Amanda TappingActress Amanda Tapping (left) and TV writer and producer Damian Kindler have launched a new not-for-profit foundation to help disadvantaged children. The foundation is linked to the  television series Sanctuary, which airs on Syfy in the United States. Tapping stars in the series and is an executive producer with Kindler. They have launched the foundation with teacher and social worker Jill Bodie in Vancouver, where Sanctuary is filmed.

The foundation has been named Sanctuary for Kids (or S4K), after the tag line for the TV series, ‘Sanctuary for All’.  The show’s distinctive typeface has also been used in the foundation’s logo (below). The mission of Sanctuary for Kids, says the foundation’s website, is ‘to improve the lives of children around the world who need protection and are in crisis – those who are exploited, dispossessed and threatened.’

“We all feel very lucky and honoured to be able to do jobs we love with people we love in this industry,” said Tapping. “Jill, Damian and I all felt a very strong desire and real responsibility to do something with the reach and audience we have through Sanctuary and the sci-fi community. We didn’t want to waste the influence that the series has, or the meaningful connections we personally have made with so many people around the world.”

The principals behind S4K hope to help children in a variety of ways, including fundraising through online auctions and donations. The funds they raise will then be given to existing programs around the world ‘where it has been determined an immediate need is evident and a tangible difference will be made’. S4K is not only about raising money, though. For Kindler, the aims also include getting the entertainment industry more involved in good causes.

“Ultimately, we want to set an example and make charitable giving and outreach a standard practice in the television and entertainment industry,” Kindler said. “We all feel that it would be irresponsible to ignore that influence.”

Jill BodieSanctuary for Kids has chosen the Nepal Orphans Home and Watari’s TTIP (Transitioning to Independence Program) and TIPPY (Transitioning to Independence Program for Parenting Youth) Programs to launch the foundation.  The former looks after the welfare of children in Nepal who are orphaned, abandoned or not supported by their parents. Watari’s Programs work with the homeless youth population in Vancouver to help stabilize single, pregnant and parenting youth in safe, affordable housing and encourages commitment to their treatment plans.

“This is an initiative that is based on relationships and working as a community at large,” said Bodie (above), who is the Director of Sanctuary for Kids. “It’s about doing something very real and tangible for children and youth who desperately need protection. Sci-fi fans are so connected and loyal; we will be relying on their connectivity and passion to help spread the word about the work we are doing.”

S4K’s first auction is currently underway and runs until November 22. Items on offer include a behind the scenes set tour and lunch with Amanda Tapping, a personal Skype chat with Executive Producers Amanda Tapping, Damian Kindler and Martin Wood, a well known prop used in the series (the Sonic Stunner) and an opportunity to name a new character in the show. More information on these items and the foundation can be found on Sanctuary for Kid’s official website, www.sanctuaryforkids.org.

Sanctuary airs on Syfy in the United States and SPACE in Canada on Friday evenings. Tapping (who has also starred in the Stargate franchise) plays Dr. Helen Magnus, who runs a sanctuary that provides protection for strange creatures and ‘gifted’ humans that would otherwise be exploited or persecuted. The series also stars Christopher Heyerdahl (The Twilight Saga: New Moon), Robin Dunne (Species 3), and Agam Darshi (2012). It debuted as an Internet series in 2007 (see here) but was picked up by Syfy and The Movie Network in Canada for broadcast on television. It is currently in its second season.

Michael Simpson is the Associate Editor of the Vancouver-based film and TV website CinemaSpy.com and a freelance writer on a range of topics (Home Page).

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