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Laurier student group harnesses the power of Harry Potter to raise funds and awareness for mental health
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Expecto Patronum! The characters of the popular Harry Potter series may use magic to protect themselves from evil forces, but they fight for equality, human rights and a better world – and they inspired a group of Laurier students to do the same.
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, students from the Medieval Studies class “The Medieval Harry Potter” are teaming up with the Wilfrid Laurier University chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) to raise funds and awareness for mental health on campus and in the community.
For the course, students choose to complete two of about a dozen projects, one of which is to create a public event or fundraiser and then write a paper on academic and civic engagement and their experience. Four students are completing this Community Service-Learning assignment for the class by organizing two days of events, Feb. 26-27, in the concourse on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
“There are so many people who struggle with mental health issues and don’t communicate it or know what’s available to them,” said course instructor Renee Ward. “The goal of this fundraiser is to raise awareness of mental health issues on campus and promote the resources that are available both on and off campus for students.”
For the fundraising event, students will be selling baked goods, art, jewelry and knitted items in Harry Potter house colours to raise money for KW Counselling Services. They are also accepting gift cards for KW Counselling Services’ CardSwap program, which converts unwanted retail gift cards into donations. Gift cards can be deposited in the silver and black donation boxes found at the following locations until Feb. 28: The Hub, U-Desk, SU-Desk and at the Library near the security table.
In addition to fundraising, the students hope to run a Muggle Quidditch tournament.
About the Harry Potter Alliance
The HPA is an international nonprofit group that takes a unique approach to civic engagement by using parallels from the Harry Potter books to educate and mobilize young people around the word on issues of literacy, equality and human rights. Every year, the Laurier chapter runs a mental health campaign called Lumos.