin, in partnership with @jinepiphany, @seokjinfile, and @ksjdoll benefitted the Purple Community Fund in honor of Seokjin’s birthday. They wanted a cause that empowers people to build confidence in themselves just like Jin built for himself over the years. The Purple Community Fund helps poverty-stricken families and communities with skill training, education, health, and nutrition programs. As Seokjin comes from a family of successful entrepreneurs, he aspired to become a businessman before becoming a trainee at Big Hit Entertainment and made that aspiration a reality after opening Ossu Seiromushi, a restaurant that specializes in steamed Japanese dishes, with his brother Kim Seokjung. Since Jin has a passion for business, PCF was chosen because it’s an organization that empowers entrepreneurs
In partnership with Army Help Centre, ARMY was celebrating Jin’s birthday with My Jinspiration. Since Jin always encourages self-love and empowerment, they wanted to provide a place for the ARMY to speak up and share their stories. Each week a topic was set and a list of self-reflective questions was tweeted with the goal of inspiring conversation. They also encouraged fans to write letters to themselves to reflect on each week. These letters could be kept private, posted on social media, or be submitted to be posted anonymously by ARMY Help Centre.
At the end of December 342 donations from 30 countries had raised $3,630.29. These donations went towards buying sewing machines and jewelry making tools, as well as covering trainer costs, to teach skills to provide a sustainable and reliable income for the families in Livelihood Programs.
Heal With Taehyung supported the Children’s Healing Art Project, dedicated to bringing the healing power of art to children and families facing medical challenges. In-hospital art programs are tailored to the needs, wishes, and abilities of each child, working to bring them out of isolation and infuse their lives with choice, purpose, and self-expression. Taehyung has a love for art - whether it be photography, drawing, painting, or fashion design - but he may just have an even bigger love for children. So this organization seemed like the perfect pick for Taehyung’s birthday.
CHAP is a small organization and their Saturday program was set to temporarily discontinue after January because they had run out of funding for it. Thankfully, ARMY came to the rescue and raised $6,869.74 to keep the program at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for six more months. The funds paid for art supplies, CHAP Teaching Arts, and CHAP volunteer artist training and supervision.
Taegers For Kids, this campaign's bonus mission, had ARMY around the world send tiger-theme cards, letters, and notes to give comfort, friendship, and encouragement to the kids at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Transforming Faces was chosen in honor of Hoseok’s birthday, sparking Smile With Hoseok. Transforming Faces is an organization that works with local teams where cleft lip and palate care is limited, to provide care that will be accessible for all. They provide training and support for surgical procedures, and fun counseling and education services for children and families and work with them through the whole process.
Hoseok had named himself ARMY's hope, which is much more than just a nickname. He always puts on a smile and loves to share his joy. Children born with cleft lip or cleft palate don’t have an easy start in life. Many times they have difficulty eating and speaking clearly, and oftentimes have hearing problems, ear infections, and dental problems. Hoseok is known for his beautiful heart-shaped smile - the source of all the happiness he spreads. He has given ARMY a reason to smile, and now they’re becoming the reason for some else’s smile.
$8,291.56 were raised by 437 ARMY in more than 50 countries, providing 28 children with comprehensive cleft care to 28 children for an entire year. This care includes surgical procedures, aftercare, and much more in between. The amount raised could cover over 1,000 speech therapy sessions, or 500 speech therapy sessions and 160 dental appointments.
So far, this is their most popular campaign, raising 2.16x the amount of their first birthday campaign. Around one in seven-hundred people are born with a cleft, so it’s truly an anomaly. But ARMY rising to the challenge of supporting these organizations is becoming anything but an anomaly. The boys have inspired fans all around the world to take part in making a difference and changing people’s lives for the better.
#CreateWithYoongi raised a total of $4,867,00 and was in collaboration with PFCFoundation, the Playing For Change Foundation, that sets up music education programs in areas around the world where it's needed.
The program supported was in Patagonia, Argentina. This foundation has programs that help keep street kids away from drugs and violence with music education (hip hop classes, dance, indigenous language and english classic, instruments making, etc) but they also had a program to use music therapy for students with disabilities - that's where the bulk of the donations were concentrated. You might know Playing For Change from the videos they put out of people all around the world playing the same song. The team of OIAA thought it was really appropriate for Yoongi.
One In An ARMY plans on continuing just as they are now. With more and more people finding out about them, they’ll be able to reach bigger profits and more charities and will be able to do things that may have been outside their range in the past. Their Thirst Relief campaign had the option to build villages, but that came with a much higher price range. They know ARMY are really proud to be able to take part in this and that we all have many bigger projects we’d like to be able to take part in, it’s just a matter of getting there first. Building clinics, home build, and repair are all in the future.
Even after each campaign ends, the communications with the organizations don’t. A regular report comes out within a week or two of the end of the campaign, which tells how much was raised and where those funds will go. Checking back in with the organizations is an important aspect of what they do. For their anniversary, they reached back out to their past charities to get updates on the people they helped, how they’ve been doing, and forward projects.
Everyone behind One In An ARMY has a large heart and a strong mindset. They work hard to set in motion everything that’s needed for the global fans to make their impact, and without them, none of this would have been possible. To them, it hasn’t been about creating a name for themselves, but just about making a difference and reaching out to as many people as possible. As they continue to grow and make an impact, the world will slowly become a better place for us all. With our fandom from every place all around the world, within the hands of such caring and reaching people, we’re destined for a bright future.
If you would like to help they are currently working on #PurpleRailroad which is the May 2019 campaign to support the International Railroad for Queer Refugees! Go to www.oneinanarmy.org for more information!!
Footage by: One In An ARMY
Written by: Amanda
Edit by: Aury & Zura