“May the 4th Be With You” – a statement that represents the passion and love for Star Wars shared by fans around the world, now has an additional meaning: inspiring positivity and goodwill fueled by the Force. This year, thanks to the amazing Star Wars fan community, Star Wars Day launched charitable activations all around the world on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change.
In the US, over the course of a four-week period which culminated on May 4th, fans were able to donate to a fundraising campaign through CrowdRise.com/ForceForChange and Star Wars: Force for Change matched all donations up to $1 Million. We are proud to announce that over $2.2 Million has been raised for Make-A-Wish, American Red Cross, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Lucasfilm gives a heartfelt thanks to support from the worldwide fan community as well as key contributors including Tourism Ireland, Mad Engine, Sphero, Hasbro, Play Station, and ReedPOP.
Force for Change also partnered with Disney Parks in the United States to help launch exclusive Rogue One merchandise on May 4th, including an exclusive logo t-shirt and a pin. 25% of the sales price of each item sold will go to U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support UNICEF Kid Power. Learn more here.
Additionally, Force for Change worked with over 25 children’s hospitals around the U.S. to create Star Wars-themed events for kids going through medical treatment. There were costumed character visits, art activities, movie screenings and more.
In various countries around the world, fan groups also went to children’s hospitals to celebrate Star Wars Day. In the United Kingdom, St. Guys Hospital MediCinema celebrated May the 4th with a Star Wars-themed event where Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) visited with young patients undergoing medical treatment.
In France, Force for Change kicked off Star Wars-themed celebrations for children currently admitted at Robert-Debré hospital in Paris. 145 children enjoyed visits from various fan groups and received gift bags. In Spain, Force for Change brought the galaxy far, far away to 16 different children’s hospitals across five cities. More than 2,500 children enjoyed visits from the fan groups with 2,500 toys, books and DVD’s given away. In Italy, hospitals in Rome and Milan ran May the 4th activities in honor of Force for Change, where more than 100 children enjoyed the celebration. In Russia, Force for Change joined forces with LEGO to activate the Force in three different children’s hospitals around the country. Over 90 children enjoyed visits from members of various fan groups and received gift bags from LEGO. In Australia and New Zealand, Force for Change hosted Star Wars Day activations with 6 children’s hospitals across both regions.
Aside from visiting various children’s hospitals around the world, Force for Change was also present in many different ways.
In the United Kingdom, the publication The Sun launched a May the 4th takeover with Mark Hamill as “guest editor” kicking off a daylong fundraiser for Great Ormond Street Hospital. On behalf of Force for Change, The Sun and Disney will match all monies raised.
Germany celebrated Star Wars Day with charity screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Cinemaxx theaters across Germany. All donations collected benefitted DKMS on behalf of Force for Change.
In Hungary and the Czech Republic, artistic interpretations of stormtrooper helmets decorated shopping malls in each country. These helmets were then auctioned off with 100% of proceeds being donated to children’s hospitals. In addition, more than 330 children enjoyed visits from members of various fan groups across ten different children’s hospital wards.
In China, Force for Change joined together with Taobao’s Charity Platform. Special edition Star Wars products donated by celebrities were auctioned with proceeds going to Chunhui Children.
On behalf of Force for Change, Japanese Airline ANA donated 5.4% of May the 4th sales on A-style (ANA’a e-commerce website) to the Kumamoto prefecture, a region that has been affected by strong earthquakes.
In Korea, popular fashion brand UNIQLO donated a percentage of all Star Wars merchandise sold to Make-A-Wish on behalf of Force for Change.
Hong Kong celebrated by encouraging science education with a tech-based contest resulting in 8 inventions that give back to society.
In Mexico, Force for Change worked with two notable causes to inspire hope. Force for Change hosted food donations with Comedor Santa Maria, which provides food for children living in poverty, in addition to hosting Star Wars-themed events with Dr. Sonrisas, a children’s medical organization, to spread joy to kids living with illness.
Argentina celebrated Star Wars Day in partnership with local charity Fundación Sí; proceeds from Force for Change screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will benefit communities impacted by devastating floods in the region.
Force for Change is grateful to fans all around the world who continue to dedicate their time and energy to make a positive impact on the world!