Hey, charity warriors: we're interested to hear what this community means to you. Have any of our actors' campaigns affected you in a positive way or inspired you to do more? What have you liked about them? How have the campaigns affected your personal involvement in philanthropy or charity? Tell us everything. Get seriously feelsy with it, we can take it.

Valerie Liakopoulos
Supported: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki & Misha Collins' "SPN Family Love" Campaign

Hearing about this campaign and what it stood for is why is one of the reasons why i supported the LOVE campaign. Second, i supported this campaign because of what the message was of love and spreading it across the world and beyond. Jared, Jensen, and Misha are my role models and i will always look up to them for support and guidance.

Kathy Boomgaarden
Supported: Rob Benedict's "Rock God" Campaign

I had a stroke at 43 years old. My paralysis lasted only a couple of months, leaving little obvious evidence of the Stroke's damage. The remaining struggles were internal, vague, and confusing. As a younger-than-average stroke survivor, my issues were quite different from other survivors in my community. I felt entirely alone in my recovery. Worse, the question often came up, "Why would someone your age have such a severe stroke?" I was embarrassed about being a stroke victim, believing that I had caused it through poor self-care. Now, seven years later, I see my recovery differently and know that I am not to blame and I am not alone. Seeing Rob Benedict share his story with the hope that stroke-awareness can help others intercept stroke, minimize damage, and support recovery, made me want to support his campaign and share my story.

Tally Smith
Supported: Kim & Briana's "Wayward AF" Campaign

I’m a little nervous about making this public, but if my story helps inspire others, then I feel I will have succeeded. But yes, since this was originally written to be private, I apologize in advance for any TMI. I address this to Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster and the team behind Wayward AF. Fair warning: while this doesn’t get very dark, it is full of emotions, so if you wish to read, please do so when you’re ready and comfortable to have said emotions.

My first convention was Pasadena in 2015. Coincidentally, that was a very dark time in my life. I had been struggling with a few different issues that I won’t get into and needed an escape from reality. Since I had just finished watching the entire show (10 seasons at the time), I thought the local convention would be perfect. I had no friends in the fandom, and also lacked things like self-respect and confidence but since I was used to doing stuff alone, I didn’t think twice. While I did end up making friends, another cool thing happened. At the time, I barely knew any of the actors. I knew the main dudes’ names, but that was it. So when the very first act to go up on Friday was Briana, boy was I blindsided by sheer awesome!

Briana, I can’t describe what a breath of fresh air it was to see you on that stage. You were gorgeous (and this was before I finally admitted I was bi and perhaps you can guess why I finally threw in that towel! haha), confident, fun and gave absolutely zero fucks. You strutted yourself casually across the stage, eating oversized Twizzlers and I remembered thinking to myself: “I didn’t know what I wanted in life, but now I know that my goal is to harness the confidence that she exudes.” It was a game changer to know that women could be like that in the public light. They can be talented and gorgeous, but they can also be real.

Kim, I first saw you in Vancouver 2016. I already knew that I was excited to see Briana again, but what I didn’t know was how even more amazing you two are together. Separately, she taught me that confidence comes from within and that’s what makes us beautiful; to celebrate the good qualities we have. Meanwhile, you taught me to love my flaws and embrace what makes me imperfect. Why hide my problems when I can treat them like badges of honor? You two were like the perfect two-step therapy program that I never knew I needed, complete with bonus twizzlers and innuendos! You had also complimented my performance on the karaoke stage, telling me that I had to be part sprite with the fairy like energy I had. It may seem small, but as someone who hated myself, hearing someone as cool and confident as you appear to be, it meant the world!

Seeing you both interact together was also earth shaking to me. Women can actually love each other platonically that much? They can actually help lift each other up while celebrating their own triumphs? Seeing the relationship you two have helped me see the “relationships” I had that were toxic while simultaneously loving those that are pure even more.

