The number one question cosplayers probably get asked by those who are far removed from the COMIC CON and cosplay communities is, “Why do you do it?” For many of us, it’s an escape from the doldrums of everyday life and stressors. However, there are even more benefits that we can draw from cosplay than just stress relief. One manner in which people are engaging in cosplay to benefit society is by using it to contribute to charitable services. It has been well-documented that celebrities such as Chris Evans and Gal Gadot have previously visited hospital patients. In character unfortunately, Chris Evans and Gal Gadot are not in a position to frequently visit numerous hospitals…but Captain American and Wonder Woman can. A growing movement in cosplay is using cosplayers’ attention to detail to give back to the community.
All over the US (and in other parts of the world, as well) there are cosplay organizations that lend their time by using their expertise to brighten the days of children undergoing prolonged h spital stays or providing moral support to impoverished families. Some of the bigger organizations that do this are the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion.
The 501st Legion and Rebel Legion are both cosplay clubs with a focus on Star Wars properties. They are known for their high-quality costumes and incredibly high standards. Every costume submitted to the 501st and Rebel Legion is vetted to make sure it is as screen accurate as possible. Once the costumes have been approved, Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Reys, and Jedis will dispatch and “troop” in promotional, charity, or community events. These events can be anything from a Make-A-Wish request to a premiere for the latest Star Wars movie. Furthermore, both 501st and Rebel Legion have different branches (referred to as “garrisons” and “outposts”) the world over.
Unfortunately, Chris Evans and Gal Gadot are not in a position to visit numerous hospitals…but Captain America and Wonder Woman can.
Since the inception of these two organizations, we have seen cosplay groups utilize other properties, as well. For instance, the Avengers Initiative has the same high standards for costuming with regards to Marvel characters (with a focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.) Each costume must be vetted in the same way. And these are just a few of the many groups that exist in the charity cosplay community, today: from Star Wars to Marvel to DC to Disney, there will always be a hero to help those in need.