UNICEF Joins Forces With ‘Star Wars’

May 23, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

It turns out that all you need to do to have a chance to step foot in a galaxy far, far, away is donate cash to a charitable cause.

In partnership with the United States Fund for UNICEF, Disney, “Star Wars Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm, and Omaze.com are giving fans a chance to have a walk-on role in the upcoming chapter in the sci-fi saga. With the launch of “Star Wars: Force for Change,” fans of the saga will be entered into a drawing for that prize by donating money to benefit UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and Programs.

In addition to these funds, Disney has already donated $1 million to benefit the new initiative, which Abrams in a video from the set of the film in Abu Dhabi described as a program “dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.” Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m., July 18.

“UNICEF’s network of Innovation Labs help young innovators in the world’s most challenging environments identify and adapt solutions to problems that they face,” said Christopher Fabian, UNICEF Senior Advisor on Innovation and co-lead of the Innovation Unit. “Star Wars: Force for Change is raising awareness and critically-needed funding support for UNICEF’s open-source innovation work such as RapidFTR, a mobile phone application that helps reunite children with their families after natural disasters, and MobiStation, a portable, solar-powered education kit that provides children with access to quality learning anywhere.”

Donors who log onto http://www.omaze.com/experiences/starwars-episode-vii will have the option to donate anywhere from $10 to $50,000. Depending on how much you choose to donate, you will have your name entered a number of times equal to the initial $10 donation. For example, donating $50,000 will have your name entered 5,000 times. Donors will also receive special gifts depending on their level of donation, including a private screening of “Episode VII” before it’s release on December 18, 2015.

Disney purchased Lucasfilm from the original saga’s creator, George Lucas, on October 30, 2012 for $4.05 billion and immediately announced the creation of a new series of “Star Wars” films. Lucas pledged to give the profits from Disney’s purchase to foundations that focus on education.

If you want the chance to be a Jedi, droid, or some form of computer generated creature, head to http://www.omaze.com/experiences/starwars-episode-vii to make your donation.