Being a loyal member of a fandom does not just mean being a fangirl or fanboy. It goes much deeper than that. In addition to watching/reading the art-form, feeling emotional connections to the characters, watching/reading AGAIN, quoting and referencing with other members of the fandoms, possibly cosplaying or dressing up as characters from said fandom (or in some way paying homage to one's love of said fandom), and then more watching/reading until you get sick of the art-form itself (which never actually happens so you end up watching/reading over and over again until the day you die), being a part of a fandom ALSO means being an active participant in a beloved community - a family if you will. In fact, with our pun-loving nature, we're inclined to call it a "famdom".
So far, every non-profit organization, charity event, and/or school/theatre/arts fundraiser that has approached us for a contribution, we have been over the moon to donate. Usually, it is either a large dessert bar for a large event or a small gift for an auction, but none of it has ever been quite enough. None of those events really made us feel like we were making enough of a difference on a big enough scale. Until two of our fandoms in particular inspired us. "Supernatural" and Zachary Levi, respectively.
It takes more than words to describe the feeling of support and togetherness that the SPNFam exudes. Unlike almost every other fandom ever, you will NEVER see negative comments on ANY thread posted by someone in the SPNFam, nor will you ever see someone comment a heartfelt confession that is not responded to with UNCONDITIONAL love and emotional support from a random stranger. Part of this love stems from the long-running sci-fi show about two brothers who fight supernatural beings in order to save the lives of many, many people. The show itself is wonderful on many levels, and is loved by a broad demographic. But the main strength of the fandom stems from the actors/crew themselves who have dedicated their lives - and their fame - to raising money, awareness, and support for SEVERAL different charities and social issues. Not only have some of them founded and/or curated charity organizations, but others have run multiple social issue campaigns and built actual suicide-hotline call centers. The SPNFam has helped to raise an amazing amount of money. This is not only helpful to the people in need, but also to the fans who may be struggling with some of these issues themselves. These positive and healing messages help fans feel comfortable in reaching out to other fans going through these issues - which inspire them to donate and contribute which then help those in need. It is quite an amazing circle, making a difference on a global level. It is a beautiful and wonderful famdom that we are SO proud to be a part of.
Now, I know what you're thinking, Zachary Levi himself is not a "fandom" per say, but in the most pure form - he is. He is the President-Elect of all fandoms. The Emperor. The Elven King. The Captain. The star of "Chuck" and Tangled is more than just a talented actor and thespian - he is a FAN, and he has empowered other fans in an immeasurable way. The Comic-Con weekend is the largest example of this (though his loyalty in standing in the pouring down rain just to sign autographs and take pictures after every single performance of his Broadway show "She Loves Me" is extremely note-worthy). Every year during the San Diego Comic-Con International, Zac runs his own nerd-convention, "Nerd HQ" through his all-things-nerd-world company, "The Nerd Machine".
Unlike Comic-Con, Nerd HQ is much more intimate. Attendees pay-per-panel to get a guaranteed seat in a personal conversation with their favorite panelists. Also unlike Comic-Con, the main convention area is free for all attendees. And again, unlike Comic-Con, ALL proceeds of panel ticket sales go directly to Operation Smile, an absolutely honest and wonderful organization helping under-privledged children born with facial deformities gain access to safe surgeries. In creating "Nerd HQ", Zac has essentially helped bridge the gap between fans and celebrities, and in turn made everyone more comfortable in connecting to each other. It is no longer about crazy, weird, mega-obsessed fans trying to breathe the same air as "Sorry, I don't take pictures.", and more about a community of individuals who all have a common love for the same art. In the same way he helped the fans get closer to the artists, he also helped the artists get closer to the fans. They are no longer on a pedestal high above their fans, but they are now part of the fandoms. The artists who appear at Nerd HQ, all understand the importance of connecting to their fans and the joy that can grow from that connection on BOTH ends. Generally they are appreciative and gracious of their fans, and they also know that being a panelist at Nerd HQ means raising money for an amazing cause. What Zac has done, is create a more intimate, concentrated, cheaper, and - in our opinion - better "Comic-Con", with some of the kindest people. Fans and celebrities hanging out and talking about their craft which is what these conventions should be like - and why not help children while they do it?
Which got us thinking. We are a tiny, barely profitable company who has weaseled our way into the Industry, simply because we are fans. We thought this was a really awesome way to merge our pop-culture obsession with our love of baking and creativity. We are lucky to be able to live in a country where two young women in their early 20's can wake up one day with an idea, quit their soul-sucking day jobs to start a business (with literally NO money and HORRID credit), and make it grow into something they can be proud of. Something that makes people happy, and makes them laugh, and makes them nostalgic for their favorite movies, and makes them sick from eating too many Lord VoldeS'Mores (which we are not liable for..). But what if we took a page out of the SPNFam and Zac's book, and merged our fandoms with a way to give back? The solution was simple: donate $1 of each dozen treats ordered to the favorite charity of that treat's fandom. For instance: $1 of each dozen of Rice Krispin Glovers ordered, will be donated to the Michael J. Fox foundation.
Eat your fandom for those #inKNEAD.