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Gollum Livestreaming The Hobbit for Charity

On Thursday, Lord of the Rings’ Gollum actor Andy Serkis announced an independently led charity fundraiser to take place the following day on Friday, May 8—reading the Hobbit over livestream from cover to cover. Gollum livestreaming The Hobbit for charity is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Serkis said that “While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12-hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth while raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need.”

Gollum Livestreaming The Hobbit for Charity
Image Credit: Best Beginnings

Serkis didn’t disappoint with delivery. He read the dialogue in various different voices, including his famous take on the character Gollum. The “Hobbitathon” was linked over the GoFundMe hosted by Serkis that has since raised over £290,000 and is quickly closing in on the £350,000 goal. Over 650,000 people around the world tuned in to support the virtual fundraising event. The funds will be split evenly and directed to the charities Best Beginnings and NHS Charities Together in their efforts to respond to relief for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Best Beginnings, of which Serkis is an ambassador, is a charity that supports new and expectant parents, babies, and toddlers. They provide educational support and encouragement with their Baby Buddy app, which comes with medical information and videos to help parents while they are unable to have a wider support network.


The app also provides a clinically supervised 24/7 “Baby Buddy Crisis Messenger,” which is available in times of immediate emotional crisis. “By supporting Best Beginnings to support parents, we can all play our part in helping protect babies and toddlers at this time of national emergency and protect their futures,” Serkis wrote in his GoFundMe.

Gollum Livestreaming The Hobbit for Charity
Image Credit: Andy Serkis' GoFundMe

NHS Charities Together is an organization that is providing needed care to medical service providers, volunteers, and medical patients during the crisis. They provide nutrition, mental health care, electronic devices to keep in touch with loved ones while they are apart, and more.


Although the livestream is now private, the GoFundMe is still up for support and donations are pouring in for the act of goodwill. Gollum livestreaming The Hobbit for charity is more evidence that voluntaryism can be effective!

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Labatt Provides 233,000 Cans of Water to Homeless in Response to Covid-19 Crisis

While the world has collectively come to blows with the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the counter-response by both individuals and businesses to assist their fellow man have offered great relief. Among those corporations paving the way to help are—probably unsurprisingly—Labatt Brewing Company. Labatt Brewing Company donated truckloads of canned drinking water to be distributed along with take-away meals for the homeless.

Labatt has been notable for their services to Canada in times of need under their Labatt Disaster Relief Programme, established in 2012. Since then, they have donated canned water for first responders and the community in the wake of various emergency conditions, and recently so, considering the wildfires in Alberta in 2016 and the flooding along the Saint John River in New Brunswick and 2018, donating between 100,000 and 200,000 cans of water for each disaster, according to the need. So far, Labatt has exceeded that by donating 233,000 of the cans to the City of Toronto for Covid-19 relief alone, the company reported via Twitter on Sunday, April 26th.

Labatt Brewing Company donated truckloads of canned drinking water
Labatt employees volunteer to load cases of donated water for delivery in Alberta, Canada. Image Credit: Labatt Brewing Company.

The need for canned water at this time comes with the need for single use disposable drinking water to compliment the take-away meal services for the homeless by the City of Toronto. The cans help prevent the spread of the virus by limiting drinking from public water fountains. Toronto Mayor John Tory publicly responded to the donation saying, “The support of private partners like Labatt have helped our City in our non-stop efforts to respond to this emergency – to protect the health of residents and save lives.”

Labatt Brewing Company donated truckloads of canned drinking water, but their services haven’t stopped there. With the help of their sponsors and generous donations, Labatt helps in other ways, including providing more than 50,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for Food Bank Canada as an immediate response to the effects of the virus. In addition to providing much needed supplies, their outreach and employees make up a team of volunteers who distribute the units.

The encouragement to take away from this news is that there are unique responses in the state of emergency crises, various skills and available goods, and most importantly the people who are willing to lend a helping hand in times of need. Communities across the globe are suffering—some from COVID-19, but most from the actions of their governments—and there are those who provide relief out of mere kindness and empathy.

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Seeking Volunteers for our Covid-19 PPE Project

Voluntaryism in Action (VIA) is seeking volunteers for our Covid-19 PPE Project! VIA’s chief of technology, Alon Ganon, is piloting a project to produce face shields in response to the high-demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) since the viral pandemic Covid-19 began sweeping the globe with caution, fear, and necessity.

