For those of us in the children’s entertainment business, the explosion of the global child refugee crisis, the worst of its kind since World War II, has been particularly painful to watch unfold. We have a special relationship with the children of the world. We entertain and help to educate them and in return, as individuals and as living representatives of the very idea of childhood, they inspire us in our work every day. So our hearts break at the recurring images of dead, injured, or traumatized youth washing up on beaches, detained in shipping containers, or scrambling to survive in makeshift encampments in Greece, Italy, France, Turkey, Jordan, Chad, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and many other places around the world.
In 2016 a group of us, heart-stricken by this growing tragedy, realized that we were part of a much larger community of kindred spirits, and that we could exponentially increase whatever small help we could be as individuals by reaching out to those others, our brothers and sisters in the global children’s entertainment industry, and inviting them to join with us in united, positive, concrete action.
With a starting grant from JPMorgan Chase, we created an annual online fundraiser via Crowdrise in support of UNICEF’s efforts with child refugees worldwide. Now, for the first time, animators, game designers, network and studio executives, writers, voice actors, composers, agents, editors, and production assistants – everyone involved in the production and distribution of kids content around the world – can mark World Refugee Day each year by standing together to make a real difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.
WHO WE ARE
We are a grassroots, entirely volunteer organization of kids and family entertainment professionals. Our community spans five continents and includes employees of Mattel, Marvel, Disney, Dreamworks, Netflix, Amazon, Warner Bros., Hasbro, HIT Entertainment, Turner EMEA, Pukeko Pictures, Aniplex USA, Ripple Effect Consultancy, Blink Studios, GURU Studio, Breakthrough Entertainment, DR Movie Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, Scholastic, DC Comics, the publisher of Animation Magazine, the president of Women in Animation, and scores of writers, artists, producers, composers, voice actors, and others.
WHAT WE DO
All donations made through KEPYR’s Crowdrise page go directly to UNICEF USA – the organization serving the needs of young refugees in more places around the world than any other. Donations can be made in one’s own name, the name of your company or team, or anonymously. Likewise, the amount of your donation can be either public or private.
Donations are accepted year round.
Once every year, in the two weeks surrounding World Refugee Day on June 20th, we host an online fundraiser in which we ask our friends to take to social media to help raise awareness of the global child refugee crisis and to invite their colleagues and friends to join us in our support of UNICEF’s vital and heroic work.
HOW DO I PRONOUNCE KEPYR: (ˈkēpər), as in “My brother’s keeper”.
WHY UNICEF: There are many fine organizations working to address the refugee crisis. UNICEF is a perfect fit for us because of its specific focus on children and their needs. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
WHERE WILL MY DONATION GO: To UNICEF’s General Fund. We’ve been advised by UNICEF USA that this is the best way to provide them with the flexibility to respond to the crisis as it develops both geographically and in the nature of the specific challenges it poses.
IS MY CONTRIBUTION TAX-DEDUCTIBLE: Yes, if you are a U.S. citizen. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you can either make a non-tax deductible contribution through our Crowdrise page or reach out to your country’s UNICEF office for information on local tax laws. Details can be found at www.unicef.org/infobycountry.
IS KEPYR A 501 (c)? Not at this time, nor does it need to be as all donations go directly to UNICEF USA.
DO I HAVE TO BE IN THE KIDS ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS TO PARTICIPATE? No! Everyone you know, and everyone you don’t, is encouraged to support this effort. Individuals, companies, and nonprofits are all eligible to contribute.
CAN I ORGANIZE AN IN-PERSON EVENT TO SUPPORT THE JUNE FUNDRAISER: Yes. However, UNICEF USA would need an application to be completed for each activity – www.unicefusa.org/fundraiser - as they have to evaluate each opportunity individually.
WHO’S BEHIND THIS? The idea started in the fall of 2016 among a small group of friends in the kids entertainment business including Grant Moran, Christopher Keenan, Eric Radomski, Ken Duer, Ken Ito, Marge Dean, Danielle Gillis, Jean Thoren, Kevin Hopps, Aglaia Mortcheva, Julie Kane-Ritsch, Martin Baynton, Johnny Hartmann, Bryan Evans and Yang Ping Chang.
IS ANYONE GETTING PAID OR DERIVING ANY FINANCIAL OR OTHER BENEFIT FROM THIS: No, KEPYR is a 100% volunteer effort. All funds raised go directly to UNICEF USA.
WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Grant Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.