In the spirit of the Syfy series Sanctuary in which she stars, actress Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis) has helped to found a non-profit organization aimed at giving children a better life.
The organization, called Sanctuary for Kids, was started by Tapping, Sanctuary creator and writer Damian Kindler and Jill Bodie. The idea was borne out of their collective desire to use the public profile of Sanctuary and the active fan base of the show to make a difference.
“We all feel very lucky and honoured to be able to do jobs we love with people we love in this industry,” said Tapping. “Jill, Damian and I all felt a very strong desire and real responsibility to do something with the reach and audience we have through Sanctuary and the sci-fi community. We didn’t want to waste the influence that the series has, or the meaningful connections we personally have made with so many people around the world.”
Tapping plays Dr. Helen Magnus in Sanctuary, which airs on Friday nights on Syfy in the United States and SPACE in Canada. Magnus runs the titular establishment to provide shelter and medical treatment for ‘abnormals.’ These mutant creatures stay in hiding or live out in the open but keep their differences a secret out of fear of persecution.
Sanctuary started life in 2007 as a series of 15-minute Webisodes and is currently in its second television season. Tapping and Kindler are also executive producers on the show. Using it as a platform for a a good cause is something that Kindler hopes will start a trend in Hollywood.
“Ultimately, we want to set an example and make charitable giving and outreach a standard practice in the television and entertainment industry,” he said. “We all feel that it would be irresponsible to ignore that influence.”
Sanctuary for Kids will host three auctions throughout the year selling “priceless” items as well as meet and greet opportunities with Sanctuary actors and producers. The first auction is taking place now until November 22, 2009. On offer are such items as a behind the scenes set tour and lunch with Amanda Tapping, a personal Skype chat with Amanda Tapping, Damian Kindler and director and fellow executive producer Martin Wood, a well known prop used in the series (the “Sonic Stunner”), and an opportunity to name a new character in the show.
“This is an initiative that is based on relationships and working as a community at large,” said Jill Bodie, Director of Sanctuary for Kids. “It’s about doing something very real and tangible for children and youth who desperately need protection. Sci-fi fans are so connected and loyal. We will be relying on their connectivity and passion to help spread the word about the work we are doing.”
Sanctuary for Kids has chosen the Nepal Orphans Home and Watari’s TTIP (Transitioning to Independence Program) and TIPPY (Transitioning to Independence Program for Parenting Youth) Programs to launch the foundation. The Nepal Orphans Home (www.nepalorphanshome.org) attends to the welfare of children in Nepal who are orphaned, abandoned or not supported by their parents. Watari’s Programs (www.watari.org) work with the homeless youth population in Vancouver to help stabilize single, pregnant and parenting youth in safe, affordable housing and encourages commitment to their treatment plans
More information on: www.sanctuaryforkids.org