Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Helping Haiti Heal: Update

So last week, I posted about The Harry Potter Alliance donation drive to raise money for Haiti - the deadline has now been extended to February 6th (go donate! Or if you can't, blog about the cause, tweet about it - pester your friends about it, it all helps).

Here's the updated press release:

Harry Potter Fans Unite Fan Communities Across the World Raise Over $70,000 (and counting) for Partners In Health

FEBRUARY 1, 2010 - BOSTON, MA - This Saturday, February 6, will be the grand finale of Helping Haiti Heal - a fundraising campaign put together by Harry Potter fans and fans of other blockbuster books, movies, and television series that in just days has raised over $50,000 for Partners for Health, the biggest health care organization on the ground in Haiti. Helping Haiti Heal kicked off with a hugely successful live webcast on January 23 that included tens of thousands of viewers from across the world, watching as a number of the biggest names in web, film, television, and literature came together to raise money for the people of Haiti.

Throughout the weeks, thousands of people have been contributing with the hopes of receiving one of over 200 thank you gifts based on individual donation levels from such donors as J. K. Rowling; Harry Potter actors Evanna Lynch, Tom Felton, and Matthew Lewis; bestselling authors Sir Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and the Printz award winning John Green; as well as "Ghostbusters" actor Ernie Hudson. The campaign, which has already been one of the top trending topics on Twitter, will culminate this Saturday with leaders of multiple fan communities, as well as interviews with "The Wire's" Sonja Sohn, "Heroes" actor David Lawrence, and Oprah Radio network host and best selling author Marianne Williamson.

"We just built an unprecedented coalition of fan communities and creators of popular culture to benefit Haiti," says Andrew Slack, Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance. "This coalition includes the most prominent fan sites for Harry Potter, "True Blood," "Mad Men," "Firefly," "Lord of the Rings," "The Guild," "Ghostbusters," as well as stars from many more. Rather than simply sitting in front of our computers and tv screens, our collective love of story has brought us together with the hope that we may contribute to the very story of our times and plan on more to come in the future. For Helping Haiti Heal, we chose Partners In Health because they have written the book on addressing poverty in Haiti and will be with Haiti, rebuilding long after the initial effects of this recent earthquake subside."

After the first webcast, scores of people from across the world were tweeting, "I have never been prouder to be a Harry Potter fan or a fan of any thing in my life. Bravo everyone!"

Donations continue to pour in as the final day of Helping Haiti Heal is February 6, 2010 and will end with another exciting webcast at 2 pm EST at http://thehpalliance.org/haiti. For more, see http://thehpalliance.org/haiti/prizes.

# Helping Haiti Heal is sponsored by The Harry Potter Alliance (http://www.thehpalliance.org/), The Leaky Cauldron (http://www.leakynews.com/),MuggleNet.com
(http://www.mugglenet.com/), HPANA (http://www.hpana.com/), and FictionAlley (http://www.fictionalley.org/).


Andrew Slack, Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance

The HP Alliance (www.thehpalliance.org) is a 501c3 nonprofit that engages Harry Potter fans in social activism. With over 30 active chapters, the HPA has raised over $15,000 to protect thousands in in both Darfur and Burma, put out original podcasts on Darfur that have been downloaded over 120,000 times, donated over 14,000 books world wide (4,000 of which are being shipped to a youth village in Rwanda), helped educate over 2 million people on Wal-Mart’s unfair treatment of employees through the famous “Lord WaldeMart” videos, and continues to work on promoting media reform, marriage equality, and tools for our members to live more creatively or “magically.”

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has recognized the HP Alliance on her web site, www.jkrowling.com, awarding it the Fan Site Award and praising its efforts.

Our work has been featured in over 200 US publications including the front covers of Politico and the Chicago Tribune Business Section.

From Time Magazine’s 2007 Person of the Year article about J.K. Rowling: “When asked about the [HP Alliance], Rowling practically levitates off the couch, spilling her coffee along the way. ‘It’s incredible, it’s humbling, and it’s uplifting to see people going out there and doing that in the name of your character,’ she says. She’s especially pleased by the group’s choice of mission, and the old Amnesty International worker in her surfaces.”


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