Monday, February 23, 2015

Quidditch Teams Rewarded for Acts of Kindess

By Danielle Lehmann

For the eighth consecutive year, the quidditch World Cup will take place on the East Coast. Annual cross country travel can add up for teams that have to cover thousands of miles, but this year teams from far away might get a little help in making it to Rock Hill, South Carolina.

This year teams on the West Coast can post their “Acts of Kindness” to a Facebook feed to try to win money for the World Cup. If you’re wondering how this contest came about just look to Vanessa Goh, who crafted this idea from her own passion to give back.

Goh was a chaser for the University of California Los Angeles and, later on, for the Lost Boys. She usually saves money in order to attend tournaments, specifically the World Cup, but she knew her end goal might not be possible this year. Unfortunately Goh tore her ACL at the West Fantasy tournament last July. She expects to be fully recovered this summer, but the injury impedes her from attending World Cup 8

Some people would decide to save the money and create less of a burden and a larger budget for the following year. Goh isn’t one of those people. Since she is unable to physically make the trip in April to World Cup 8 in South Carolina, she decided to put the money toward helping other teams make the trip. 

“Originally I was going to just donate to the qualifying West teams, but I thought that would be a bit boring,” said Goh. “I always like the idea of ‘random acts of kindness’ and thought this would be a really fun way for teams to do some good deeds.”

Goh’s own act of kindness developed into a contest for teams in her area on the West Coast the West and Northwest regions. On Feb. 19 she notified the regions of her contest in posts on their respective Facebook groups

In the post Goh described the rules of the contest. There must be at least two people from the team completing the act of kindness. There must to be a picture and a description of the act of kindness completed and the act needs to have happened after the post on Feb. 19. Goh indicated that it could be any type of kindness, from picking up trash to volunteering somewhere. 

“I was going to get one or two quidditch friends to help me judge hopefully they will be unbiased but overall I was going to judge on the impact of the act, difficulty of the act, how many teammates were involved, and if they were wearing their jerseys,” said Goh. 

The money will go toward a team’s Indiegogo campaign, GoFundMe campaign, or to the specific team members who completed the act. For the three acts that are judged as the best, the teams or players will be awarded $60 for first place, $40 for second place, and $30 for third place. If, by chance, only one team submits an act of kindness then that team will get $100. If only two teams submit an act they will both get $60. 

There may be only three top prizes, but Goh isn’t going to leave a team out if they submit an act of kindness. She will donate $5 to every team that participates in the contest, so submitting a picture and description of a random (or organized) act of kindness will benefit a team no matter what. 

“I know the West in particular would be down for this,” said Goh. “When I first started playing quidditch, everyone was always super supportive and enjoyed helping out other players. Recently, it seems some teams and people have become self-absorbed, so I thought this would be a good way for us to really make a positive impact on our communities and highlight how many great teams and people the West has.”

If you want to submit your own act of kindness, comment on her original post in either of the regions’ groups on Facebook. She will announce the winners on the event page for the USQ West Regional Championship on Facebook. There is no hard deadline yet, but Goh plans on ending the contest sometime in mid-March when many fundraising campaigns end. 

Spend some time off the pitch with your team this month and do something that helps your community. Whether you’re based on the West Coast or not, participating in your neighborhood and giving back will have a positive ripple effect on those around you. The contest Goh created is the start of that ripple, but it’s up to you and your team to keep it going. The Quidditch Post will feature every act of kindness we come across on our Facebook page, so please take this opportunity to do good, and share it proudly with the quidditch community.

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