And now I get to the Wayward AF segment of this essay. I know that you both feel the love and gratitude on the daily from your fans, but the reason I wanted to thank you personally and share my story wasn’t just to make you uncomfortable with praise, but to give you a specific example of how your movement had really helped someone. As I mentioned above, when all of this started, I was battled demons, but the biggest demon of them all was myself. I knew enough not to give in, but I didn’t know what to do after that. I didn’t know how to fix myself, how to make myself perfect again or how to be a normal, functioning member of society. Then Wayward AF came along and taught me to fuck all that. Don’t fix yourself, there’s nothing to fix! Be wayward, live in it, learn from it, then move on, but always acknowledge that it’s a part of you. It was the missing puzzle piece I had needed all along.

When I first started, I would only attend conventions in cosplay. Which there’s nothing wrong with as cosplay has given me a lot in life. But the thought of attending a convention as *myself* was just absurd to me. If only you could see me now! What started as a quiet girl, afraid to talk to anyone, hiding in cosplay is now a confident woman who jumps around with an air guitar on the karaoke stage. Obviously I’m still working on a lot in my life, but this transition is huge. The confidence I feel now is one that I think many go their entire lives and never feel.

While I want to thank you both for changing my life for the better, I know the truth is that you simply gave me the tools to change it myself. To honor this, instead of just saying thank you and moving on, I’m doing my best to pay it forward. I’m not saying this to get praise in return, but to let you know what your legacy of Wayward AF had caused. All the inspiration and encouragement both of you have given me is what I hope to pass on to others. My journey is far from over, but I’m excited to continue it onward as Wayward As Fuck as I possibly can!

Emilie M.
Supported: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki & Misha Collins' "SPN Family Love" Campaign

The LOVE campaign is probably my favorite. I adore being part of the SPN Family for many reasons. It's all about love. I believe in giving love more than you receive it. Loving and being loved are amazing and everyone should feel that. 💜

Emily Rackley
Supported: Rob Benedict's "Rock God" Campaign

When I first became a fan of Rob's I had no idea that he was a stroke survivor. When I found out, it made me love him that much more. In October 2004 my mom suffered a massive stroke and passed away. In an instant, my entire life changed. My mom was 43. Until then I never realized strokes could affect anyone, regardless of age. It just never occurred to me and it really never sank in until I heard Rob's story. Through Rob I learned the importance of FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) and how knowing those things can help save someone else. I will always ALWAYS support Rob in his efforts to raise money for stroke awareness. Buying a shirt or a necklace, or a song, is the least I can do to help ensure another family doesn't have to go through what mine did.

Supported: Jensen & Misha "You Are Not Alone" Campaign

I was so excited when I heard what Jensen and Misha's plan was with the You Are Not Alone campaign. It's something that is close to my heart and I knew immediately I wanted to help both by purchasing a shirt but also by signing up to volunteer with IMAlive. Thanks to the campaign, Random Acts sponsored me and I am now a trained crisis counselor and have been doing chats for a while now. I have seen first hand what the service means to people and I am so grateful that this campaign supported it and helped it grow, allowing it to help so many more people that need someone to talk to.

Supported: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki & Misha Collins' "SPN Family Love" Campaign

I have bought shirts for Jensen, Jared, Mark, Misha, Osric, Kim, Briana, Ruth, Alaina, Jim, Rob and Rich. I have loved them all and will always support them to the best of my abilities. They are an amazing group of people with a generosity that you want to support.

Supported: Jensen & Misha "You Are Not Alone" Campaign

I live in Brazil and thought it was an impossible dream to wear a shirt like that and also help their campaigns, couldn't afford that. But then I met Sil on Twitter. She finds the most kind angels to donate to fans from all around the world that can't afford it. This was the first time I helped her with the portuguese speakers. After that, I help her in every campaign and I am very proud to say that we reached 40 brazilian fans during one single campaign. This generosity spreads itself, the girls here that received those shirts always find a way to give back in their own comunity, learning to be kind and help people, even strangers. And they felt loved, same as I felt myself...

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