While many volunteers all over have met the demand by producing cotton masks in their home for close family, friends, and their local hospitals, Ganon’s tool to create these shields is quite unique—a 3D printer, specifically a model created by Czech inventor Josef Prusa who forefronted the original project to produce the face shields when his country was especially hit by the need.

Since then, Ganon has obtained a dependable design for the U.S. based on Prusa’s original design, and now VIA is calling for the community to help with supplies and operations to assemble and process the face shields. The shields are durable and the frames sanitizable, enabling them to last through the remainder of the long pandemic. Here are four ways our voluntaryists can help us with provisions:

  • By donating supplies directly. Needed supplies include clear presentation covers, 1” wide elastic or rubber bands, 1.75 mm of PETG (plastic), and disposable gloves. These supplies can be found and bought online via Amazon Wishlist.
  • By donating your money to Voluntaryism in Action. Money is used to supply the needed materials to make the 3D printed PPE’s as well as the shipping costs to process the completed equipment.
  • By creating and donating face shields to VIA using a 3D printer. The free downloadable file can be found here. VIA accepts them in PLA or ABS—please notate which filament is used when sending them. Those with 3D printers are also encouraged to create bias tape makers to donate to their local sewing communities making fabric masks.
  • Healthcare workers can help additionally by donating face shields to VIA for free or the cost of shipping, as we are managing and processing them to where they are most needed with this project.

If you have any questions about our project or are a healthcare worker in need of a face sheild or you know healthcare workers in need, please reach out to us at [email protected] And please help us spread the word as we continue seeking volunteers for our Covid-19 PPE project!

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Government Stalls Food Donations to Hungry Families

An act of charity was recently brought to a standstill by the heavy hand of government regulation—this time when the charitable solution would have both helped control deer overpopulation and feed the hungry.

According to an article in the Canadian Press, a recent startup project in Saint Andrews (a town in the New Brunswick province) encouraged local hunters to provide venison donations from their hunt to the local food bank. A similar program exists in Nova Scotia, so the startup appeared to be a good idea that could help people without government interference. The hunters were already storing up donations before the project was stalled by government concerns for “health and safety.” Now the would-be donations sit unused in the hunters’ freezers.

It’s a disappointment to many in the town that the stop was initiated in winter when the donation would have helped a number of low-income families during a rough season. Donna Linton, coordinator of the Volunteer Centre, says that the Centre helps roughly 400 people in a month—many of whom live on broth and dandelions without help from the food bank. It’s no question that the Centre is vital to impoverished and struggling families in Saint Andrews, yet it is only just keeping up with its limited meat supply—consisting mostly of frozen hamburgers and hot dogs.

The current burgeoning deer population in the town (reported at 20 deer per square kilometer) stirs up concerns including collisions with motorcycles, confrontations with pedestrians, increased risk and spread of Lyme disease, and complaints of destroyed gardens. Further, the New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development stated that the province’s deer population has been a concern for 10 years, and a simple web search for Saint Andrews’ deer population brings up various results of news articles addressing the deer overpopulation since circa 2018.

Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS

According to a CBC News report, the community called for action from officials  to handle the issue, running a full page ad in the Telegraph-Journal newspaper in August 2019. A common resolution for this issue would be to relocate the deer—however, according to Saint Andrews Mayor Doug Naish, the government in the past declined a relocation plan under the statement that their research showed that it would only cause the deer to die from stress. Again the Canadian Press reported that the government under Naish’s term actually extended a controlled bow hunt within the province.

In addition to considering relocation and the off-season quota hunt, officials of the province considered birth control for the does, and park rangers have tried scaring the deer away with hazing and loud noise. Unfortunately, the deer have become so accustomed to the town that they appear frequently and do not startle easily.

Despite numerous calls by the community to initiate a solution, the government seems mired in uncertainty. With relocation off the table and the government unwilling to further extend hunting privileges, official channels seem to have failed. The food bank project could have been a final and viable solution if not for the government preventing the community taking matters into their own hands. As of now, the project is not officially rejected as it’s continuation awaits the verdict from health officials, so many remain hopeful.