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August 04 2005

Browncoats raise over $12,000 for charity. The fan table at Comic-Con raised $12,374.79 for one of Joss's favorite charities "Equality Now". (added: Joss posts in this thread).

I know this is slightly older news, but I felt it deserved a mention here. A big thank you to all that contributed time, money and prizes.
The prize list is pretty amazing:

I love the disclaimer at the bottom.

'This is a fan-run site, and is not officially endorsed by Joss Whedon or anyone else of importance.'
xiexie, Jeremy!
There's no way I'm not weighing in on this one.

I am SO proud and grateful that this is where the energy of the Browncoats is going. Buffy and Angel fans have always distinguished themselves through their altruism, but this hits close to home in a way probably none of you know.

My mother started what I believe was the first highschool chapter of Amnesty International. She was a history teacher, and started a feminism course as well (she also directed plays -- not so much the slacker). Probably her favorite student (and she had many that she loved) was Jessica Neuwirth. Jessica went on to work as a lawyer for Amnesty International and then started Equality Now, which used the Amnesty model to combat gender-based offenses. Jessica is as kind, intelligent and dedicated as anyone I've ever known (and would probably cringe to read any of this.) The idea that my work is on a wavelength with Equality Now's agenda is as gratifying as anything I could wish for. But for the fans to take an active role in helping out this under-recognised cause, and on such a grand scale... it means more than I can say. I have said, in point of fact, much more than I usually would in this forum, but I can't contain my appreciation. My mother would have been so pleased.

There are two ways to fight a battle like ours. One is to whisper in the ear of the masses, try subtlely and gradually to change the gender expectations and mythic structures of our culture. That's me. The other is to step up and confront the thousands of atrocities that are taking place around the world on an immediate, one-by-one basis. That's a great deal harder, and that's Equality Now. It's not about politics; it's about basic human decency. And it's more important than... well, than that movie I keep telling everyone to see.

Thank you to the tireless Browncoats and everyone who donated, bid or lifted a finger to raise this money, for making my work mean more than it ever did, even to me.

The fan-run charity fundraiser was definitely quite an achievement, but it could not have happened without a little show called Firefly and the generous donation of time, effort and, let's face it, schwag, by you, Joss, and others (e.g. Jewel and Shawna) associated with the series and movie. You guys rock, and it's wonderful to have a little something to do with something that both did good and did well and affected you in the process. :)

Great work, guys!
Wow. Unbelievable. I'm so impressed! What a wonderful thing you guys did.
That's a lot of money. I am impressed. (See this? This is my impressed typeface.)

(I have trouble raising bus fare most of the time.. to me these are unimaginable riches.)

Well done to everybody involved. Kudos all.

And anybody that didn't contribute still can! Right now! Just clicka de link et viola!

The internet is wicked clever, huh?

[ edited by Bad Kitty on 2005-08-04 10:13 ]
This is so wonderful. A proud salute to our Browncoats.
I spent two shifts selling the raffle tickets at Comic-Con, and I've never had anything as easy to sell. They flew out, thanks largely, like sj said, to fandom and the fabulous prizes. But a lot of people also wanted to hear about Equality Now, and took their brochures - even people who didn't buy tickets.

p.s. Joss, I wish I'd known the story about your mother and her favorite student, that would have been great in the spiel. Oh well, next time. We did say Equality Now was your favorite, and that went over well.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2005-08-04 10:52 ]

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2005-08-04 11:22 ]

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2005-08-04 12:01 ]
Thanks so much for your kind words, Joss. Knowing the full back story of your connection with Equality Now makes all the time and effort we put into this over the past few months just that much more rewarding. And it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to give mad props to my own mother, for teaching me at a young age just how easy it is to raise embarrassingly large amounts of money when there's a worthy cause involved.

To everyone who donated money, prizes or volunteer time at the table, my sincere appreciation goes out to you. I really wish you all could have been there when I called Mandy at Equality Now to tell her how much you all raised for them. The stunned silence was truly priceless!

