Watch how strangers react to a freezing child in viral video

9:28 PM, Feb 21, 2014   |    comments
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(TODAY Show) Norwegian charity SOS Children's Villages hit a viral nerve this week with an ad to raise money for Syrian children that has garnered 3 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours.

Created to test the Norwegian people's compassion, the video, dubbed SOS MAYDAY, features Johannes, an 11-year-old actor, who sits alone at a cold, wintry bus stop in Oslo without a coat. When strangers show up and ask him why he's alone, he says that he got separated from his class field trip. SOS set up hidden cameras to answer the question, "What would you do if you saw a freezing child?"


The video's beauty comes in when the strangers - men and women, young and old - start giving up their gloves, scarves and coats to a freezing child they don't know. One man asked, "Are you okay? Are you cold?" before passing the child his gloves, while another woman inquired about his teacher's phone number, offering to call the woman to come get him.

Operating in Syria since 1981, SOS' goal, according to the charity's website, is "To help children in areas around Damascus and Aleppo, we give out winter jackets, [so] that they will not freeze at night."

It looks like the video is working. Through text donations, the SOS MAYDAY project has raised 1.8 million Krone (about $255,000), so far.

Click here to see how we in the U.S. can help, and watch the video below.

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