While many of the conversations about the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) have been about the latest updates and footage from some of the hottest movies, some of the guest panels were doing good deeds.
Zachary Levi, from the television show, Chuck, used the opportunity to entice the fans as well as raise funds for Operation Smile. Some of the “Conversations for a Cause” panels hosted by Levi’s company, The Nerd Machine, included Badass Women, the cast of Orphan Black, and a conversation with Nathan Fillion, among several others. Last year, Nerd HQ, an offshoot of The Nerd Machine, raised around $215,000 for Operation Smile and this year they beat previous fundraising efforts.
Operation Smile is a non-profit organization that helps to pay for cleft palate surgeries in underprivileged areas. The deformity has a high prevalence rate and cleft lip and palates can inhibit a child’s ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe. Unfortunately, like many disabilities, cleft palate is incredibly stigmatized and many people born with it have trouble finding employment.
While Nerd HQ has garnered a reputation for innovation and technology in the four years since its inception, it is also gaining a philanthropic name. Since its partnership with Operation Smile, the non-profit estimates that Nerd HQ has raised over $400,000 to pay for the surgeries.
With many of the attendees noting Nerd HQ’s “Conversations for a Cause” as one of the highlights of the Comic-Con. Over the past two years, attendance and donations have increased so hopefully next year Nerd HQ can continue to increase its philanthropic donations.
– Kristin Ronzi
Sources: The Nerd Machine
Photo: Zachary Levi Star