But as Joss has pointed out, the real Big Damn Heroes here are Jessica, Mandy, and the other folks at Equality Now, who are out there on the front lines every day, devoting their lives to fighting the Good Fight. It has been an honor and a privilege working with you, and I hope to do it again soon - after I've gotten come sleep, of course.

Eventually, I'm hoping to put together a "how to run a charity fundraiser" guide, to help the organizers of other browncoat events tap into the same resources we were lucky enough to find. If I have my way, this will be just the beginning of a long tradition of browncoats raising money for Equality Now (and other Worthy Causes).

Stay mighty,

--ray (SF Browncoats "Charity Pimp")

PS: We're still working on compiling the list of everyone who donated prizes and booth time at ComicCon (there's just so many of you!). Check the site again next week, and you should be able to see a full list of the people who made this all possible.)

[ edited by RayHill on 2005-08-04 11:43 ]
Bless you, RayHill. I wish success in all your endeavors.
Thanks, MadHatter. :)

If you really want to wish me success in all my endeavors, head on over to and play with the site I spend my daytime hours slaving over. It's shiny. (And it has "Keep Flying" hidden in the HTML source code - how'd that happen, I wonder? hehehe)

But I'll save my speach on how wonderful it is working for eBay for another forum... :)
Also, I should point out that if it weren't for Miyu, the entire fan table (much less any charity fundraisers) at both WonderCon and ComicCon never would have even existed. She is to us what Nathan is to the BDHs. She's our Captain. (Also, I'd wager she looks better in tight pants than Nathan does.)
I think that was one of the best posts by Joss I've ever read. Kudos to Equality Now and indeed the sterling effort by the Browncoats to raise so much money.
I like cheese.
That is just awesome. A group of Browncoats here in Toronto are putting on our very first Fan Table and raising money for CANFAR - A Canadian Aids research Charity - one of Jewel's causes.
It is a small table with a few small but choice prizes. I can't imagine how much work it took to do the Ethel Merman of Tables. Kudos to all of you. And it has served to raise awareness of Equality Now among us as well as the larger world. What could be better?
all of you are "mighty"
When I am banging my head against a wall because I don't know how to stop the childish, obsessive, ridiculous bickering that goes on between fan factions on the website I started to get away from that insanity, it's good to know that elsewhere fans are capable of doing good.
Lioness, when it comes to giving, there's no such thing as small. What you and the groups you're involved in are just as important. You care.

I've never been more proud of the whedonverse.
Pretty darn immpressive! I'm all about empowering women. 'Cept of course when my daughters want the puter while I'm on it. Then I'm all about enpowering me.
Outstanding effort, everybody who contributed in any form, you should be so proud of yourselves.

Would it maybe be a good idea to put a permanent link on the Whedonesque frontpage to the Equality Now website under some sort of ‘Joss favourite charity’ heading? I am just thinking given that this is about continuously updated campaigns, it might be nice to have a permanent reminder and be able to surf across easily, particularly for those who do not want to sign up to the mailing list (which I totally understand, we all support different charities in our lives). But you know when you are bored, there might be time for the occasional letter or card.

I realise there are many other charitable efforts in the verse and one isn’t worth more than the other (personally I wholeheartedly supported the Angel Food Drive as this just happened to be my favourite show) but this site is kind of all about the Whedon and I don’t think anybody could object to putting a charity of his choice up here (particularly one where people can do something easily and cheaply to help in their own spare time while at home).

Ok obviously I lied, this site is actually all about us, but hey, lets keep pretending :)

I hasten to add to the mods that this is just a suggestion – you already provide so much more with this site than we could ask for, so you know, just a thought and no pressure.(I hope I am not overstepping the mark.)
Rayhill, Miyu and all who put together the table at CC- you're some rockin' Browncoats. I love the Angel and Buffy fandoms, but it's being a Browncoat that always make me proud. Lioness- here's hoping you raise loads of money with your table.
Serious kudos to those who got involved with this. I echo Caroline here - with all the, frankly, shit some fans get involved with, it is amazing to see others pull things like this off. That's a LOT of money.
now i'm all misty-eyed and inspired. joss, ray, miyu, everyone who did this, YOU ARE AWESOME.
When I was talking to my friend Tamara about the Firefly fandom, she said that whenever there's any sort of event, the first question fans ask is, "what charity will be benefitting?"

