More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine
On a Zoom call with my partners on the Beyond the Blast Doors Network, I threw out the idea of doing something together to raise money for charity. Within minutes we had decided on the idea of a telethon concept and agreed that Make-A-Wish was the right cause. Pod-A-Thon was born and somehow we agreed that the date would be Labor Day Saturday … less than three weeks later.
As always, I was impressed with the commitment and professionalism of Andy, Josh, Scotty, Shannon, Gerry and David in our BTBD family. We all put our shows together fairly quickly, decided on guests, topics and all the content was set in short order. Not surprisingly, the creator community jumped on board and our schedule was finalized. I reached out to some of our fellow podcasters in other parts of the Star Wars echo chamber and we soon had Fantha Tracks and Sistas With Sabers on board to do their own show as part of the 12-hour event. Well-known content creators like Kessel Run Transmissions, Star Wars Explained and Bespin Bulletin agreed to join our hosts and I had been working with Alex Segura (Poe Dameron Free Fall) to secure an Around the Galaxy spot and he graciously agreed to be the anchor guest for our event.
Our show was set, but now we had to deliver. Luckily, the Star Wars community was more than up to the task.
We began promoting Pod-A-Thon 2020 just one week before it happened. Our donation page was set up on the Make-A-Wish site (tiny.cc/podathon) and we shared the schedule with the followers of all of our shows. We had set a modest goal of $500 for the day. By the time we hit the go-live button on Saturday morning at 9am EDT, we were already more than halfway there. And, by the time we ended out first show we had reached the $500 mark. The outpouring of support and goodness from the Star Wars fan community was on full display. We increased our goal to $1,000.
The day continued with great interviews, laughs and a consistent appeal to the people who tuned in to help us hit our new goal. Before we hit the halfway point of the event, donations from viewers on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch crested $1,000. Once again, we increased our target. This time to an aggressive $1,500. Knowing that many people who were going to donate already had, shooting for 3x our original goal was not going to be easy to achieve. But, before we reached the last hour, we toppled the new number and by the time the day drew to a close we had raised $1,710 directly, and with a donation from a fan in Canada to her local Make-A-Wish chapter, the Beyond the Blast Doors Pod-A-Thon raised almost $2,100.
In a world where we are easily drawn into debate about a fantasy science-fiction franchise that leads to a level of vitriol and aggression in social media that makes many consider walking away from the fandom, this past weekend showed that “there is still good in” the people who love Star Wars. For twelve hours, division was put aside, people gathered from literally across the planet to enjoy content about a subject they loved and were inspired to give. More than 60 fans gave what they could and many more spread the word. People from shows outside of our network took part, made donations and shared links. I could not be more proud of what was achieved.
The day started with a video from all the hosts of Beyond the Blast Doors and the opening statement: “Star Wars, at its heart, is a story of hope. It’s a story of people discovering that they have the power within themselves to do amazing things. The power to do good. We believe the Star Wars fan community also has has that power.” I am honored to say, the community is “more powerful than we could possibly imagine.”
Thank you all for proving that Star Wars fans are the best fans.