Superheroes do exist, they just might not look how you think. In fact, some work their magic in the shadows and behind the scenes to save the day. Here are some of the incredible organizations fighting for the greater good. Donate through their websites, host a fundraiser, or volunteer to make the planet a better place. Suit up: The world needs your help.
Magic Wheelchair | HQ: Keizer, Oregon | Donate: magicwheelchair.org
This nonprofit organization (photo above) turns children’s wheelchairs into the costumes of their dreams, helping to put a smile on these deserving kiddos’ faces. They’ve transformed chairs into Transformers, Star Wars vehicles, the Batmobile, and more. The organization has made more than 150 costumes for kids, and volunteers are essential to building these epic chariots. The organization gives a whole new meaning to riding in style.
Able Gamers Charity | HQ: Kearneysville, West Virginia | Donate: ablegamers.org
This nonprofit powers up to make gaming accessible for kids with disabilities, no matter their physical limitations. By using a variety of technologies, including mouth controllers, eye gazes, and other customized controllers, the foundation makes gaming inclusive for every player with its #SoEveryoneCanGame mission. Donate to the cause via the website and $0.94 of every dollar received goes directly to gamers in need. It’s time to level up and get to work!
Spirit of Children | HQ: Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey | Donate: spiritofchildren.com
No spooky hospital stays here! Spirit Halloween brings Halloween celebrations to children’s hospitals nationwide. The retailer raises funds for Child Life to provide support for art, music, aquatic, and pet therapy programs and additional educational tools in children’s hospitals. In its 13-year tenure, the initiative has raised $54 million across 141 partner hospitals in the U.S. Fans can get involved by donating to the spooktacular cause at Spirit Halloween stores all season long — and feel boo-tiful on the inside and outside.
Operation Comix Relief | HQ: Framingham, Massachusetts | Donate: operationcomixrelief.org
Holy books, Batman! Founder Chris Tarbassian started this home-based project in 2003 to send comic books abroad to ill and wounded soldiers to enjoy during their deployments in the midst of Operation Iraqi Freedom. You can send in comic book donations by mail to their headquarters or deliver them in person at Bedrock Comics in Framingham, Massachusetts, and they’ll send the books to soldiers stationed overseas in war zones.
Worldbuilders | HQ: Stevens Point, Wisconsin | Donate: worldbuilders.org
This geek-centered nonprofit aims to raise money for respected charities that may be overlooked by the geek network. Made up of a team of geeks, gamers, and book nerds, Worldbuilders understands the importance and the value of what charities offer people in need. The charity’s efforts have supported causes including Heifer International, First Book, MercyCorps, and Global Giving, and have raised more than $9 million since 2008 — with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. These geeks doing good host a number of fundraisers, sell geeky merch, and attend cons to spread the word about these important causes.
Hero Initiative | HQ: Stevens Point, Wisconsin | Donate: heroinitiative.org
The Hero Initiative suits up to support comic creators in need with emergency medical aid and financial support. With fan contributions totaling more than $1 million, the cause is able to give back to those who create the content we enjoy so much. Through donations, this organization has been able to change these artists’ lives by supporting them when they needed the most help. After all that these artists have done to create books we enjoy, this is one small way to give back to them and share our thanks for telling incredible, moving stories.
Geeks Out | HQ: Brooklyn, New York | Donate: geeksout.org
They are here, queer, and proud! Geeks Out rallies and promotes the queer geek community by hosting events, attending conventions, and creating advocacy campaigns. They also host Flame Con, one of the largest LGBTQ comic and pop culture cons. Yasss, geeks!
Stan Lee Foundation | HQ: Springfield, Virginia | Donate: stanleefoundation.org
Excelsior! This nonprofit organization pays tribute to the superpowered vision of the late Stan Lee. Just as Lee shared his passion for teaching to inspire generations of writers and artists, the foundation aims to springboard his legacy to assist literacy and arts programs in fun, meaningful ways. These IRL superheroes provide educational resources and help boost access to literacy, education, and the arts with a variety of projects and partner institutions dedicated to these worthy causes. The nonprofit helps to promote life skills that empower anyone’s inner superhero mindset to realize their potential and triumph over self-doubt.
Anime Art Museum Project | HQ: Gainesville, Florida | Donate: animeartmuseum.org
Celebrate the rich history and works of anime with this nonprofit museum project dedicated to showcasing anime artists, studying anime art, and promoting anime history and its Japanese roots. Fans can take art classes, view artwork, and celebrate the rich culture as the museum aims to give every artist access to comprehensive anime art education and exposure.
Reading with Pictures | HQ: lgonquin, Illinois | Donate: readingwithpictures.org
Boom! Zap! Pow! To get more kids interested in reading, this charity brings comics into the classroom in an effort to promote literacy. Its mission aims to improve educational outcomes for all students by integrating comics into classroom curriculum. Learning to read with the help of your favorite hero? Now, that sounds marvel-ous!
This article was originally published in the Pop Insider’s Fall 2019 Issue No. 5, click here to read more!