Fans of Eric Sheffer Stevens and Luke & Reid channel their energy to raise over $15,000 for Doctors Without Borders.
Fans of Eric Sheffer Stevens owe themselves a big round of applause. Upset and angry at the killing-off of the wildly popular As the World Turns character Dr. Reid Oliver (as portrayed by Mr. Sheffer Stevens), they have channelled their sad energy into the Eric Sheffer Stevens/Doctors without Borders fundraising campaign, and in the process have become the top fundraiser for that organization on the firstgiving.com website.
When the spoiler news first started circulating that the popular Reid Oliver would be killed off, and concerned that fans needed a positive outlet for their grief, Eric Sheffer Stevens fan Raj Mangat decided the fan base should “celebrate Dr. Reid Oliver, by doing something positive.” And with the help of fellow ATWT and ESS fan Colleen Burns, the two did exactly that.
Ms. Burns reached out to the actor himself, explaining that the fans wanted any fundraising campaign to resonate with Sheffer Stevens and to be meaningful. After hearing from Ms. Burns, the actor himself suggested Doctors Without Borders. And so, Colleen researched both the organization and how to set up the fundraising campaign, and the very next day, August 21st, the Eric Sheffer Stevens/Doctors Without Borders fundraising campaign was officially launched. Within 24 hours, $3,000 was raised and that figure doubled in the opening week. On September 7th, 19 days after launching, and on the day Reid Oliver died on-screen, (now known as “Tragic Tuesday”), the original campaign goal of $15,000 was reached. Ms. Burns reports Eric Sheffer Stevens was moved with the “constructive” support shown by his fans.
In recent days, that first goal has been revised to $20,000 and the drive is well on its way to reaching this second pinnacle. When that happens, Ms. Burns says she will “evaluate where to go from there.” But the donation page will remain up through August 2011, and she is firm that any donations will still be “happily accepted.” As she says, “This was about healing a fan base and doing a good deed. We have accomplished that in spades.”
The tremendous generosity shown by fans has sparked more good intentions. Another positive off-shoot of all this goodwill is Ms. Burns plan to launch a not-for-profit organization that she will coordinate alongside with the many friends she has made through the Eric Sheffer Stevens/Reid Oliver/LuRe fan base. Ms. Burns states the group hopes to “create centers for social awareness that reach kids around 11-13.” She adds, “We want to help a segment of the population that needs their voices to be heard. We envision a world where there are no ‘outsiders’ and think it can only happen if we make it happen.”
To donate or learn more about Doctors Without Borders, please visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/ericshefferstevens