'Glee's' Kevin McHale, Harry Shum Jr. Launch Mysterious Charity Contest
The stars are raising money for The Invisible Children by giving fans who donate $10 or more the chance to win a "super secret 'Glee' experience."
Glee fans are getting the chance to hang out with Kevin McHale and Harry Shum Jr. and raise money for a good cause at the same time.
McHale (Artie Abrams) and Shum (Mike Chang) are teaming up with Omaze.com to raise money for the nonprofit The Invisible Children. Fans who donate $10 or more will be entered into a contest to win what the guys are describing as a "super secret Glee experience."
What does that mean? The pair are keeping mum for now, though previous Omaze campaigns run by other TV stars have included set visits and trips to red carpet premieres.
"We’ll have some special guests as well. We’ll have some friends, and some castmembers who I think are taking part," Shum tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But we want to keep that a secret."
McHale adds that they are "hoping to help as many people as possible learn about Invisible Children" and says he has been impressed by how generous Glee fans have been in the past.
"People related to the characters as being underdogs," McHale says. "We’ve been extremely fortunate that our fans have been so giving."
Both McHale and Shum are longtime supporters of Invisible Children, which seeks to end the use of child soldiers in Central and East Africa. And as a whole, the Glee cast is known for its charitable work, donating iTunes sales from its Cory Monteith tribute episode to Vancouver's Project Limelight – which Monteith supported. In 2011, the cast helped raise $1 million for music education through its Glee Give a Note campaign, while many individual castmembers have adopted their own pet charities.
Omaze has become an increasingly popular fundraiser for TV stars, and Shum says it will help them "reach people who might not know about Invisible Children or the atrocities that are happening in [Central and East Africa]."
Previously, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston raised more than $303,000 for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children through an Omaze campaign, which saw a winner and his guest win a ticket to the show's final season premiere. His Bad costar Aaron Paul also ran an Omaze campaign, which raised $1.8 million, with fans winning trips to the show's series finale party.
Omaze is a for-profit company, and donations are not tax-deductible. The company takes 20 percent of the donations, with the rest going to the stars' charity of choice.
Watch a video featuring McHale and Shum teasing their contest below.
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