A Year in Magical Kindness

When you watch the news or scroll through social media, the world can feel like a pretty cruel place — but in 2018, Dumbledore’s Army came together to fight back against hate and spread joy and kindness throughout the world! We had a lot of big victories: we donated nearly 30,000 books to over 70 literacy organizations around the world! We helped #StoptheSnatchers in Oregon when wizard activists made over 7,000 calls to defeat an anti-immigrant ballot measure! We helped welcome over 200 newly resettled refugees to their new country!

Those victories feel amazing — but big wins aren’t the only things that make the world a kinder, better place to live. Throughout 2018, wizard activists have been doing magical acts of kindness around the world. Countless wizard activists donated their time, talent, and treasure to charity, lent an ear or cooked a meal for friends in need, spoke out against hate and bigotry, created works of art to recognize others, and much more! This December, we’re celebrating these Magical Acts of Kindness and inspiring others to join in! If someone has done something kind for you, or if you’ve done something to make the world a kinder, more joyful place, add that action to our pensieve full of happy memories from 2018 and help us reach 1,000 wizard activists for kindness by the end of the year!

What follows are just some of the hundreds of Magical Acts of Kindness that wizard activists have done this year. If you’d like to see these kinds of magic continue to happen all around the world, support our our Chapters Program by donating to the HPA today!

2018 Pensieve

The 2018 Pensieve if just a taste of the magical acts of kindness that wizard activists led this year! Tell us something kind that you or a friend did this year, and we’ll add it to our list of Magical Acts of Kindness!

January

A soft-looking pile of red yarn.

January may be chilly in Ohio, but the wizard activists in Diagon Valley (Miami Valley, Ohio, USA) know how to keep everyone warm and cozy! At the beginning of the year, they partnered with the Red Scarf Project, an organization that sends care packages to foster youth attending college. By hosting public knitting circles at local businesses and cafes, Diagon Valley created and donated over 75 soft, red scarves to young people in need in a prolific knitting effort that would make Molly Weasley proud!

In Morgantown, North Carolina, the Order of Burke kicked off the year with kindness! They hosted a Random Acts of Kindness campaign where they focused on doing kind acts for different members of the community including hospital nurses, homeless people, and more.

Image: a cosplayer dressed as Elsa from Frozen smiles at the camera and glittering snow spills from her raised hand. Above her head, white text reads “Calendario Benéfico”. She stands above smaller photos of cosplayers in numerous Disney and Marvel costumes and the text “2018. Asociación Benéfica Capaz de Convertir a Fans en Héroes. Fotografía de Portada: Javier Vergara. Cosplayer de Portada: Elena Revuelto”

Zaragoza, Spain, our chapter Magic 4 Smiles got created and sold calendars featuring different cosplayers! Eight local businesses and organizations sponsored the calendar, and the proceeds were donated to the Zaragoza Food Bank and the European Bison Breeding Project.

HPA DC, our chapter Washington, DC, hosted their Free Dobby sock drive where they collected 424 pairs of socks to donate to people living in local shelters.

The Order, our HPA chapter in Celebration, Florida kicked off the new year by volunteering at Give Kids The World, a nonprofit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families!

In Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, the Magical Illini Association hosted their 3rd annual Yule Ball. The night was filled with music, magic, and kindness as they raised $4000 for a charity working with refugees from Syria.

February

Nine wizard activists in scarves and sweatshirts smile around a cardboard cutout that reads “Have you seen this wizard?” (in homage to Sirius Black’s Azkaban poster).

Scarburrow, our chapter in in Toronto, Canada, partnered with their university’s Health and Wellness office to host a magical movie night to help students de-stress! Academic stress can be a major contributor to mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and more. By focusing on fun and promoting some of the available mental health resources on campus, these wizard activists helped to chase the Dementors away!

In Robbinsdale, Minnesota, the Gryffindorks participated in Little Hats, Big Hearts for American Heart month by knitting and crocheting little red hats for preemie babies in hospitals. Our hearts feel even bigger just thinking of these adorable babies!

