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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Real life Charities in Second life- Tea Couturier Reporting…

In second life we assume it’s all about shopping, meeting up with friends or making new friends and going out to clubs or attending live acts. However, there is a more serious side to second life a side which we probably as “second life citizens” do not focus on or talk about as much as we should. What is it I hear you ask? Charities in .second life.

There are quite a few charities in Second life which raise a money for charities in real life. For me to list them all will be a long list but I will focus on 3 major charities which I know most people will know about not only in Second Life but also in Real Life also.

The first one is the Relay For Life of Second Life ( RFL of SL) which is a virtual division of American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Teams fundraise from mid-March through mid-July.  In July we walk a track, just like in a Real World Relay.
To find out a little bit more on the charity I asked Dwen Dooly Event Co-Chair, Relay For Life of Second Life to give us an insight into RFL.

Tea: So can you please tell our readers what RFL is about in more depth?

Dwen: Hi, and thank you!  Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society, a non-profit organization which has just hit its 100th anniversary. "The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.” 

Tea: How is it run in SL?

Dwen: Like "Real world" Relay events, RFL of SL is volunteer-run, with an American Cancer Society Staff Partner to guide us. We are team-based, so many communities within SL come together to help in the fight against cancer by holding events, auctions, raffles, live music, dj'd parties, and many more fun things to raise funds. Our March through July season culminates in a 24-hour event filled with emotional ceremonies, amazing builds, and an overnight Relay walk which symbolizes the struggle of a cancer survivor.

Tea: How does it correlate from sl to rl with regards to the support you get in sl?

Dwen: The American Cancer Society maintains a presence in SL with it's own island ("American Cancer Society" sim).There is a support group for both Survivors and Caregivers, and our committee meets with the ACS on a regular basis to plan our events.

Tea: How long has it been going in SL for?

Dwen: There was a fundraiser for the ACS in SL 10 years ago, which lead to the first Relay For Life in SL 9 years ago. 

Tea:How much do you raise?

Dwen: The past 2 years we have remained about consistent at around $ 375,000 US Dollars. Overall, we are approach our 2nd Million Dollars since that first event 10 years ago, an amazing accomplishment for any event, in "RL" or in the virtual worlds.

Tea: What is RFL goal for 2013 or hopes in regards to fun raising aspect?

Dwen: We've set a 2013 goal of $400,000 financially. However, our goal, as always, is to raise awareness, celebrate those who've fought cancer, Remember those who've been lost to cancer, and to Fight Back against cancer through any means we can. Whether it's building, scripting, event planning, design, reaching out to communities in Second Life, or donating time, money, or talent... Relay has a place for everyone.

Tea: Do you have any website links photos and/slurl in sl which you would like to accompany your piece?

Dwen: Oh yes...

24/7 line for cancer information ... (800) 227-2345.

The second charity I came across was The Lavender Field for Feed a Smile ran by Brique Topaz.

Brique informed me that  “The Lavender Field for Feed a Smile hosts Live music events, art shows and a place to come and meet people and relax - that is what The Lavender Field is all about…

Tea: But the special thing that makes the difference at the Lavender Field is that it is purely a charity sim which exists in order to feed over 400 poverty stricken children living in the slums of Nakuru, Kenya on a daily basis with the proceeds and donations.  100 Linden pays for a warm meal to feed a smile... The entire sim - and everything on it has been donated.”

Brique: “We have some of SL's finest musicians performing on a charity basis and many of SL's leading venues and clubs organize Feed a Smile events. Many venues and shops have Feed a Smile donation boards set up constantly in order to support the cause. Donations can be viewed at the donation site, which has been set up by G&N Quality Design:

“Names like Marky Helstein, Russell Eponym, Lisa Brune, Shannon Oherlihy, Xander Nichting, Tamra Sands, FunkyFreddy, Voodoo Shilton, James Coracheo, Aminius, Dragonfly, TwinGhost, Samm Qendra, Thera D, Anek Fuchs, Viviana Houston, Seamore Wildehart , TwoStep Spiritweaver, Bat Masters - and many, many more super talents are constantly on the event boards at the Lavender Field.”

“Feed a Smile is a project of the RL registered non-profit organization - Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l. (LLK Int'l) Brique Topaz - (Zeiner) is the RL Chairwoman of the organization in Kenya and in Germany. LLK Int'l is in its 11th year - and has sent hundreds of children to school. That is what LLK Int'l is all about - providing needy children with an education so that they can find their way out of the vicious circle of poverty. Our motto is: 'Education is the key to the future' which explains exactly what is important. We help the children find a way to be all that they can be - and we provide everything necessary for them to go to school - including daily warm meals, medical and dental care, school materials, uniforms, fees, extracurricular activities, etc.”

“We also have a sponsorship program - and many SL residents have decided to sponsor one of our 400 LLK Int'l children in RL.  A sponsor provides everything that a child needs to go to school for only US$30 per month. The child writes letters to the sponsor and photos and report cards are sent to the sponsor.”

