It was a rainy day when ‘Pause for a Cause’ embarked on our first mission just last November. But not even the huge downpour could waiver the determination of those getting dressed up as super-heroes that day. Not when the cause was much bigger than the cosplayers themselves.
Meeting up with the rest of the volunteers for ‘Helping Haiyan’ for the first time brought a warm sense of camaraderie. Photographers from ‘Clubsnap’ and cosplayers from ‘501st Legion’ were already at location preparing for the street collection. We did not know each other by names; just the common cause for the day.
There was no changing room. We prepared to suit up just along the crowded Orchard Road, while the rest of the volunteers were stealing glances and getting excited. They were trying to guess what were the characters for the day from the props and costume parts that were slowly coming out of the huge luggage bags we had.
After slowly putting on all the pieces of my Bat suit, the cowl was last. After some final adjustments, I finally placed my cowl on. I swore I heard some gasps. Maybe I looked intimidating. Or that the volunteers were just awed by my full transformation. Whichever the case, I took a deep breath and walked into the crowd. This time, as Batman.
The crowds were awed. Our Green Ranger joined, followed by Wolverine shortly. We were all drawing in the crowd’s attention slowly, but surely. Even the more apprehensive ones came forward just to say ‘Hi’ to the cosplayers. This gave the volunteers the opportunity to inform them of our cause of the day. Almost all of them reached into their pockets and gave us their support.
I remember this one young boy, emptying his pocket of all his small change; all 8 Dollars and seventy cents. I gave him an arm around his shoulders and we smiled for the cameras. He was my best bud of the day because he gave all he had when he was moved by what we were willing to do for the victims of ‘Haiyan’.
The volunteers had to keep up with the crowd and the cosplayers’ passion. This went on for a few hours. The tin cans were slowly getting filled by the big hearts we met. As the tins got heavier, our spirits got higher!
After 2 weekends of efforts from all the volunteers and cosplayers, the weight of tins came up to $32,680.10/-.
It was a great feeling to know that we contributed to that amount, which would go to helping many others who were in need. Ironically for me, the best satisfaction I had was to be able to let others have the opportunity to give.
—Jacen Khoo, Founder and member of Pause for a Cause