John Allen is furthering his commitment to families in need. Ballen Studios — the studio founded by a true crime storyteller with 7.3 million subscribers and 1.4 billion views on his MrBallen YouTube channel — has made a million-dollar pledge through the MrBallen Foundation.
The MrBallen Foundation will spread its seven-digit sum across two groups: families affected by violent crime and organizations that support victims and their families. Since its inception last year, the foundation has already donated over $400,000 through its Hope and Honor Grant Programs.
Families who receive the grants will use the funds to cover the immediate and emergency needs they encounter after being affected by a violent crime. Last December, the MrBallen Foundation awarded a grant to the family of Athena Strand, a seven-year-old girl from Texas who was kidnapped and murdered in November.
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Allen’s desire to help families heal relates to his own life story. He served as a Navy SEAL but was medically retired in 2017 after being wounded in Afghanistan. The experience showed him that trauma and violence can leave scars — and it takes effort to heal them.
“Ballen Studios is honored to make this pledge, and I personally couldn’t be more grateful for the outpouring of support from our global community since the MrBallen Foundation launched last year,” Allen said. “The entirety of donations that come into the foundation go out the door and directly to aid victims, their families, and organizations working at the root of issues to make a genuine difference in the lives of people that need it most.”
The MrBallen Foundation recently announced its first quarter grant recipients for 2023. It will lend its support to three organizations that combat human trafficking and seek justice for survivors: The Rebecca Bender Initiative, A21, and Free to Thrive.
Beyond his charitable endeavors, Allen continues to release new content across multiple platforms. He shares new stories on his YouTube channel about once a week, and he also hosts a podcast titled Strange, Dark, and Mysterious Stories.