Harry Potter fans love a reason to celebrate, so whenever J.K Rowling and Harry Potter's birthdays come around (both are on July 31st) people flock to social media to send well wishes to the author, along with tons of remembrances of what Harry and the books have done for them. It's a fun way to continue keeping the series, and the fandom, alive and thriving. But since this is also the 20th anniversary year of the publication of the first book in the series, and the tenth anniversary of the publication of the final book, it seems only fitting to take the celebrations one step further by giving back a little bit of the endless joy that Rowling and the series have brought us.
Rowling is known for her tremendous charitable support. Since 2005, Lumos, the organization Rowling herself founded has been helping primarily poor, disabled, and ethnic minority children in institutions around the world to replace the institutions that drive their families apart and offer access to the health, education and social care they so desperately need. But Rowling has also helped lots of other charities, and many charities have taken inspiration from her, and from the Harry Potter books, to create organizations of their own. Below are just a few of the places you can support this year, as a little gift to Rowling and The Boy Who Lived.
Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos is an international non-governmental, non-profit organization founded by J.K. Rowling to help the eight million disadvantaged children in orphanages around the world to be returned to their family or placed in a loving family environment. Lumos’ mission is to end the use of orphanages and institutions for vulnerable children around the world by 2050. You can donate both in the US and abroad at wearelumos.org/donate.
Comic Relief is a charity whose mission is to see a world free from poverty, created in the mid-1980s in response to famine in Ethopia. Since then the charity (both in the UK and US) has raised over £1 billion. J.K. Rowling supported Comic Relief by writing Quidditch Through The Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which were published in March 2001. Sales of the books have to date raised over £17 million. The new illustrated version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will also benefit the charity. Find their donation page at comicrrelief.com/donate.
J.K. Rowling, who herself was a single mother of two children when she first starting working on the Harry Potter books, has supported the UK based charity Gingerbread since 2000, initially as their first ambassador and now in her role as their president. Gingerbread campaigns on behalf of single parents, as well as providing expert advice and practical support. Just some of what they do includes offering single parents the chance to gain work experience, or develop skills and confidence to get back into work, and supporting local friendship groups make sure no single parent has to feel like they’re raising a family alone. You can check out their donation page at https://gingerbread.org.uk/content/1853/Donate-now
The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh
The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh, is named after J.K. Rowling’s mother, who died in 1990 from complications related to Multiple Sclerosis. More than 20 million people worldwide are diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease each year. At present, all of these disorders are progressive and incurable. There is a need for research that will lead to new therapies. The Clinic seeks to tackle this need through its patient-based clinical research into Regenerative Neurology, targeting the discovery of treatments that will slow progression of neurodegenerative diseases, with the ultimate ambition of repairing damage. The Clinic also offers outpatient care for people with neurological conditions. You can make a donation at annerowlingclinic.com/make-a-donation.html
The Harry Potter Alliance
Inspired by the Harry Potter books, The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes. Their mission is to change the world by making activism accessible through the power of story. Since 2005, they've engaged millions of fans through our work for equality, human rights, and literacy. To date, just some of their achievements are raising over $123,000 for Partners In Health and sending five cargo planes of life-saving supplies to Haiti and donations of over 250,000 books across the world through HPA’s Accio Books campaign. Donate to the alliance right here https://hpalliance.nationbuilder.com/donate