Taking over the world, one random act at a time is the mission of Misha Collins' Random Acts. Supernatural's resident angel, Misha Collins has put together a spectacular charity called Random Acts.
One Random Act at a Time
The concept of random acts of kindness was not lost on actor Misha Collins while he was growing up nor as a successful actor who appears on a show with a strong fan following. After an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2009, Collins called on his Twitter followers or "minions" as he has affectionately dubbed them to help out the populace. Collin's satirical wit and calls for aid helped raise more than 30,000 dollars for UNICEF's relief efforts in Haiti in less than two weeks.
Inspired by the rich response, Collins focused his efforts on creating more random acts of kindness through a charity called, appropriately enough Random Acts. The organization not only raises funds for victims of disaster in Haiti and Pakistan but also continuing to help out families in the United States, Europe and around the world. Collins spent a few minutes chatting with Love To Know about his charity, his dedication to good deeds and why helping others is a deeply personal matter for this actor and producer.
LoveToKnow (LTK): One of your first "random acts" was to buy a pair of shoes for a young boy whose father lost his job and to give away a series of bikes. How did you discover the recipients of these gifts?
Misha Collins (MC): I actually met the boy and his father while we were out and about. After talking to them, I wanted to help and you should have seen how happy those shoes made him. The bikes were much the same way; we got together a lot of nice bikes and went out to give them away.
You would be surprised by how hard to give away those bikes were - a lot of people were looking at us like we were some kind of lecherous pervert. It's a sad to me that we are so suspicious of kindness in strangers. We expect there to be a catch. We're really not trying to get something out of you - it seems so alien to people these days.
LTK: Tell us about some other recipients of Random Acts.
MC: We helped out one couple who've been married for nearly half a century and had the same mattress and chairs for forty of those years. They were very kind and generous, but they had little for themselves. We brought them new chairs and a new mattress. Another family we met, we gave a computer to because they had so very little but they were always generous with their time and what little they did have to help others.
We have so many people volunteering, so it's a collective effort to bring projects to the table. We want to bring more projects into the fold, allowing everyone from Twitter to the Random Acts organization to come up with projects that we can all work on.
Collins was shocked by the Haiti funding. The actor had already been toying with the idea of creating a non-profit, but the need in Haiti was immediate and massive.
MC: It tugged on people. It tugged on me. People wanted to act and I was amazed by just how quickly people put it together and how generous they were.
LTK: How did it go from Twitter to an actual organization?
MC: I was a board member some years ago for a non-profit. It was waning. I took over it, rename and retool it to fit the new mission for Random Acts. It can be a very cumbersome process to start one from scratch can take a year to a year and a half - took about 3 months, partly able to retool the existing nonprofit
I have this point of contact with Lisa - she is a great organizer and got a lot of people involved and very quickly. The Supernatural fanbase is full of smart and creative people who are willing to put in their time and energy into this organization.
Fortunately there are some incredibly competent and talented who are volunteering. Lisa Walker, a professional grant writer is running the organization and putting in a lot of time. It doesn't require my constant attention to keep it moving
Over Labor Day weekend, 2010, Collins completed a pledge run where he promised to run between 10 and 100 kilometers. The actor pitched his fundraising with self-made videos of himself running to get ready. Although he would be running alone, his ideal was to raise as much money as possible.
MC: It will just be me running, a lot like the early stages of Forrest Gump's run in the movie. I want to run 100 kilometers if I can do it. If I run 10 kilometers, it won't raise as much as if I could run 100 kilometers.
On September 6, 2010, Collins ran over 80 kilometers, tweeting as he went to share the experience with his "minions" and posting video clips. The actor ran all day, raising money to help others for no other reason than to be able to help.
Why Random Acts?
When asked what one goal he had for the Random Acts organization, Collins's response was humble, but heartfelt.
MC: When I was young, our family had some difficult times and was even homeless at times. And a few people did really nice small gestures to our family - a few strangers - those seemingly random acts have stuck with me since I was six years old to now. I want to have that effect on people. If someone remembers that they were helped, that's what's important to me. That's the goal. Helping others.
Misha Collins is devoted to taking over the world, one random act of kindness at a time. You can follow Misha on Twitter, visit the Random Acts site and get involved. Misha Collins appears as Castiel on The CW series Supernatural and continues to work on multiple other projects as both an actor and producer.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Misha Collins and wishes he and the Random Acts organization much success in the future.