Cosplay. It’s defined as “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game.” For many of us, it allows us the opportunity to step outside of our often mundane daily grind, and live out our dreams of being our favorite characters for a day or a weekend. It has also brought notoriety to a few individuals who’ve chosen to make it their full-time profession.
That’s all well and good; and those of us who appreciate cosplay for the art form that it is really enjoy it. However, there’s another aspect to this (relatively) emergent activity that some people may not think about, and that’s what I would like to talk to you about today, dear readers.
Early Wednesday morning, I saw a tweet in my feed, which featured a Spider-Man cosplayer who saw an opportunity to help, and “swung” into action.
With the recent tragic flooding and devastation in Houston, Texas (and surrounding cities), many people have been displaced from their homes, lost most or all of their worldly belongings, and some have even lost their lives. That’s why what folks like this young man do is so important. What people may not think about, is that when you’re a kid, and you see something like this? That REALLY IS Spider-Man! He’s come to hang out with you when you’re going through what could possibly be the worst time of your young life. The immense joy on these kids’ faces when they see one of their favorite comic book & movie superheroes is something that will always strike a chord in our hearts. Even if only for a short time, that joy is also enough to overcome all of the other horrible things that are happening to these children.
Over the years, I’ve had the immense pleasure of meeting and befriending several cosplayers who do this kind of charity work. They do it because they really do genuinely care, and simply want to use the tools they have at their disposal to brighten people’s lives. Whether it be through an established organization like the M.U.C.H. Foundation (which one of the cosplayers we’ve featured helps out with on a regular basis) or the Star Wars themed 501st Legion, or something as simple as getting a group of like-minded friends together to actually go visit sick kids in hospitals, these folks are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and I am thankful that they’re in my life. I’m also extremely grateful for the smiles they’ve brought to so many who need it.
It’s always wonderful to see members of the cosplay community rally and do some real good for people in need. In the short few days since Hurricane Harvey hit, I’ve seen donation drives being organized, cards & photos being sent, LOTS of money being donated, and so much more. One of my favorite things to see in times like this, though, is these cosplayers using their exceptional talent and artistry to brighten the lives of people who may otherwise be in bleak situations. Whether those situations involve natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, or illnesses that land kids in hospitals, one might not have to look too far to find cosplayers willing to lend a hand to put smiles on people’s faces. No matter your age, it’s enough to make you believe that there really are superheroes on the case in these dark times.
If you’re looking for ways that you can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, check out the links below.
- Google is matching $1 million in donations to the American Red Cross. To donate, go to http://www.google.org/harvey-relief.
- The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner.
- The Houston SPCA is accepting donations via its website.
- To donate blood, contact the American Red Cross: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or the Armed Services Blood Program: 703-681-5979