When disaster struck after Hurricane Harvey, many celebrities and fandom spaces took it upon themselves to help others in any way that they could. Most have chosen to use their power to raise funds for aid groups, but others have used social media to create a new and unique approach to help facilitate rescue efforts.
Hollywood reacted quickly to the disaster caused by Harvey, cancelling the Kingsman: The Golden Circle premiere in favor of a Harvey telethon. Likewise, American Assassin cancelled their premiere and donated the funds to Harvey victims instead. The cast of Superstore has also joined in the fundraising effort, promoting this campaign through the #CrewsGiveAFund hashtag. These heavyweight Hollywood films and shows have raised an enormous amount of money for those in need of relief after Hurricane Harvey.
In addition to the cancelled film screenings, many geek affiliated groups have chosen to raise money to help Houston recover from the disaster. Rooster Teeth, a comedy production company based out of Austin, set up their own GoFundMe for the victims of Harvey. At the time of this writing they have raised over $41,000 towards their $100,000 goal. Darkhorse comics has also released a Hellboy limited edition issue at Rose City Comic Con that directly benefits the Houston Food Bank. DragonCon, which occurred just as the full impact of Harvey became apparent, also donated $25,000 to the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
One of the most active and unique fandom reactions is a group that chose to approach the storm not necessarily with charity, but with a direct action approach. Crowd Rescue HQ began with the Twitter altgov accounts, quickly collaborating with #GeekResist and pulling in a wide range of fandoms across the Internet, including the Supernatural fandom and others. The group now has over 700 volunteers consisting of fandom members and non-fandom members alike.
Crowd Rescue HQ began with Hurricane Harvey, but are continuing to use their coordination and collaboration with Irma and possibly other potential disasters in the future. The group works together to gather information on people who are in need of rescuing, relaying that to rescue teams (including the famous Cajun Navy), and facilitating pet rescues as well. They make it clear that the first line of rescue should always be placed to local official services, such as 911, but they’ve helped facilitate rescues when those services are down or overwhelmed. During Harvey, over 5,000 people were logged as being rescued in their database.
While the world feels like a very scary place right now from both natural disasters and the constant barrage of political news, it’s good to see fan spaces and the entertainment industry step up to the plate to care for each other. While some are focusing on recovery, others are preparing for the next disaster and preparing to use their organizational powers for the greater good. Keep on being amazing, geeks. You make me proud to be a member of fandom.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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