My little sister, Jillian, is probably the most thoughtful and creative person that I know. She is hard-working, generous, stubborn in a good way, and always willing to help out however she can. Back in the beginning of December of 2018, Jillian told me about this awesome organization called “The Rainbow Cards Project”. This project sends holiday and celebratory cards to LGBTQIA+ youth who might not receive cards. It’s an awesome organization for such a great cause. I remember Jillian immediately texted me saying we should make some cards. Over the course of a few days and two trips to the craft store, a few cards escalated into making around 50 cards. We also decided to live stream and have a card-making party with other Earpers! Jillian set everything up and smiled the entire time. We did two live streams on two different afternoons and made a couple of new Earper friends. Everything was so much fun and we loved helping out such a cool organization. We hope to do the card making parties again next year and meet even more kind Earpers! I’m so proud to call Jillian my sister and she inspires me all the time. I know we’re both proud to be Earpers.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jillian (@EarperQueen) and I am a queer, chronically ill teen Earper. I found a home in the Earp fandom, the show, and the people.
Tell us about the Earp Your Community project you organized.
I organized a Virtual Earper Card Making Party! We made cards for The Rainbow Cards Project (@rainbowcards).
The Rainbow Cards Project sends holiday/birthday/celebration cards to LGTBQIA+ people who would otherwise not receive them from people in their lives due to lack of acceptance and discrimination.
Organizing the event involved selecting a time where many Earpers could get together and talk virtually while making the cards. While we could have used Twitter, I wanted there to be some face to face interaction.
I ran a poll to determine ideal time slots for Earpers. I also asked if anyone knew of good chat platforms to use and if people could help publicize the idea and spread the word. Now, I am not very comfortable asking for help or even really interacting over video calls, but I knew Earpers would love to help and wouldn’t care or judge me.
The poll allowed us to chose a time that worked best for people and I found a chatroom with the option for video calling for those who felt comfortable with face to face interaction.
It was an interesting experience for sure because it was the first thing I’ve ever really organized in the fandom but I’d definitely do it again.
What motivated you to plan an EarpYourCommunity event? Why did you choose this particular project?
I saw so many people who were having so much fun with EarpYourCommunity events, and I really wanted to get involved! But, I am still a little uncomfortable meeting in person because I can’t always keep plans because of my health.
I chose this particular project because I am a creative human and I am queer myself, so I want to help my community in any way I can. I know how hard it is to feel unaccepted because I don’t have many people in my life who accept me and love me for who I am, besides my family.
I knew I couldn’t organize anything that was huge in scale but helping someone’s emotional state is just as important as money.
How did the event go?
It went okay for a first-time event! There were only a few of us that kept coming and going. I take some responsibility because I chose a poor time and people were probably still at work. Whoops! Lesson learned for next time!
What was the most challenging part? Do you have any advice for others that want to plan an event of their own?
The most challenging part was definitely choosing a time. Earpers live all across the globe and while people in my time zone were available, others were asleep. For the first, I chose a Friday afternoon which wasn’t great, but I now know that weekends are the best.
Do you have any advice for others that want to plan an event of their own?
Survey your demographic! If you want east coasters, make sure all prospective times are in EST! My demographic was everybody and that was hard, so I polled to determine the best times for everyone. Always get input, because Earpers DO want to attend and will help you make sure they can.
What else would you tell someone who is thinking about organizing an EarpYourCommunity event?
Go for it! There are really so many pros and not many cons! You have fun with Earpers, you’re doing good for the community, and you’re doing stuff you enjoy. It’s really a win-win!
What was your favorite part of the event? Was there anything about the experience that surprised you?
The whole thing! This was my first Earper event and I organized it myself mainly (with lots of help, of course) but it was really rewarding!
I was really surprised that so many people were eager to attend and hang out (I really shouldn’t be, we’re Earpers after all!) because I’ve always felt on the outskirts. Being involved with others really gave me a sense of fulfillment.
What did you find the most rewarding about this experience?
Everything really! I enjoyed making friends and helping people smile.
What does EarpYourCommunity mean to you?
To me, EarpYourCommunity means bringing your joy of changing the world as an Earper outside of the fandom and into your community.
Would you organize or take part in an EarpYourCommunity event again?
YES!!! In fact, I have a few things up my sleeve!
Is there anything we missed that you’d like us to know?
It’s not something we missed, but I would like to let everyone know that since people really loved the idea of the cardmaking party, I’m starting a monthly #PurgatoryCraftNight!
As Jeremy said, “Thursday at Shorty’s is craft night.”
What better way to honor the show, share our creativity, and have fun with Earpers than a craft night of our very own? It doesn’t have to be a specific craft— just bring whatever makes you feel creative!
My friend is planning to bake, I’m going to do whatever my skill of the week is, and my sister is doing origami! You can paint, dance, knit, stitch— whatever you love that is creative! All the announcements and information will be on the official twitter, @purgatorycraft! Come one, come all!
Learn more about The Rainbow Cards Project here – https://www.therainbowcardsproject.org/
For more Earper #EarpYourCommunity Spotlights take a look at the past posts on Tumblr and give us a follow.
#EarpYourCommunity is a core component of Earp It Forward and a call to action to give back to our communities and neighborhoods through service events. #EarpYourCommunity activities come in all shapes and sizes and can be done by groups of Earpers or as an individual. It is about celebrating what Earpers may already be doing and helping people connect to take action and make a difference in the lives and well being of those around us. To learn more about #EarpYourCommunity, check out the “Are You Ready to Earp Your Community?” introduction document which outlines the project and provides support and resources for all your passion to help and give back. You can also reach us directly using the contact information below: