Get involved with TFIOS and Esther Earl’s foundation.
With summer vacation comes summer blockbusters, and one of the biggest hits so far has been The Fault in Our Stars, also known as TFIOS, a movie based on the novel by John Green. The Fault in Our Stars is the story of two teenagers who fall in love. The twist is that they both have cancer.
TFIOS is definitely high up on my list of all-time favorite novels. Reading such a tragic story about young adults struggling to live a normal life alongside their disease might sound depressing to some people, but I find it inspiring. After reading the novel and seeing the movie, it made me want to get involved and help real-life people who might be in a similar situation as the main characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. Doing some research, this is how I discovered Esther Earl.
Esther Earl was a teenager with thyroid cancer, who also knew the author of TFIOS. Upon Esther’s death when she was just a teen, John Green was so angry with the circumstances, which led to the creation of TFIOS. Some time after her death, her family compiled her memoir: a collection of journal entries, blog posts, letters from friends and family and drawings done by Esther. This was released as a novel, This Star Won’t Go Out.
Even if you have not read or seen TFIOS, This Star Won’t Go Out is one thing that I think everyone should read. Esther was such an inspiration and I found myself tearing up so many times throughout the book. Esther was such a kind person who was loved by everyone, something that can easily be seen in the pages of her journals. I wish I had met Esther, but I’m glad I could see some of her thoughts in front of me. Esther’s story reminded me to love what I have and that a star can keep shining long after it goes out.
If you found yourself wiping your eyes after watching Hazel and Augustus on the silver screen in TFIOS or reading Esther’s thoughts like I was, there are so many ways that you can easily get involved and help people around the world. Esther herself inspired an organization: the This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation.
If you are feeling inspired or just want to make a difference in the world, here are some organizations that are always looking for volunteers!
- This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation, tswgo.org. TSWGO Foundation was created in Esther’s memory in order to raise money and help families of children with life-threatening cancer. According to their website, “TSWGO has given out more than 75 gifts totaling $125,000 to help families suffering from financial hardship related to childhood cancer.”
Interested in helping out this organization? While their next event is taking place out-of-state, that doesn’t mean we can’t get involved right here in Montclair! On the TSWGO website, you will find extremely detailed information about hosting your own fundraiser. Whether you are part of a group, high school, college or you and your friends wants to get involved, the foundation is always looking for donations and fundraisers. Or, simply go to their merchandise page for a t-shirt!
- The Harry Potter Alliance, thehpalliance.org. Don’t be fooled by their name! The Harry Potter Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting social injustices with love. For fans of the Harry Potter series, the HPA is like a real-life Dumbledore’s Army. The founders were inspired by Harry Potter himself, wanting to do something that they believe Harry would do after his own war was won.
The HPA has done countless campaigns, from book drives to raising money for Haiti to even hosting an “Esther Day” in Esther Earl’s memory, in which Esther asked all participants to simply say “I love you” to someone. No matter what type of fundraiser you enjoy participating in, the HPA has done it all.
Interested in helping out this organization? If you want to do a little more than send a donation, the HPA has chapters all over the world, and there are even a few located in New Jersey! To find a chapter close to home, visit the website’s chapter locator page. If none of the chapters that already exist suit your needs, you are also more-than-able to make your own chapter! Get involved in a chapter today and get to helping the world.
- The American Cancer Society, cancer.org. This organization is one of the largest non-profits in the world, and is dedicated to not only helping those who have cancer, but educating people about the disease and doing everything they can to prevent it.
Interested in helping out this organization? The American Cancer Society has branches practically all over the country, so it’s extremely easy to get involved! Montclair has its own events, and there is also a college-level chapter of Colleges Against Cancer at Montclair State University.
After seeing TFIOS and reading TSWGO this summer, use that inspiration that will flood your mind and do a little bit of good. The This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation, the Harry Potter Alliance and the American Cancer Society are just a few of the countless organizations that always need donations and volunteers. Take a little time this summer to get involved, and in the words of Esther’s inspiration, Vlogbrothers: don’t forget to be awesome!