Kindness to the Earth is often in short supply, so we were so thrilled when The Weasleys and Extended Family, our chapter in Reno, Nevada, hosted a screening of the documentary, How to Let Go of The World, a film about climate change. They followed it up with a community discussion about how they can advocate for environmental causes and people who need help in their community!

March

Image: two people hold up a white piece of canvas that reads “END IMMIGRATION DETENTION” in red and black letters and a small painting of people waving at the bottom. The people holding the sign are chanting. Photo by Sara Mortensen.

On March 18th, 2018, 200 trainees at the Granger Leadership Academy staged a protest to call for the release of Ale Pablos, a reproductive justice and immigrant rights organizer who had been detained by ICE. We feel about kindness the same way Cornel West feels about love: “Justice is what love looks like in public”. If we all fought for the end of immigrant detention and mass incarceration, the world would be a kinder place. The impromptu protest was even joined by some community members, and our calls for justice joined a chorus of organizers who helped free Ale from detention! Now, Ale is facing deportation and you can sign the petition to pardon her and keep her home!

In Stellenbosch, South Africa, Ascendio Stellenbosch brought the magic of our Without Hermione campaign into 2018 when they hosted a sanitary pad drive to donate menstrual products to people in need and had 56 people participate!

In Masaka, Uganda, Masaka HPA is building a hospital to help keep their rural community healthy! They made their first installment payment for the land in March.

The Potsdam Patronuses stand silently Friday morning in SUNY Potsdam’s Barrington Student Union, to draw attention to gun violence. They each hold the name of a student killed in a school shooting.

March 24 marked the March for Our Lives, a nationwide movement in the U.S. to reduce gun violence and stop needless, tragic school shootings, inspired by the survivors of the Parkland, FL school shooting. The HPA released our Wands Up Walk Out planning toolkit and numerous HPA chapters participated, like the Potsdam Patronuses who staged a school walk out and the Highland Burrow who led an education campaign about reducing gun sales and gun violence in their hometown of Chilhowie, Virginia.

Wilfrid Laurier University Harry Potter Alliance in Waterloo, Ontario decided to spread kindness to students coping with mental illness through their annual Lumos Week: Shining A Light On Mental Health.

Yule Balls aren’t just for the holidays — and not just for humans, either! In Brentwood, Tennessee, the Chamber of Knowledge — hosted a Yule Ball where they raised over $700 for the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee!

5 members of NYDA smile at the camera in Freebird Bookstore.

April

Prisons often don’t provide a lot of opportunities for incarcerated people to imagine a better future for themselves. Books, on the other hand, are filled with excitement, hope, and new ideas for the future! That’s why in April, New York Dumbledore’s Army volunteered with Books Through Bars, an all volunteer-run collective that sends free books to incarcerated people across the country. NYDA met at Freebird Bookstore in Brooklyn to open letters, choose books, and pack them to send.

In Austin, TX, Keep Austin Wizard hosted a Butterbeer fundraiser for Communities in Schools, a local organization that promotes literacy in Austin. The event was such a success that they later hosted another for Posada Esperanza, a shelter for immigrant mothers and children.

In Ohio, the Ohio State HPA had a blast when they volunteered as reading buddies at their local library to provide reading support to kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade!

Coco the dog smiles at several boxes of books in the back of a car.

May

In May, wizard activists like Sara and Julia donated books to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico through Accio Books! Furry friends like Coco also lent a helping paw!

Chapters like the KC Keepers also celebrated Accio Books! In Kansas City, the Keepers donated 3,000 books to a children’s hospital, the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico, and their local library!

Through Accio Books 2018, wizard activists donated nearly 30,000 books and school supplies to over 70 literacy programs, including classrooms, after school programs, libraries, prisons, non-profits, and more! Over 7,000 of those books were donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico to help stock lending libraries in the clubs around the island.

