"Animals are endlessly fascinating and so honest": Maya Higa uses Twitch to raise money for conservation

Source: Maya Higa / Twitch


Ever since Maya Higa started streaming in 2019 she has stood out on Twitch. Instead of a focus on video games, Higa made Twitch her platform for spreading conservation awareness. She now has over 390,000 followers. 


Recently, Higa made headlines when she raised over $150,000 to build her own animal sanctuary. It started out as an auction for her paintings. But that quickly changed. Felix "xQc" Lengyel donated his former Luminosity jersey, which sold for $12,500. Chance "Sodapoppin" Morris signed a golden shovel that sold for $31,000. Even T-Pain joined in to raise money for the Owl Research Institute, donating his Gucci loafers. Someone even paid $53,000 to play games with Michael "shroud" Grzesiek. 


After reaching $500,000, Higa also shaved her head on stream. That was her original promise. But the gaming community didn't donate to see Higa shave her head. They donated because they care. Higa has a way of shining a light on conservation causes and sharing her passion with viewers. 


This isn't her first charity stream. In May 2019, Higa hosted a birthday charity stream for the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition. She raised over $32,000. But that was just the beginning of Higa's charity efforts on Twitch. 


Inven Global chatted with Higa after her stream to find out more about her passion for animals and future conservation efforts. 



Maya Higa talks charity, conservation, and generosity


How do you feel about the streaming and gaming community being so supportive of your conservation and animal efforts?


Higa: I am constantly amazed by the support I have received from both viewers and content creators. It is inspiring to see so many people come together for conservation on a platform that was built for video games. 


What made you decide Twitch was a good platform for your campaigns and causes?


I started streaming on Twitch for fun and quickly realized there was massive potential for community building and fundraising because of live broadcasting tools. Twitch allows you to connect with an audience and communities more than any other social platform I’ve been on. 


What got you so passionate about helping animals?


I grew up on a farm and have always loved animals. Animals are endlessly fascinating and so honest. I really value that. 


What were some of your earlier conservation efforts?


I started zookeeping in college. I started doing conservation education through my zoo internships.


Why did you pick the Owl Research Institute?


I choose a different podcast guest every week to be featured. Owl Research Institute does great work and I was happy to point my viewers to their cause. 


How did you feel when the donations starting pouring in?


Overwhelmed. I was not expecting to reach the donation goal yet alone within 21 hours.


What are your future streaming and conservation plans?


I am building out Alveus to inspire and unite millions of online users for conservation. 


Did you want to say anything to the viewers that made this happen?

Thank you for supporting my dream and making it a possibility. I am so excited to make my viewers and supporters proud with Alveus. 


Do you have any pets?


I have two dogs and a horse. 

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