“The donations from Second Life provide about 1/3 of the daily meals for the children. We are able to take in between US$ 1000 - to 1700 monthly - depending on the amount of events and the performers.”

“Feed a Smile will be celebrating its 3rd anniversary in Second Life on July 13th and we are hoping to have another mega event for it as we have had in the past 2 years”.

“Our goal in SL is to become a household name in here - grow and become a name that people know they can trust. It would be a huge help if an ever-growing number of venue owners and store owners decide to support Feed a Smile by having donation boards set up and/or having fund-raising events. I provide all necessary information and photo material, etc to the owners that they need to promote the events.”

“Another goal is to have more and more direct support from Linden Lab.
We must pay large transfer fees - and although the sim rent is being donated - those funds could be used to feed the children if LL were to donate a sim to Feed a Smile for example.”

“We are always looking for musicians, performers, and artists!!!”

“We have shops for rent - the rent money goes solely to feed the children. It is also possible to donated objects - especially clothing - at our charity shop - all proceeds go towards feeding the children.”

Contact:  Brique Topaz    (SL)

Tea: The final charity which I came across which also just as the other 2 charities RFL and The Lavender Field for Feed a Smile which also is a Real Life charity is Amnesty International.

Amnesty International on their website describes themselves as people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. We received the Nobel Peace Prize for our life-saving work.
With more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in over 150 countries, and complete independence from government, corporate or national interests, we work to protect human rights worldwide. Our vision is of a world in which every person - regardless of race, religion, gender, or ethnicity - enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
Founded in 1961, our organization has campaigned successfully in recent years for the International Criminal Court and a UN Torture Treaty. Through our research and action, governments have been persuaded to stop human rights violations and change their laws and practices. Death sentences have been commuted. Torturers have been brought to justice. And prisoners of conscience have been released. We ask you to join us - to take action and stop human rights abuses wherever they occur.

The Movement

Amnesty International has a varied network of members and supporters around the world. At the latest count, there were more than 2.2 million members, supporters and subscribers in over 150 countries and territories in every region of the world. Although they come from many different backgrounds and have widely different political and religious beliefs, they are united by a determination to work for a world where everyone enjoys human rights.
AI is a democratic, self-governing movement. Major policy decisions are taken by an International Council made up of representatives from all national sections.
AI's national sections and local volunteer groups are primarily responsible for funding the movement. No funds are sought or accepted from governments for AI's work investigating and campaigning against human rights violations.

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is one of many country sections that make up Amnesty International worldwide. AIUSA members elect an 18 member national board of directors to represent them. The board of directors employs AIUSA's executive director, who manages the staff. The staff works to serve and supports the members.

The total in Second Life raised so far is total of around 479,716L

To find out more about Amnesty International tp down using the slurl below or contact
millay Freschi within Second Life or even better check the website where you will find more on the Amnesty and also where to donate in Real Life


  1. Be the Match is the only "Real Life Benefit" in SL that is not about raising lindens. They have many events over each year asking people to go to the website and sign up to be on the Bone Marrow Registry or volunteer for real life events. No lindens? A great cause. What a deal. Even the events have no tip jars present. Sign up to be a donor or help the cause in some way. Look for Be the Match events on SL

  2. That is a fantastic cause, Marykay. But please take into consideration that the Bone Marrow Registry is not costly. I've registered myself and I personally consider it something that every healthy person has the ability to do to help save a life...

    Thank you to Tea for the wonderful article. I'm sure it will open some eyes...

  3. I wish there were easy ways to verify SL organizations that claim connections to RL charities. I have exposed a few over time that claimed connections where there was none. I don't want to get into irrelevant thrash by naming names but it hurts us all when we want to support good causes in SL and we become aware of things that are scams. In some cases people were trying to get some financial rewards in others it was just someone that was mentally ill engaging in attention-seeking behaviour and in at least one case it seemed to be someone's idea of meta-gaming.

  4. Hi Kate, thank you for sharing your thoughts on Charities in Second Life with our readers. I agree with you on your descritpion of those that taint the charity work done in SL. I have given to many charities throughout Second Life for many years strictly on faith in humanity. Some may say I am a bit too trusting and I can agree in some situations and in others not so much. I have heard of these bogus charity hosts that claim they are doing fundraisers to help others and really they are helping fill their own pockets. Other's create fundraisers out of thin air for things that only benefit their own needs. It is a shame that their are people out there that abuse the kindness of others and I wonder how they can live with themselves. I would say the best thing for anyone to do is research these organizations or simply go to the official website or organization and make a donation that way. To show additional support, go to the events in Second Life and meet other supporters. If the legit fundraising host doenn't mind you donating directly to the organization then you know they are legit and not just looking for others to pay there charity themed tiers and personal bank accounts.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

  5. Now that we're faced with environmental recession, the negative impact on grants and funds available might just mean that a lot of medium sized charities will simply go under as their funding dries up and they run out of revenue streams. Fundraising for nonprofits


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