'Lord Of The Rings' Promotes Charity Push
16 February 2004 at 12:02 pm
An international group of fans of Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ has created an organisation to promote volunteerism and charitable donations on a worldwide basis.
Following in the footsteps of their literary and on-screen heroes and idols, a group of Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fans has begun a year-long drive calling on all LOTR fans and others to increase their charitable donations and volunteer more of their time in their communities.
The launch of this program called the ROTK Challenge follows on the heels of the worldwide release of New Line Cinema’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. (Hence ROTK!)
The major focus of the challenge is to promote the values that J.R.R. Tolkien – ecology, literacy and assistance to others in need.
This will be accomplished by asking LOTR fans worldwide to make charitable contributions that are equivalent to (or greater than) the number of hours they spend in the theatres, or the dollar amount that they spend on movie tickets or LOTR-related merchandise. These contributions can be in the form of monetary donations or volunteered time.
Rachel Wangen-Hoch, Director of the ROTK Challenge says the goals are to celebrate the release of The Return of the King, and to create a remarkable and unprecedented surge in giving by LOTR fans and to make a true difference in the world.
As part of setting up The Challenge, the group has selected three official international charities to which participants can donate. But participants do not have to donate to or volunteer for these charities alone. A Challenge participant can select a charity or organisation in their community that embodies the values that Tolkien held in high esteem. The three official charities are:
The Nature Conservancy – www.nature.org
The Nature Conservancy is an organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s lands, water, animal and plant life through a science-based planning process called Conservation by Design. This process helps them determine the highest priority areas that if conserved, promise to ensure biodiversity in the long run. Their worldwide efforts currently protect more than 116 million acres across the globe.
Doctors Without Borders – www.doctorswithoutborders.org
Doctors Without Borders is an organisation initially started by the French, but was taken up by countries around the world as an organisation and effort that demanded support. Doctors Without Borders is an international humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 80 countries.
Proliteracy Worldwide – www.proliteracy.org
Through the assistance provided by Proliteracy Worldwide, many adults who were once functionally illiterate have acquired the literacy skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives and participate in changing their societies. This organisation provides a variety of programs to help individuals develop the skills required and maintain their newly found literacy throughout their lives.
Visit the official website at www.ROTKChallenge.org to learn more about the program and register your participation.
As a registered participant, each individual will be able to log their donations and volunteer hours and watch as the overall total climbs. All donations are to be made through the official channels as stated by the individual charities and organisations.
Participants are also encouraged to create their own fund raising or volunteer projects and submit their plan to the ROTK Challenge staff. During the year they are asked to document their activities, both written and pictorially, and submit the final project for review.
As a wrap up to the ROTK Challenge, there will be an award ceremony in 2005, honouring those individuals who have shown the most creativity and/or dedication to the ideals revered by J.R.R. Tolkien.