“Furries For Kids” has a mission to join charities for clowns who help hospital patients.
by Patch O'Furr
“Furries For Kids” comes from the German/Austrian community. It has a goal to set up a legitimate charity with fursuiters, like “Clown Care” (a program to bring the healing power of laughter to hospitals). Here’s the website for their philanthropic organization.
My translation of their mission:
“Many people in the world experience sadness, anger or pain every day. It’s especially dramatic, though, when it hits defenseless children. That’s why Furries For Kids has taken on the task to raise their spirits.
Who laughs, does not cry. This is the motto for Europe’s first, unique anthropomorphic “Kuschelzoo” (petting zoo?) for visiting care centers and homes for kids and needy people. The affected people, especially kids in institutions, should be supported by costume performances with joy and laughter to get rid of negative feelings. Laughter is therapeutic and promotes positive energy, and a sense of hope that’s important to process emotional wounds. Our appearances are voluntary and unpaid, to benefit individuals as well as the institutions. Our organization funds its work largely through annual member dues, donations, sponsorships and small hired engagements. Of course, our cuddly characters can also sometimes be found in public places like parks, museums, plazas, and anywhere they can make people happy and put smiles on your face.”
There’s an Austrian Furry news blog! I asked the owner, Mailylion, to share more:
“I’d like to give you some further directions about “Furries For Kids”. First of all, there has been an article about the organization inside the “Eurofurence Daily”… a newspaper that is handed out to all attendees at the con.
There is also a press kit in english, and official F4K posters. This video shows a lot of our actual work with children in care homes (it’s in german). It’s our official image video:
We’ve worked together with “Cliniclowns” – an organisation similar to other clown doctors projects all over the world. In April 2015 we’ve done a big easter egg search in a well known location in Vienna, with roughly 200 kids present.
I’m a member and usually help them out with designing all the marketing materials such as flyers, buttons, posters, you name it. I’m also one of the guys who always runs around with a camera to catch the work of our fursuiters in motion.
A debate! Could there be image concerns for this group, no matter how well intentioned it is?
Fear of adult content in the fandom has caused some internal friction about this group. I’m fully aware that there can be a tricky dilemma between such a goal as this, and free expression of romantic themes on vivid display elsewhere. (Keep in mind it’s most often drawn creativity, much more than sex for real.)
Personally, I believe that furries as a group should be treated as adults who are capable to keep a wall between leisure and professional behavior. It just takes knowing where the line is. I’ll boldly claim that most furries are very good about that. (I have a feeling that nobody is more image-conscious about furries, than other furries are about each other… proving the point about responsibility!)
Every parent compartmentalizes sex around kids, too… that’s no big deal. (It’s hard to be a parent without sex, right?) Gay people used to face false criticisms about safety around kids, but that has changed (it’s not an exact comparison, I know.) I hope society continues abating neurotic attitudes.
IF any outsider raises such concerns, a strict code of conduct for this group would be key.
Curious to hear more? Can you suggest any questions you’d like to see in an interview?