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.”
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.
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!