Remember the days when you heard the song “Angel” (better known as “In the Arms of an Angel”) and automatically knew that an organization would be melting your heart—indirectly meaning you were about to be opening your wallet to donate a few cents a day. While there may be no proof that Sarah McLachlan’s 1999 hit was intended to be the anthem for charities, those ubiquitous infomercials have now become obsolete. 

We hear it time and time again. The age of social media is a powerful age. With the tap of a finger, you have the power to allow videos, photos, and more to be shared among millions of people. It might seem like Generation Y hasn’t been as involved in social issues. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Generation Y’s social presence doesn’t begin with marches—it begins with 140 characters. At a time when going viral is almost synonymous with instant stardom, you have to commend those who decide to use this power for good. The leaders of the new school have unapologetically used their platforms in a way to spark change by taking the initiative to cultivate knowledge and awareness. So in this new age of viral charity movements, here are some that brought in major change and inspiration along the way.