Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees (KEPYR), the grassroots, all-volunteer organization comprised of kids and family entertainment professionals, has announced the launch of their annual Kindred Spirits online fundraising event, this year’s event will support UNICEF’s $651 million COVID-19 emergency preparedness and relief campaign.
Kindred Spirits 2020 commences May 20, and will run through World Refugee Day, June 20.
KEPYR is seeking to raise a minimum of $50,000 in donations from the worldwide children’s entertainment community through its online website https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/kindred-spirits-2020.
Proceeds will help provide soap, masks, gloves, hygiene kits, protective equipment, life-saving information and other support to healthcare systems.
“Kids media people are a special breed,” said KEPYR founder Grant Moran. “No matter what we do, whether we’re artists or writers or actors, working in editing bays or executive offices, we’re united by a shared concern for the welfare of all children everywhere. COVID-19 is a real-life monster or supervillain stalking the world’s most vulnerable children and their families. Through Kindred Spirits 2020 we’ll be helping UNICEF’s frontline heroes write a positive, inspiring resolution to this story.”
According to UNICEF, refugee and migrant populations are at particularly high risk from the virus due to a variety of factors, including immense barriers to accessing healthcare and preventative services like proper handwashing and sanitation facilities. And UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore stresses that “[c]hildren and young people are among the most severely impacted by the knock-on effects of COVID-19.” A study in the most recent issue of the Lancet Global Health Journal projects that as many as 6,000 children around the world could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months due to the impact of coronavirus.
Since its inception in 2017, KEPYR has worked to build awareness in the global children’s media industry about the current child refugee crisis – the worst since WWII. The organization has raised over $100,000 for UNICEF’s refugee relief work through its online Kindred Spirits campaign and live events like 2019’s “Stand Up for Children” comedy show featuring Patton Oswalt and Al Madrigal, hosted by voice acting star Grey Griffin.
The organization spans five continents and includes artists, writers, actors, producers, game designers, content developers, authors, composers, agents, network and studio executives and others working independently and at companies and organizations like Mattel, Marvel, Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, Netflix, Amazon, Warner Bros., Hasbro, Blizzard Entertainment, Cyber Group, Scholastic, King Features, Little Airplane, Silvergate Media, WGBH, WNET, Gaumont, Pukeko Pictures, Mechanic Animation, CrunchyRoll, Aniplex USA, DR Movie Animation, D-Rights, Panaderia Licensing & Marketing, Ripple Effect Consultancy, Animation Magazine, Women in Animation, The Children’s Media Conference and The Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
For more information about KEPYR go to www.kepyr.org
For more information about UNICEF’s COVID-19 action plan go to www.unicefusa.org/mission/covid-19