Heroes Behind the Masks: C4AC (Cos 4 A Cause)

The creator of this group was inspired by someone who positively influenced the cosplay community during his life, someone who inspired me and many others to be better. I love hearing that other people were influenced by the same person or thing.  Though this group is young they are making a difference in their community and I have enjoyed watching them grow.  I hope you are inspires by them as I have been!  –Mala
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Group Name: C4AC (Cos 4 A Cause)

Location: San Antonio, TX (USA)

When was the group started? And by who? It started back in June 29, 2014 and was created by myself (Jennlee Cosplay).

What inspired you to create C4AC or CAUSEplay in general?
I created this organization to bring good people together to help those in need (young, old, human, animal). As a part of this inspiration, a fellow member and good friend of mine, Jonathan Vela aka www.facebook.com/AquamanSA, taught me without realizing how much good a person can do. Rather it may be a simple hug, smile or someone dressed up in cosplay. Jonathan passed away this past August and we continue to keep doing the good he taught us. It’s rare where I’m from to see small organizations such as this do what they do for the right reasons. Some do it for ego, attention or even money. This organization, C4AC, we do good and don’t ask for any thank yous, money, or even boosting our ego. We love what we do, because it’s an ideal of what we should do onto others. Always put others first. Help one another. That’s what we’re all about. We come from all backgrounds, race, gender, etc and we love each other as family and we bring this love upon others we encounter.

Do you have a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization status or other designation? If not, do you consider yourself a charity group or just a group of friend who do good? And are you looking into getting a 501(c)3 status?
We’re in the middle of getting all of this situated, and hopefully one day become worldwide for other branches to help.

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How can someone join C4AC?
As of right now it is only local to San Antonio, TX(USA). Some day we hope to branch out to include all those interested. If those who are interested in joining are from the San Antonio or surrounding areas, then they can either contact Jennlee at cos4acause@gmail.com or private message our fb page at www.facebook.com/Cos4ACause

What type of costumes do you accept and what do you look for in a costume? Do you have a costume approval process?
We accept any types as long as they’re family friendly. We have all sorts and all ranges of craftsmanship. There isn’t really an approval process. We just ask the costume choice is family friendly.

Do you accept crossplay costumes? Gender bent costumes? Customized characters?
We accept all costumes as long as it’s family friendly. We are strong believers with cosplay being for everyone. Spread love not hate. Majority of us have been bullied and some of us are still being bullied on till this day, but not a single one of us lets it bother us. We have fun with what we do. We take pride in our organization. And we’re drama free. We look forward to events, because of our member’s passion, drive and heart.

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Do you have people willing to help with the costume making process or a resource guide to help with the process?
Within our group we help one another. Everyone within our group have talents of many kinds. Some are video making to sewing to photography to educating. We all work together and it shows.

How many people are currently in your group?
Currently we have 30 members. Most are cosplayers, a few educators/handlers, and several photographers. We all cross train when needed for certain events.

Are you interested in staying small or taking over the world?
We’re still new and would like to grow eventually to help out our world one day at a time.

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How is the leadership determined?
We have our officers based on availability and skills in field.

What have you done for charities (types of events)?
We have done events such as encouraging kids to read (Comicfest), Be Their Hero (encourage adoptions with San Antonio Humane Society), Comics for a Cause event for the San Antonio Boys and Girls Club (working with the San Antonio Food Bank and Alien Worlds to bring donations of food and funds for families in need) to even little events such as judging a Halloween costume contest.

Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
We do both. Mostly when requested, but soon we’re going to have our own events as well.

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Do you appear at cons too?
We haven’t as a vendor, but most of us go to some of the local cons to have fun and help get the word out there about our team.

How did you build you “clientele”?
Our first event was at Barnes and Noble for “Super Art Blast.” We were invited at the last minute by an artist I ran into at a previous event. Once we helped out at this event (B&N) there were many who became interested in what we do. This took off from there. Mostly word of mouth and hopefully soon there will be testimonials on our page.

Do you have particular organization(s) or cause(s) you work with regularity?
We work with San Antonio Humane Society, San Antonio Food Bank, Alien Worlds and Heroes and Fantasies when they have events for us. We also started to take off with birthday parties and soon events at schools and hospitals.

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What is the most amazing thing C4AC has accomplished so far?
The most amazing thing accomplished is how much passion everyone continues to bring within themselves naturally each day. It only gets stronger and others notice it, feed off of it and become passionate in their lives as well. This is one of the many things we enjoy what we do.

Where do you see C4AC going in the future?
By the end of the year I see C4AC going to more school functions and starting hospital visits. Next year, I see our team going to speak at universities, social networking, hospitals and much more. In 5 years, I see us with at least 5 other branches. In 10 years, I see our team reaching out worldwide.

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Do you use any fun terminology specifically for C4AC?
We call ourselves Team Awesome. Without this amazing group of volunteers (cosplayers, photographers, handlers) none of this would be possible.

Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
Never let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. If you’re creating one for the right reasons (to help out the community and not your ego) then go for it. Don’t ever give up. There are many people out there wanting to participate in an organization, but have no idea where to find one. If you’re one of those people and can’t find one, then create one.

What future events do you have?
Our next event this month is in Hondo, Texas at the holiday parade 11/15/14 (we’ll be joining San Antonio Star Wars Society. Then we have a few school events scheduled as well as another big event at Helotes, TX for Winterfest 12/06/14.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Cos4ACause
Email: cos4acause@gmail.com

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Let me know how you are getting involved! I want to hear your stories!! And adventures!! Or tell me about a CAUSEplayer or a group you think are making a difference! Email AdventuresWithMala@gmail.com with your stories! If sending info on an individual person please let them know you have done so, to reduce the creep factor of a stranger contacting them for a potential interview.