**The following article has mentions of abuse, though no graphic details are shared.
Welcome to Fanlanthropy – a new series here at The Honey POP where we shine a light on incredible stans who are using the power of fandom to do good in the world and help out important causes. Fandoms are super powerful in sharing information and working on projects, so using those impressive skills for a good cause ends in some great results.
In March 2019, it was estimated 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 in the UK experienced domestic abuse within the last year. On average, the police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour, and only 18% of women who had experienced partner abuse actually report it to the police. Women’s Aid is a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services and build a future where domestic abuse is not tolerated. In honor of j-hope and his birthday this year, @JHope_UK has chosen to fundraise for the charity to help with vital funds to support their initiative. We spoke to the admin of the project to learn more.
Can you introduce yourselves to our readers?
Hi! My name is Lisa and I’m the admin of @JHope_UK which has been around since 2017. I’m a 22-year-old student at the University of St Andrews studying English, Spanish and Arabic in my final year and my dream job is to become a translator for Big Hit Entertainment, or something like that anyway!
For j-hope’s birthday, you’ve chosen to fundraise for Women’s Aid – what was it that made you choose this charity?
At first, I shortlisted four charities that were helping the members of society most affected by the pandemic. Out of these four, I shared a poll on Twitter and ARMYs chose Women’s Aid. It then transpired that the charity had directly helped quite a few members of our own fandom and so it’s an especially meaningful organization to help.
What can you tell us about the work that Women’s Aid does? How will donations to the fundraiser benefit them?
Women’s Aid does a range of work that helps women and children affected by domestic abuse, from campaigning to introduce consent education in high schools, to providing a crucial helpline that advises women in critical situations. The donations from this fundraiser will go towards furthering all of this excellent work. At the moment, the charity has been inundated with requests as cases of domestic violence are significantly more severe during the lockdown. Many more women than men have been made redundant and many children are being forced to stay at home from school in inhospitable environments, for example.
For this reason, our donations are more needed than ever, and I feel strongly about gathering as many funds as possible so we can get them to the charity quickly.
It’s no secret that j-hope along with the members of BTS are involved in a lot of philanthropy and charity work, how would you say he has inspired you?
All of BTS have been charitable in recent years but j-hope himself has been generous particularly towards women’s charities. He has worn clothing in support of breast cancer awareness and provided scholarships to a girls’ school, to name but a couple. I’m confident that Women’s Aid will be a charity that is also close to his heart. He inspires me purely for being so giving himself, and the message in all of his music and lyrics is always one of hope. Sometimes it’s easy to wonder whether the issues these charities fight against will ever be
eradicated, but what j-hope wants to tell us, it seems, is that we should still try to do all the small things we can to help, and to have hope for the world despite how futile it can be. He speaks about wanting to provide happiness for people through his music, even if just to make them smile for a few minutes a day. Just like the lyrics of his mixtape, perhaps simply a small ‘Piece of Peace’ is enough. (Stream Hope World)
You’ve done other fundraisers before in honor of j-hope – do you have any memories or success
stories from these you can share?
Well, by this point the total I’ve raised is over £5,000 for charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, Black Lives Matter, UNICEF, and icandance UK. Adopting 37 red squirrels for our first project was definitely the most memorable, being that the media thought it was the most random thing in the world and wanted to write all about it. I even ended up talking on BBC Radio Scotland somehow! But for me personally, my favorite project was organizing an online fan art sale in 2019. I had originally planned to do a physical sale at the Wembley concerts that summer, but the agreement with the business fell through and I was disheartened by it at first until I decided to do it virtually. It was so much more successful than I thought it would be, and the best part was that a ton of ARMY artists had their work showcased and purchased, and that beautiful artwork is still hanging in many homes!
We all know how powerful ARMY is – what do you think about fandoms and the importance
of using that platform for vital causes such as this one?
I don’t think it’s something that any fandom member or fanbase is obligated to do of course, but I do think that it’s something that is incredibly easy to do with all the technology we have nowadays, so it’s more like: why wouldn’t you? There are so many reasons why it’s a great thing to do, but for me, it’s my favorite way of connecting with my community. Reading everyone’s messages of support for the charity in their donation receipts is always so moving. Coming together for a great cause is worth so much more to me than streaming numbers or awards because I think it’s the same for BTS too. I don’t have time to do everything like some other fanbases, so I prioritize what I think is most beneficial which is charity work.
What advice would you give to other fans who may be interested in doing something similar
in their fandom?
I would say that it’s not as hard as you think! Opening up a PayPal pool and making some graphics in Canva is nothing at all. I often think about how it only takes me a few hours to prepare the project, but there are hours and hours of people’s labor at their jobs going into making money to donate to the project so, really, I’m doing the least out of everyone.
How can people support your fundraiser?
You can donate directly to our PayPal pool until February 17th here. You can also share our project (for free!) here, and I am also looking for donations of any BTS merchandise to use as giveaways to help project so if you are able to provide this then please DM me on Twitter.
Thanks, Lisa! You’re doing amazing and j-hope would be in awe of you!
Will you be supporting the fundraiser for j-hope? What fandoms do you know of doing good? Let us know down in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
Featured Image Source: Bibi Lara/The Honey Pop