By Brookelynn Mason

"Rise up!" is more than just a call to action in Broadway's Hamilton — it is the rallying cry of an entire fandom to come together. Two 20-somethings from Arkansas started the "Happy Birthday Lin-Manuel Miranda” charity fundraiser on January 1 with a goal of raising $37,000 (for Lin’s 37th birthday, get it?). The money goes to one of Miranda's favorite charities: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, which "helps men, women and children across the country and across the street receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance."

The fundraiser has received recognition from BC/EFA, several members of the #HamiltonCHI cast, and even caught the eyes of Lin-Man himself on his birthday, January 16th. The founders have worked together with the Hamilcast podcast and TeeRico, Miranda's official merchandise website, to reach thousands of people for this ambitious charity goal.

Alicia Watt, the co-founder of the project, helps facilitate weekly raffle events through the project's Facebook page for donors who have given at least $5. Previous winners received various Hamilton merchandise (including the Hamiltome and Hamilton Mixtape), fan-made artwork and merchandise, and swag bags with Moana-themed items. The coming week’s theme is inspired by Miranda’s first Broadway musical, In the Heights, with a chance to win a signed playbill from the show with each donation. This final raffle will take place on the “Happy Birthday Lin-Manuel Miranda” Facebook page on Thursday, January 26th, at 7:00pm EST.

Get in a donation before then to have your chance at winning raffle items, but more importantly, to make a difference in the lives of those who are supported by such awesome organizations as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

Facebook page: @HappyBdayLin

Twitter: @HappyBdayLin

  Photo: Joan Marcus

Photo: Joan Marcus