Flint, MI — As musicians and entertainers find ways to cope with bars and venues closing their doors until April, Flint DJ Peter McFray decided to embrace social media and utilize his talents for a good cause.
“In hindsight, it was really just me keeping my mind occupied, just something to do,” says McFray. “I’ve been DJing since I was 18. It’s so ingrained in who I am, so at 10 o’clock on a Friday night, I’m supposed to be DJing.”
McFray kicked off his live stream on Friday, March 20th, to entertain his following and himself. As the viewers began to grow, people like Community Foundation of Greater Flint President Isaiah Oliver knew McFray was providing a service that had a monetary value, even though he wasn’t asking for anything in return.
“There were people out there who needed this more than I did,” says McFray. “So when Isaiah made the comment in the live stream, ‘You should post your CashApp so people can send you tips or I can send you a tip,’ it made me think.
Oliver sent $20, and McFray laughed it off and sent it back to him. Then somebody else sent $25. Then it was $50, all within ten minutes.
“I’m young. I’m financially independent, but it cost me very little to live. It’s just me and the dog, right. And he and I could both eat dog food, so I’ll make it,” says McFray. “So I got on the mic and said, ‘Someone direct me to where I can donate this money? Who’s feeding these kids that are out of school?'”
Matt Norwood responded by suggesting the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, then offered to match the first $100 donated. Once it became the official target for the donations, the money came pouring in until the end of the night when McFray was able to donate $516.
“At that point, I knew the weight of it. I had some people’s attention, and kind of had a platform,” says McFray. “I knew that I needed to come super correct. I started texting with Isaiah and Norwood in a group chat, and they suggested the Urgent Relief Fund. It’s housed in the Community Foundation space so we could find matches for donations and really monitor and leverage the ability to donate. It was a no-brainer. After I posted the announcement on Instagram, I had $750 in my Venmo before I even started streaming.”
Going into the event, McFray, Norwood, Oliver and his wife Shay Oliver, Bobby Landaal, Berton Brown, Brandee Brown, Phil Shaltz, Shannon White, and Club 93.7 matched proceeds up to $2,500. By posting links to his Venmo, CashApp, and utilizing LoveFlint.org, McFray raised about $3,700.
“Then, at the end of the night, Shannon White said she would donate whatever I raised and doubled that number,” said McFray.
The following morning, the new total ended up being $10,474.74. All of it was donated to the Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund.
“I could never pinpoint why I was so passionate about the city,” says McFray. “But what the community around us showed me the other night is exactly the reason that I am the way that I am. It’s the people around. It’s that level of resilience, that level of passion and community—-if you ask me, it only exists here.”
Tune into DJ Peter McFray’s next events this upcoming Friday and Saturday live from his Facebook and Instagram and benefitting the Whaley’s Center for Children.
For details on Peter McFray check out his Facebook or Instagram pages below.
For more information on organizations he is supporting visit there websites by clicking on the links below.