PBP raised something like 70k for Make-A-Wish, Angel's Food Drive delivered truckloads of food to people who need it the most, 30 families received new children's books for their kids in honor of Joss' newborn son, the Wooten Center was able to keep the lights on and provide tutoring to the kids of South Central, and there's so much more.

Caroline, I too get really wonky about the kerfuffles and acidic attitutes in fandom, but at the same time that's happening, anytime someone needs help, or there's a project to raise funds for a worthy cause, everyone just helps. No questions asked, aside from, "where do I send the check?"

I think that this is due in part to the stories that we all loved, that a tiny group of misfits can save the world. I know how melodramatic that sounds, but in all these years of fandom, the thing I am most sure of is that these fans are just heartachingly generous with their time and their money.

Anytime I've opened my Paypal account for a fan effort to give to a charity, or even to help a fellow fan in need, in a matter of days, or sometimes hours, a goal is reached.

I'm unsure sometimes if Joss knows just how many people in the world have been comforted in some way as a result of the fanbase's selflessness. And it's not just charity, there's a bunch of new babies in the world due to parents who met each other at a fan gathering as well.

I'm not particularly articulate right now, as I just woke up and haven't finished my coffee, but what you said struck me so. I get sort of bitter and upset by fandom's infighting all the time, but things like this happen at such a regular clip that I'm reminded often why I love fandom so much, and even when I think my head might explode, I remember that any given time, and effort like this is happening as well, and it reminds me why I love and respect our fandom so very much.
Aw, my loviness killed the thread.
Joss, you are my hero.
I'm with Allyson on this. Though the fan community can at times be divisive on certain issues, when it comes down to it, this group puts their money and time where there mouths are. We ragtag band of misfits want to make a real difference in the world that we live in and we know that the way to effect this change is through both actions and words. I know that many of those who participate in our fandom are exceedingly generous with their time and efforts outside of 'verse related activity. I am proud to be part of such a great group of folks. We can and do make a difference, one life at a time.
crap. now I'm crying at work.

as always thanks to all the volunteers, all prize donors, everyone who bought a ticket, and especially to my crew: Malsgal, DanRegal, Ray, dvdguy, bosslady & Brian. It was such a pleasure to work with you all.

words aren't coming too easily right now, so I'm going to swipe some copy I wrote ages ago for our website:

"Being a fan of a sci-fi show is sometimes all about the drama, the humor, the hotties, and the special effects. But the beautiful thing about Joss's work is that underneath all the glitz is a core philosophy of empowerment and equality. Joss is re-writing gender roles, making the audience more accepting of women in powerful roles, and showing us the inherent danger of blindly following obsolete stereotypes. He humanizes the marginalized, empowers the weak, and captures the murky, conflicting ambiguity of real-life morality."

days like this I'm so proud to call myself a Browncoat.
No, Allyson, you didn't kill the thread. You spoke from its heart. Personally, I'm still trying to absorb the incredible comments of you, Joss, RayHill, miyu_tVP, and others. You are all inspirational - you must be, to touch this cynical old whatsit . . .
I've said this in other places - bears repeating here. In the four days of Comic-Con, the most enjoyable time I spent was volunteering at the Browncoat Booth. But I tell you, it was exhausting just *watching* Ray work. I think he's actually a robot.
I agree with everyone and I think it is amazing to see such a passionate group of people who devote time, energy and money to such good causes, simply because they were brought together for an appreciation of Joss's work. It really is beautiful to see such a constructive force at work.

With Buffy and Angel as role models, many people have made a difference to the lives of others and that's true heroism.

