What got you into CAUSEplaying? I feel that it is important to give back to the community. Because of this I began volunteering with the Murray Greenhouse Foundation in 2009 working with individuals with disabilities. My work there inspired me to obtain a Masters in Public Administration focusing on nonprofits and disability studies. While attending school I discovered H.E.R.O.I.C., Inc. and things grew quickly from there since it combined my love of costumes, creativity, geekdom, and giving back to the community. To be honest I never saw this occurring in my life but I am very grateful that it did!
What keeps you CAUSEplaying? The smiles on people’s faces! I love bringing Disneyland to kids who normally wouldn’t be able to go because of health issues or coming from a low income family. That is the most rewarding thing, making people happy or distracting them from their lives even for a moment. And to be honest it helps ground me in my personal life to give back and know that I made a difference, even briefly, in someone’s life. I hope that my example also inspires others to give back!
Most memorable moment CAUSEplaying: I am diabetic and use an insulin pump to manage it. I have to modify all my costumes so that I can wear and access my pump for obvious health reasons. My favorite event was when a little girl saw my pump and was all excited that she had one too. We sat and talked about having a pump for a few minutes. I hope that by seeing me in costume with my pump she knows that being diabetic doesn’t have to hold her back and she can be or do what she dreams of!
Who inspires you? My friends in the Utah costume groups and my fiancee. CAUSEplaying brought us together and I am grateful to have these amazing examples in my life of selflessness and kindness. They give me hope that there is some good in the world still! My grandparents on both sides of the family have also been a great inspiration. One set of grandparents has worked with the Lion’s Foundation for most of my life in various ways fundraising for the blind. Another grandmother started a church group that makes prayer shawls for those in need. She also started scholarship fund golf tournament. I am proud to carry on their example of contributing to the community while being true to myself.
Advice for CAUSEplaying: Find a cause you are passionate about and begin there! There is an organization for ever cause out there. Find one with a mission that you can 100% support. Other options are creating a local food or clothing drive for a homeless shelter or assist with a Toys For Tots drive. I have helped outside of CAUSEplaying in these regards as well. The options and ways to CAUSEplay or to simply give back to the community are as endless as your imagination.
My current CAUSEplay efforts have included organizing a toy drive for my local YWCA. With the help of Intergalactic Costumers Alliance, Northwest Mutant Academy, and Bobakhan Toys we collected a large box of toys for Christmas 2014!
My current efforts include opening a print shop. 30% of profit will be donated to various causes throughout the year! If things go well enough I would like to increase the donation amount to 50%! Print store is located at http://adventureswithmala.storenvy.com/
January to April 2015 will be donated to Lupus on behalf of a friend.
May to July 2015 another 30% will be donated to an organization yet to be determined.
August to October 2015 30% will be donated to breast cancer research ion honor of my mother.
November to December of 2015 will be donated to diabetes research.