Pleasant Green, a YouTube channel with over 50,000 subscribers, is something different to say the least. Run by a guy named Dan, the diversity of his videos range from using a Go-Pro on a vacuum, to putting skis on a hover board and steering it down a snowy road to act like he’s skiing.
Videos like these were the norm, until Dan got a message that sent him on an unexpected ride.
The saga started three months ago, when he posted a video called, “Liberian scam or exciting business opportunity?”
Dan had told his subscribers that he received a Facebook message from a man named Joel, who claimed to be from Liberia.
Joel had asked Dan “in the name of God” for business and financial assistance. Given the random timing of the message, Dan wasn’t sure if this was a scam or not. Despite his doubts, Dan started to go along with it. He asked for pictures of Joel’s surroundings—partly to make sure that what this man was asking of him was legit—saying if he liked the pictures he’d pay for them. And he did end up getting pictures of Joel’s surroundings, albeit very grainy ones.
Joel wasn’t happy with the photography business idea—he wanted to trade in electronics.
Joel proposed an idea to Dan: send him electronics, and Joel would sell them on the Liberian market, and split the profits with Dan 50/50.
The video ended with Dan asking his viewers if he should continue putting effort into this.
Looking back on it, Dan figured that, “the more time of his I could waste, the less time he would have to spend ripping other people off.” This prompted him to keep playing along, at least for the time being.
This video ended up being the first in a series called “Lie-beria.” For a while, Dan was skeptical of Joel and what his intentions were.
Fast-forward to 13 videos later, and Dan did not regret one bit going along with Joel.
In the next videos, a hilarious exchange ensues, involving an “exporter” called Musa, but ultimately the business transaction fails. The idea of photography kept playing on Dan’s mind.
Instead of selling him electronics, Dan told Joel that he was really into photography, and wanted pictures of Liberia, telling him he would pay for any good ones he liked. Joel, not experienced with a camera nor in possession of a good one, was sending sub-par pictures that couldn’t get the full picture of what was going on over there.
Dan ended up sending Joel a better camera so he could take pictures of life in Liberia.
Dan sent Joel a $30 compact camera, and amazingly Joel received it.
Another series of exchanges and misunderstandings occurs, but, long story short, Joel did take more pictures, and, with a bit of practice, better looking ones at that. The ones that Joel sent showed Dan how much of a struggle life in Liberia was—but also the beauty of the people and country.
Seeing that Joel was taking this seriously, Dan made a photobook of all the pictures Joel took and launched an Indiegogo campaign with it. The book was titled, “By D Grace Of God.”
He posted a video along with it, asking people to purchase the book in order to not only spread awareness of the living conditions in Liberia, but also to help out Joel and his community.
The book was only $10, yet the total that was reached was more than $13,000!
Dan claimed they sold nearly 1,000 copies in 40 different countries. And, like Joel had previously offered months prior, Dan had offered to split the profits from the book 50/50.
After all the expenses, the profit came to just under $4,000.
Dan’s share was used towards helping the children of Liberia.
He sent part of his money to Joel, who went to the local market and used it to buy book bags, notebooks, and other supplies for 100 kids in his community.
What started out as a simple business offer turned out to help children in need from five local schools.
Dan told his viewers, “When you give someone a chance, sometimes they’re not who you thought they were.”
Joel, who initially seemed like a scammer, was just someone who wanted to better his life. In a twist of fate, he ended up helping his community too.
And he was able to do so thanks to someone who was willing to trust in the innate goodness in all of us.
Watch the amazing heartwarming story below:
Watch the full video series here.