I think this can all be summed up in my favourite Joss quote ever-

The one thing I would want an audience to take away from my work is that people who do not think they have strength in them do and that everybody has the ability and chance to be stronger and better and happier than the world seems ready to let them.

That is a very cool quote. Where is it from, besides Joss?
I just wanted to post a YAY here!!! I had such an awesome time working the booth and met so many awesome Browncoats. Comic Con 2005 will always hold a special place with me.


Danielle aka sillyd aka malsgrrl(da** i have to many names)
Have a look here, where Joss answers some questions from his fans.

[ edited by Razor on 2005-08-04 19:23 ]

[ edited by Razor on 2005-08-04 19:23 ]
Thanks Razor=)
Awww, Joss. That was sweet! Nice post Allyson - I couldn't have said it better!
Very touching remarks, all. Now I'm feeling guilty that I only bought one raffle ticket! (And also that I haven't written any letters for Amnesty for years now....)
Speaking of writing letters, I was just over at the Equality Now site and it looks like from time to time they have letter writing campaigns going on there. Perhaps putting up a direct link to whatever campaigns they want to highlight might also be helpful.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-08-04 20:02 ]
>I was just over at the Equality Now site and it looks like from time to time they have letter writing campaigns going on there.<

absolutely!!! There is such a wonderful synergy between Joss's work and Equality Now's work. EN needs our help, not just in to the form of money, but our time, thought and devotion. Passionate, articulate letters to the right people can be far more effective than money. It would warm my heart to no end to get the Browncoat community engaged in this cause on such a personal level. Anyone who couldn't particpate at comic-con, either because of geography or finances, this would be a very effective, meangiful way for you to help the cause.

a list of current issues can be found here. Just click on any heading for more info and an address to which to send your letters.
Hopefully this doesn't come across as too self-promoting, but speaking of Joss and Comic-Con... Joss was kind enough to grant us a 25 minute interview right at the fan table at Comic-Con for our documentary "Done the Impossible". We will be taking pre-orders soon at:

We will be releasing some of the better highlights from the interview for free download. Also, per Joss's request, a percentage of profits from our documentary will be going to "Equality Now".

[edit: A clarification - As suggested below, this documentary is more than just a Joss interview, it will be a full length documentary 75-90 minutes long, telling the story of the rise and fall and rise of Firefly as told from the perspective of the fans. (yes we are shamelessly borrowing the title from one of the chapters of "Finding Serenity")]

[ edited by JeremyN on 2005-08-05 00:47 ]
Also, per Joss's request, a percentage of profits from our documentary will be going to "Equality Now".

Is it rude to ask where the rest of the profits go?
"Is it rude to ask where the rest of the profits go?"

um, to the people who worked really hard to make the documentary? I'll let Jeremy give the official answer, but that would be my guess.

Also, I think his post is a bit misleading, in that the documentary is not just 20 minutes of Joss. He & his crew took *hours* of footage - interviewing fans, volunteers, crew, etc. He even got the whole prize giveaway thing on tape. I simply cannot wait to see the finished project!!!!!
Man oh man.

What a great thread.Allyson, you made me cry.


And now we have an idea where Joss gets his workaholic tendencies from!
Yes, I think it is rude to ask where the rest of the profits go. I think it's enough that they're giving a little bit back.

In my opinion, anyone who's willing to do the hard work of doing anything in this world beyond just getting by day to day who still manages to make donations, give up part of their earnings to a good cause to do a little a bit of good for someone else in the world, deserves if not our support, then a little bit of slack.

Jeremy and crew could probably sell DVDs by the truck load and after they recoup their expenses (assuming they actually can), just call it good business. They don't have to give anything back or pay anything forward and the truth is browncoats and Joss fans would probably buy their video anyway. And it's free marketing for Serenity, so at the end of the day, even if they do make a buck, it's no harm to anyone if they just cash in. But they're saying right up front and in public so they can't take it back, that they're going to pay some of it forward. There's no sin in making a profit. You can't imagine that Joss and Company aren't getting paid 'cause you KNOW they are.