New York Dumbledore’s Army holds up protest signs that read “#StoptheSnatchers,” “WANDS UP Resistance is Magic!” and “NYDA Harry Potter Alliance.”

June

In June, HPA chapters in New York, Washington, D.C. and around the U.S. created protest signs and attended the march to Keep Families Together in response to the Trump administration’s family separation crisis. The outpouring of love and righteous anger by wizard activists and everyday people across the United States made the protests a very public show of resistance to hate and support for kindness!

July

In Minnesota, USA, the Gryffindorks celebrated Harry’s birthday by preparing and freezing meals for the Link, an organization that works to provide food and resources for homeless youth.

In Arkansas, USA, the Northwest Arkansas HPA celebrated their very first month as a chapter by marching in their local pride parade and standing up for LGBTQIA+ folks in their community!

Image: Two children march in a parade. One is waving a wand and another is holding a colorful sign that reads “Harry Potter taught us no one should have to live in a closet!”. Behind them, a person dressed as Luna Lovegood wearing rainbow socks watches them and smiles.

Continuing their work from June to #StoptheSnatchers, NYDA hosted a trivia night where they raised $425 for Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages.

OWLS, our chapter in New Hampshire, USA helped their local humane society re-start their vegetable garden to feed small animals. Even the smallest creatures among us deserve and benefit from magical acts of kindness!

August

Image: Garry Potter, a sheep, relaxes in the grass and looks at the camera.

As a part of their Care of Magical Creatures campaign, the Deluminators in Sydney, Australia sponsored Gary Potter, a sheep that lives at Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary in the lower Hunter Valley (NSW)! Gary was abandoned at a sales yard at just a few hours old. His mother had been sold and he was left behind all alone. Luckily, a kind-hearted farm worker took the young lamb into their home before being rescued by Where Pigs Fly. This rambunctious lamb has quickly developed a newfound confidence and energy, bounding from one end of the paddock to the other. This year-long sponsorship assists in covering the cost of feed and veterinary care for Gary.

A large crowd of fans smile at the camera during the tea party hosted by the Pinoy Harry Potter (Hogwarts Philippines)!

In Manila, Philippines, Pinoy Harry Potter (Hogwarts Philippines) hosted a community tea party to provide a fun place for fans of all ages to come together to celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter!

In the U.S., Dumbledore’s Army of Delaware County brought kindness to kids when they created and sent messages of hope and get-well cards to hospitalized children.

September

5 wizard activists sit around a table writing letters. A cut away zooms in on one of the letters addressed to the North Kansas City School Board.

In Kansas City, USA, the Kansas City Keepers wrote letters of thanks to the North Kansas City school district for making their elementary school restrooms gender neutral.

Image: Created by our chapter Hermione’s Army, the photo shows dozens of individuals raising their wands in front of Hogwarts castle. Overlaid is white text that reads “Hermione’s Army. WANDS UP. #ReuniteEveryChild”

In September, Dumbledore’s Army joined the other real world D.A., Define American, in a Week of Witness to call attention to the then 500+ children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration’s family separate crisis. We joined activists across the country in a call to #ReuniteEveryChild through singing lullabies and raising our wands in solidarity. You can relive the magic and the music by watching the WROCK to Reunite livestream and perusing the photo gallery

Minerva’s Movement in Santa Clara, California truly had a month full of KINDness when they raised $7,637 for immigrant legal agencies KIND and RAICES. The chapter is made up of mostly white members, so they also worked on practicing good allyship by reaching out to local Latinx organizations to find out how they can best support the work they are doing to fight for immigrant safety and liberation.

And it might have been Fall, but for the LA Auror Brigade in Los Angeles, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The Aurors hosted a Roller Skate Night where they collected toys and funds to support their December toy drive!

October

In October, the Deluminators in Sydney, Australia hosted a booth at Oz Comic Con where they sold crafts and raised funds for Buy A Bale to support farmers suffering from the drought in Australia. The Deluminators raised an amazing in $1800 in just two days!

