The start of a new year (or any time, really) is always a great time to consider others and find ways to be generous to both those we love and those in need. Charity giving is a mainstay of geeky culture, and we wanted to highlight a few great organizations that keep the generous spirit that is as much a part of geeky culture as zombies, aliens and elves.
Being sick sucks, and if you’re a kid who is stuck in the hospital, being sick is even worse. Extra Life works to raise money for local children’s hospitals, helping them get life-saving equipment and treatments as well as small comforts (like video games) to help kids who are sick.
There are two ways to be a part: participate in an Extra Life Marathon, or donate to one. You can register for the 24 hour gaming marathon every fall, or just take part in local events and keep a campaign going. This last marathon event raised over $7 million for local children’s hospitals. You can still donate now. Find yourself some gamers playing for your local children’s hospital, and support them!
P4A (PROJECT FOR AWESOME)
Anyone familiar with the Vlog Brothers and Nerdfighteria is probably familiar with the Project for Awesome, which crowdsources charitable giving. The online creator community creates videos to highlight meaningful charities around the world. People donate to the P4A Foundation (the Foundation to Decrease World Suck) through an Indigogo that runs annually. They vote on their favourite charities and the charities with the most votes get the donated funds divided among them.
All charities featured get themselves a great advocate and public awareness, along with a chance for a part of the generously donated pot of funds.
HARRY POTTER ALLIANCE
The Harry Potter Alliance unites Potterheads from all over the world to advocate for human rights, equality, media reform, literacy, and other causes. With chapters all over the world, the organization encourages youth civic engagement and empowers fans to affect the world positively.
Some of their activities include a worldwide book drive called Accio Books; the last drive had nearly 65,000 books donated to people in need worldwide. They also organized to fight for fair trade practices relating to cocoa. The voices of 400,000 fans united to push Warner Bros. to use only ethically sourced cocoa for all Harry Potter branded chocolate products.
Whether you’re a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Gryffindor, if you’re interested in advocating for a better world, you can donate or volunteer for the HPA, or both.
While most closely associated with appearances at cons, as public flashmobs, or just people who have the most awesome Star Wars costumes around, the fact of the matter is that Vader’s Fist mobilizes to volunteer within the community and regularly makes appearances for charity. Chapters organize to visit sick children in the hospital and work to help them express their Star Wars fandoms, no matter what odds may be against them.
If you’re a Star Wars costumer looking to turn your passion into positive change in the world check out the 501st.
CAN’T STOP THE SERENITY
Browncoats have found a way to aim to misbehave for a good cause. By indulging in screenings all over the world of Joss Whedon’s Serenity, fans raise money for many charities, most notably Equality Now. The organization also runs charity auctions of props, signed items, and fan paraphernalia to support the cause of equality.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a bunch of awesome stuff like books and video games at a discount, while also supporting a good cause? Wouldn’t it be even better if you could decide how much that bundle would cost, and how much of your money went to the content creators and to charity?
Yeah, we think so too, which is why we love Humble Bundle. The bundles are only offered for a limited time and offer bonuses if you choose to pay more than the average amount. In the past, their offerings have included games from awesome publishers like Double Fine and books from the likes of Wil Wheaton. They also have a store where you can buy regular-priced games with a portion of the sale going to charity.
What are some of your favourite geeky charity organizations? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image Credit: The Community Pop Culture Geek / Flickr (CC 2.0 Cropped)