Personally, I'm choosing to take the high road and give them my support, because:

A. I want a copy of that video.
B. Everyone needs to get by and art needs all the support it can get
C. I want to support people who are willing to put a slice of their profits to a good cause.

We could, of course, just sit back and judge them, but as I said I'd rather take the high road and hope to see others taking it with me.

But that's just my $0.02.

Ray, Miyu, Mals Gal, DanRegal and the rest, you know you all did an amazing thing here. Some petty part of myself wishes I could have shared in the glory with you, but at the end of the day, it's just good to see that you pulled it all off and did it in style. There's not a lot of good work being done in the world and you did some right here. Well done.


[ edited by The Rhett on 2005-08-05 00:53 ]
Great words, I'm so proud to be part of this community. I love you guys!
"Some petty part of myself wishes I could have shared in the glory with you, but at the end of the day, it's just good to see that you pulled it all off and did it in style."

You and Bosslady were a huge help in all of this, and contributed some of the very prettiest prizes, if I may say so. ;) you done good too!
Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this (wonderful) thread with my self promoting. But to answer the question above - I don't mind being open about it; the rest of the profits, if there are any, will go to us for our hard work.
Amazing job, guys. I can't imagine the work that went into all this, but what a reward! You all make me proud to be a part of this fandom. I wish I could say something more eloquent, but words fail me in the face of the marvelous thing you've done.
Everyone involved in this project deserves to be very proud of themselves. My congratulations to you all. I am so impressed with how well done this and the other efforts by the fans of Joss's work have been.
I echo the "proud and impressed" sentiment in this thread. Well done. :)
I, too, am constantly amazed and impressed with how caring the Browncoats, and Whedonesquers in particular, can be. It makes me very proud to be a member of both communities. Our Firefly group is currently raising money for the our local food bank through a draw for the Flanvention ticket we were given, thanks to Booster Events. The SF Browncoats have really raised the bar for the rest of us.
I am just veklempt right now. Allyson - your post was the farthest thing from inarticulate - I just wonder what you have to say AFTER your coffee! It was so beautiful.
This is just an awesome thread and makes me feel proud to be part of such a compassionate group of people. Social activism through television! Can't say that I see something like this coming out of those nasty reality shows!
I look forward to ordering jeremy's video - I just wish I could have been in it!
I have just read the posting from Joss and all that follows. I have never posted anything, being from the pre-blog generation, but I was so moved by everything I read and everything you have done to support Equality Now that I have to jump in if it is not too late. I would like to tell you a little bit more about Joss' mother, Lee. I met Lee when I was about twelve years old. She introduced me and so many others - no doubt including Joss - to human rights, feminism, and the idea that every person in the world can make a difference (and should try to do that). Lee presided over the birth of Equality Now, and she would have so deeply loved everything Joss has done and is doing to change the way men and women think of themselves, each other, and the world at large. Joss is carrying his mother's legacy forward on a global if not extraterrestrial scale with humor, grace and tremendous talent - touching you and so many others as she touched me. All of us at Equality Now are humbled by Joss' powerful work and ongoing support, and by your commitment and generosity, which inspires us to redouble our efforts to end violence and discrimination against women. Keep it up and thanks so much!!!
Jessica Neuwirth
Equality Now
Wow... very, very shiny. Welcome Jessica to this little community. Thank you for doing such brave, important work. You are a beacon of hope in a world that's just lately a running little short. Thank you and thank you again.
How did I miss this thread? I'm so very much in love with Joss's mind. What an outstanding woman his mother was! I knew there was more to my being drawn to Joss's work than his work alone. There is such depth in his (and her) history.
Thanks, Ms Neuwirth for your lovely post, for the thoughts about Joss and his mother and for your work on behalf of people around the world who are trying to fight the good fight.
Wow. This made me bop right over to the Equality Now site and donate. Shiny indeed.

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