So you love Harry Potter but now, years after the seventh book has come out, the Wizarding World is not as big a part of your life as it once was. (Though the impending Fantastic Beasts movie and Cursed Child musical certainly give you something new to chew on.) But what to do with all that energy that was once devoted to trying to figure out where all the horcruxes were, predict if Snape was good or bad, and pin hopes on who would survive the final battle? Why not take that energy and use it to give back, to do good, to use the power of Harry Potter to bring joy to more people across the world? Here are 6 suggestions of ways you can use your HP love for good by supporting Harry-Potter-related charities and activists:
- Look into Lumos — This organization was founded in 2005 by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who is also its president. The charity’s mission is to help children who live in institutions. According to the website, “Across the globe 8 million children are living in institutions that deny them individual love and care. More than 80% are not orphans. They are separated from their families because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. As a result, many suffer lifelong physical and emotional harm.” Lumos proposes to de-institutionalize these children and provide them with the love and family environment they need. There are sections on the website to either donate or get involved in other ways, including joining fundraising projects and signing a petition to bring the issue to the attention of lawmakers. You can also stay informed by following @lumos on twitter.
- Get involved with The Harry Potter Alliance — The HP Alliance is a fan-instigated global movement with a broad variety of different projects. Among their accomplishments are helping to pass marriage equality initiatives through their Wrock for Change campaign, and organizing a Walk Free that resulted in Warner Bros making all HP chocolate fair trade. Current campaigns include Accio Books, a campaign that has donated 250,000 books so far to people who need them all over the world; Fan Works are Faire Use; the Positive Fandom project; and Fandom Forward (consisting of tool-kits for relating other fandoms such as Welcome to Nightvale and the Marvel Cinematic Universe to real world social issues including trans awareness, ablism, and more). Check out their website to find your local chapter, volunteer, or donate.
- Check out The Apparating Library — Ok, so this is really a subset of HP Alliance but it deserves its own mention. Described in their promotional video as a “progressive, community-generated library,” The Apparating Library magically appears at fandom events and conventions throughout the U.S. and also provides books to those in need. You can become a Friend of the Apparating Library by donating to their Indiegogo campaign linked above. Your money will go towards the HP Alliance’s literary endeavors and you’ll receive lots of cool swag. Their “Hex the Patriarchy” shirt reward is right up our alley here at DG!
- Follow Vladimir Snape’s Defense Against the Dark Arts Campaign on social media and see him speak at conventions. Vladimir Snape is the stage name for an eerily accurate Snape-cosplayer who has used his ability to channel Hogwarts’ most brooding professor/headmaster to advocate for such causes as anti-bullying, equal rights, feminism, and consent. Check him out on facebook, tumblr, youtube, and twitter to hear what he has to say.
- Commit to HeforShe — This is the movement headed by HP film star Emma Watson, connected to her role as the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. The HeforShe campaign was designed to motivate men to identify as feminists. Like Ms. Rowling herself, Watson has been using her fame to spread awareness to issues that matter. She even references her Harry Potter career in her now-famous UN speech. If this all sounds familiar, it might be because you read our report a year and a half ago on the social media threats and support that Watson received when the campaign was first launched.
- Buy a book! — JKR’s HP companion books all go to charity. Proceeds from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (if you don’t have a copy yet, get it before the movie comes out!) and Quidditch Through the Ages still go to Comic Relief, a charity dedicated to changing the world for the good through the power of entertainment. Proceeds from Beedle the Bard go to Lumos, the first charity mentioned above. While looking for images for this post, I just found out that beginning in 2013, three years’ worth of proceeds from The Cuckoo’s Calling, published under Rowling’s pen name Robert Galbraith, have been dedicated to veterans through The Soldier’s Charity.
How do you use your HP love for good? Are there any HP-inspired charities or movements that we missed? Let us know in the comments!