On the 9th day of Weebsmas my best girl gave to me…some info about Anime for Humanity.
So I’m going to preface this by saying that this last year for Star and I has very much been the year of nonprofits. We both work in the nonprofit field, but recently the con we volunteer for also became a nonprofit so we’ve been in deep. Nonprofits provide public services for the good of their community and generally get their revenue from generous donations from said community (amongst other earned income models). A lot of people like to donate to nonprofits around the holidays, so I was starting to wonder…are there any anime-centered nonprofits that aren’t just anime conventions. And that’s when I came across what I think is actually a pretty cool nonprofit: Anime for Humanity.
Anime for Humanity is a rather new, volunteer-based nonprofit that focuses on mental health. Their mission statement is to change the stigma surrounding mental health using anime, manga, and cosplay as a medium. I had to do a lot of research to see what that meant, and while it’s clear they are still building out their resources, the things they do right now are really cool. Anime for Humanity goes around to anime conventions around the USA and pass out completely free anime therapy kits. Curious about what that means? So was I. So these kits are essentially a box filled with mental health resources, pick-me-up bookmarks, stickers, a list of soothing anime, a poster to remind you of your importance, and a pokemon energy card to help charge you up on hard days. It’s really quite simple, but also such valuable little things. I can definitely see how handing these out can be of help to someone who is going through a dark time and feeling very alone.
In addition to the anime therapy kits that are filled with resources, they also have something called Anime Self-Care that is basically a place for someone to go download anime therapy kits and is filled with anime music that people can listen to and use as a way of self-meditation, to study, or even to just fall asleep to. I think about cool thing is that their website also has a direct link to gethelp.org for those who are experiencing a crisis. Honestly, just spreading around information is a worthy cause.
I will say my only curiosity with this is how they can better utilize anime into this model of helping those struggling with mental health. While I think it’s a cool and valiant effort, I would love to see what therapists think of it, and if any of them would ever partner with Anime for Humanity to actually directly connect people with therapists. But for now, I think it’s a pretty cool nonprofit if you know anyone who likes to donate to charities for the holidays.
Otherwise, if you yourself want to give back to the anime community at no cost, there are lots of other things you can do! Send a nice note to a fellow anime creator or fan of anime. Spread the love. Give someone an anime or manga you think they’d appreciate. Volunteer for your local anime convention to help others have an amazing time. There are so many things to give back. But it’s also nice to just have someone to talk to anime over as well. Which is really also in the spirit of Weebsmas.