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.
Earlier this year, it was announced that GOT7 parted ways from their entertainment company, and while it looks like we will see our boys reunite again in the future, they are currently embarking on solo adventures. To celebrate the news of Jinyoung joining BH Entertainment, fans chose to fundraise for some causes in his honor and chose WWF’s Save The Koalas and Zelt Schule e.V. as the two charities to support.
Save The Koalas takes care of sick and vulnerable koalas who are currently facing extinction in New South Wales following the 2020 bushfires, while Zelt Schule e.V. is a non-profit German organization that provides support for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon who are facing poverty.
We spoke with the organizer of these fundraisers for Jinyoung to learn more about the project.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, my name is Elvan (@shrimpnyoung) and I am a 32-year-old high school teacher from Germany. I am a small fan account of GOT7’s Jinyoung and I have been supporting him and the whole group since 2016. I dedicate my free time to update other fellow IGOT7s with the latest news and share blog-like posts on Instagram for the most part.
In honor of Jinyoung starting a new path by joining BH Entertainment, you’ve chosen to fundraise for Save The Koalas and Zelt Schule e.V. What was it that made you choose these charities?
The reasons why I have chosen these charities are both linked to Jinyoung. At the beginning of 2020, Jinyoung has donated an undisclosed amount of money to the KFEM (Korean Federation for Environmental Movements) to help restore the environment after the severe wildfires in Australia. The money was also used to protect animals such as koalas and kangaroos. He later said in video calls with fans that he was happy to donate the money and he “was worried about those small animals.” So when I searched for an organization that would fit Jinyoung’s vision, Save The Koalas (WWF) seemed natural to me.
The second charity is called Zelt Schule e.V. which translates into “Tent School.” This is a non-profit German organization that helps Syrian refugee children in Lebanon (Beqaa Valley) to get schooled in these so-called tent schools. The reason why I have chosen this organization is first that Jinyoung himself is very fond of children and his selfless character has often helped charities that aimed to help kids in need such as the “Befriend bracelet” that supported poorly-fed children. At the same time, this organization is very close to my own heart because I am, as I mentioned, a teacher and I strongly believe that education is the key to a lot of our problems today.
Can you tell us a bit more about the two charities? How will the donations to these fundraisers benefit the charities?
WWF Save The Koalas have different options for how they can use the donations. Depending on the amount of donations they can restore koala habitats by growing new plants or they can increase their capacity of the medical facilities. Their goal is to prevent the extinction of these animals.
The aim of Zelt Schule e.V. is that the tent schools move to Syria eventually and these children can rebuild their homes one day. Education is a tool that this organization hands these children so that they can face a future that is empowered rather than helpless. With our donations, we can actively help to support the educational needs of young children who will have to face their future on their own and in their home countries one day and I think that this is a cause that Jinyoung would also like to support. Zelt Schule e.V. also supports the children’s families financially to avoid child labor and helps to educate war widows who must support their families on their own from now on.
We know Jinyoung has been involved in philanthropy work himself, including donating to help the animals affected by the Australian bush fires last year. How would you say he inspires you?
He has inspired me a lot, actually, because Jinyoung is a very humble person who rather likes to give than to take. His character but also his family education has turned him into a young man who doesn’t believe that possessions should be the main focus in his life. He rather lives under modest circumstances, especially because of his father’s influence who has taught him the principle of “can’t take it when I’m gone.” This is a quote of his father’s that Jinyoung has mentioned a few times before and he said that it was his motto in life. He also mentioned in several interviews before that he’s not a man of many words but that he rather likes to let his actions speak for himself. He’s a very caring person with a huge heart that likes to do good and I think that is more than inspiring. I am proud to be a fan of a person like him.
We know how powerful fandoms are, what do you think about fandoms and the importance of using their platforms for vital causes such as this one?
Fandoms are a great thing! They unite so many people who share the same emotions and thoughts regardless of their origin. Their love and support can be stronger than anyone would ever expect. Because we are linked through social media and the internet it gets even easier to connect and find friendships from all around the world! In my opinion, this is a great opportunity to use this great unity and motivate others to join projects and non-profit organizations. Since fandoms don’t only unite people of all nationalities, they also bring together fans of all ages. It’s natural that not everybody would know of small organizations such as Zelt Schule e.V., for instance. But with the help of social media, we can reach fans of all ages and nationalities and I think that’s a new opportunity of our age that is truly extraordinary!
How can people support your fundraiser?
My fundraiser has come to an end, unfortunately. But everyone is welcome to donate to these two organizations who are in desperate need of every cent that they can receive. Every Dollar, Euro, Baht matters. And I hope that many others will join us in this small but meaningful walk into a brighter future. You can donate to Save The Koalas here, and Zelt Schule e.V. here.
Thanks, Elvan! We know Jinyoung would be so proud of you!
Did you get involved with the fundraisers? Do you know of any fandoms doing good? Let us know down in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
Learn more about other amazing fan-led initiatives here
Featured Image Source: Bibi Lara/The Honey Pop
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Creative Director of The Honey POP. Disney and pop culture enthusiast.