In Guelph, Ontario, HPA Guelph celebrated the spooky season by participating in “Treat or Eat” on Halloween! They walked around the neighborhood collecting canned goods and monetary donations for their local food bank.

Members of HPA Guelph in their Treat or Eat Halloween costumes.

November

On November 1st, Dumbledore’s Army fought to #StoptheSnatchers. We teamed up with the ACLU and #NoOn105 in Oregon to stop ballot measure 105, a hate group-endorsed initiative to make it easier for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to snatch, detain and deport undocumented immigrants. We hosted a livestream to train and encourage wizard activists in making get out the vote calls. Because defeating Death Eaters requires a broad coalition, we were joined on the livestream by some incredible guests! Actor and undocumented activist Bambadjan Bamba (Black Panther, The Good Place), documentary filmmaker and director Annalise Ophelian (Looking for Leia), comic creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez (La Borinqueña), Alexis Sanchez (Latinx Geeks), Robyn Jordan (Black Girls Create), author and journalist Peter Zuckerman (No on 105 campaign), Blanca Gamez (ACLU), and Anna Dardick (HPA Board Member) were all on hand to cheer fans on as they make calls to help protect immigrants and their families! The night was an incredible success: in just two hours, wizard activists made over 7,000 calls and helped shift the tide in a very tight race. On Election Day, measure 105 was defeated!!

An image of our Owls of Hope letters sitting on a table as people wait outside the doors. The letters feature colorful stickers, including stickers of owls!

223 wizard activists wrote letters of welcome to newly resettled refugees through Owls of Hope. On November 10th, we delivered those letters to people at the Northwest Community Center in Vickery Meadows, Dallas, TX, one of the largest refugee resettlement communities in the United States. These letters of love, hope and welcome came from from the USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Australia, India, and Malaysia!

In Ohio, Preble Library HPA worked on #HonorNativeLands. They gathered orders from local businesses for posters designed by indigenous artists, distributed them with information about the Shawnee and Miami, their local native nation, and created a library display about Native American Heritage Month.

December

Children in red t-shirts at Silahis ng Kalusugan, Philippine General Hospital smile and hold up colorful signs that read “Thank you”

December is still in progress, and the kind deeds of wizard activists are putting us all in good spirits! For the third year in a row, Hogwarts Philippines (Pinoy Harry Potter) partnered with the Jolly Roger Rogers to help spread holiday cheer to the kids of Silahis ng Kalusugan, Philippine General Hospital. SnK PGH is a school that caters to children with chronic and/or terminal illnesses. Through the efforts of volunteers and donors, Hogwarts Philippines and the Jolly Roger Rogers have donated holiday food packages, special gifts, and smart phones to help with their school work to 35 children!

Mrs. Gates’ 8th graders spent December focused on the Great Kindness Project! They spent three weeks reading, writing, listening and talking about being kind and having empathy for others. They wrote about when others have been kind to them and talked about how they can show kindness to others. The project culminated with students writing compliments to every student in their class period as well as eight trusted adults. The last week of school before break is a stressful time for staff and students alike. Getting an envelope full of kind words from their students/peers is a great way to make the world more kind!

Gif of six members of the Keep Austin Wizard chapter in Austin, TX. They are leaning in together with their hands and arms in heart shapes over rainbow-flashing text that reads “The Weapon We Have is Love.”

Thousands of nerdfighters and wizard activists came together in December for the annual Project for Awesome! People created and shared videos about their favorite charities and donated nearly $2 million to causes like human rights, education, and more. Wizard activists even created 16 kind, incredible, love-filled videos in support of the Harry Potter Alliance!

The world is full of kindness

Because it’s full of wizard activists like you. Have you helped make the world more kind in 2018? Tell us about it. Help us share your stories and end 2018 with a heart full of fuel for the year to come.

Love,

The HPA