Casey Neistat, a Milwaukee native and famous YouTube star, has done his part to make Christmas magical for at least 100 kids this year. This past week, he turned the abandoned Northridge Mall into a winter wonderland for dozens of children with the Boys and Girls Club of Great Milwaukee.
“All I could see was all of my childhood fantasies manifesting,” said Casey. Little Things reports that Neistat partnered with Samsung to surprise the children with electronics and to teach them how they can get creative with electronics.
Before the mall was renovated for this purpose, it was empty, full of broken glass, run-down machines, and eerie, boarded up doors. Now, it is the epitome of cheer. A gingerbread house, an ice-skating rink, and a sledding hill were all installed. And on the special day, professional snowboarders did tricks on the escalators.
Neistat said he was searching for a place to host the celebration when he remembered the abandoned mall. “It just turns out that Milwaukee happens to have a fantastic, huge, empty shopping mall,” he recalled.
The electronics theme was inspired by Neistat’s career on YouTube. Through every video, the free-thinker is able to inspire and educate. Samsung wanted to give the same gift to children, which is why it donated smartphones, microphones and accessories to help them learn how to make videos.
“The reason we bring people like Casey and all these different creators here is because they’re who kids look up to, and their message to these kids — and our message to kids, equally — is that you can be just like these creators. All you need is a phone,” said Paul.
Said Neistat: “I see it as an opportunity, and an opportunity to sort of elevate young kids and let them know that now, because of technology, they’re empowered in ways that they’ve never been empowered before.”
Watch the incredible video below to learn more:
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Footage credit: WTMJ Milwaukee