Stephen Amell has stated he’s somewhat competitive, a bit of a workaholic and has intense fear of failure when it comes to Arrow. We think he may be understating the case. Somehow, between his 14-16 hour workdays, countless con appearances, running a winery (which also raises money for charity), maintaining his superhero physique and having a family he’s also managed to inspire people to donate an insane amount of money to charity.
The most recent example was his F*ck Cancer shirts that were so popular that they opened up a second round of sales. By the end of the campaign the shirts raised over $947,000. I’m pretty convinced a lot of fans were doing their Christmas shopping and helping others at the same time. He’s currently running a Movember campaign that he announced 24 hours before this article was written and his team has already raised over $6000.
When he started his first campaign for Prayers for Sophie, which a friend of his brought to his attention back in July I don’t think he or anyone realized where it would lead. Sophie is 21 month old baby girl who was diagnosed with an Optic Pathway Glioma which is a cancerous tumor in her brain. There were some fits and starts as he wrangled with auctions and raffles but at the end he raised over $25,000 in one raffle alone for her medical costs, he’s also since visited with Sophie and her family and become friends with them.
Stephen takes his star power seriously, after he raised money for Sophie he caught the fundraising bug and has started a new campaign as soon as one finishes. One could say he’s become obsessed with helping others, what makes he and other stars like Misha Collins so successful is that the make it personal and fun. Stephen runs his Facebook page like a well oiled machine. He’s started Fanart Fridays to highlight the creative talent within the ever growing ranks of the Amell Army, he loves memes and has Meme Monday where sometimes he posts a picture from the show or sometimes just tells his fans “Meme Monday: Go!” He makes a point of picking a few every week and posting them in an album, he comments frequently on posts and has even apologized to an individual fan who is a regular on his page for not making it out to a Con. All these things make it obvious that Stephen appreciates, respects and loves his fans. So when he asks them to reply in kind by helping a cause he supports they respond immediately, not a few sites have been crashed by the response.
Misha does similar things with Random Acts. Misha is not as hands on with his social media but the power and the pull is still there. The way Random Acts is so free flow and encouraging of creativity is one reason I adore that charity and the idea behind it. By inviting others to become involved with something and not make it a faceless or featureless appeal for money both Stephen and Misha touch a core of generosity and respect within their fan base that brings out the best in people.
What I find most impressive about Stephen is he is a relatively new star, Arrow being his first leading role, yet he handles it with such grace and class that he seems to be an old hand at interacting with fans and channeling the true power of social media along with a rapidly building fan base to truly bring about great things. For a man barely three seasons into a show to have close to 3 million followers on Facebook and have raised close to a million dollars for various charity causes since July of this year is an achievement worth a great deal of recognition and respect.
Stephen is truly a Captain of an Army, an Army who’s mission is to help others. We need more armies like that in the world.