Creations for Charity, the longest-running LEGO-focused charitable initiative, returns for its 15th year in support of underprivileged children.
Founded by Nannan Zhang, the organization was established in 2009 as a way for LEGO creators to raise money to buy building sets for youth who may not have the opportunity to acquire them otherwise.
Zhang explained in an interview with Toy Tales: “LEGO gives children endless hours of creativity. Since LEGO can also be expensive, not every family can afford them or even have access to places that sell LEGO, depending on the country.” He continued, “Being able to donate LEGO to kids in need really brings them a medium to have fun and express their creativity.”
Since its inception, Creations for Charity has purchased over $300,000 worth of new LEGO sets, as builders from around the world donate one-of-a-kind LEGO creations to sell online each year. The builds are sold mid-October through November in time for the holiday season. The creativity and generosity demonstrated by the LEGO community stands out to Zhang. He shares, “I’m impressed by the diversity of the creations we received this year, from animals to anime and builds that can fit in your hand to ones that require an entire table such as the massive space frigate by Stijn van der Laan of Netherlands.”
The 2023 initiative received an early financial boost from Brick Convention. Greyson Riley, founder and organizer of the travelling LEGO fan event, donated a portion of ticket sales in the amount of $15,000 to the not-for-profit. “These funds helped us to expand our impact this year,” explains Zhang. “We have 17 coordinators in eight countries this year. We are entirely volunteer-run, so all the money raised goes towards the purchase of LEGO for children.”
As in recent years, the team at the Beyond the Brick YouTube channel will host a 24-hour live-stream auction in support of the fundraiser. The event adds a new element in 2023: builders will join the live stream to auction their own creations, giving fans a chance to meet the brick artists.
Zhang expounds on the Beyond the Brick partnership, “We are very grateful for the partnership with Josh Hanlon from Beyond the Brick. I’ve known Josh before he launched his channel, which has grown to be one of the biggest LEGO channels on YouTube. In the past few years, the 24-hour live stream has become a very popular event and the main source of income for our fundraiser. The live stream occurring on the day after Thanksgiving also gives us a last-minute boost in sales right before our store closes at the end of November.”
The Beyond the Brick live stream starts at noon Eastern time on Friday, November 24. Bidding is open to the public. The auction schedule will be shared on Creation for Charity’s blog in advance of the event.
The 2023 edition of Creations for Charity wraps on Thursday, November 30. People can support the organization in three ways: donate a custom LEGO build, purchase an item from its online marketplace, or make a financial donation through PayPal.