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Event: CharityWank (a.k.a. CharityGate, Charity Wank)
Participants: Heidi8, Cassandra Claire, sapphireisle, Christina (sapphsmum), MsScribe
Date(s): December 2004, March 2005
Type: wank
Fandom: Harry Potter
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CharityWank was a two-part wank that originated in the Harry Potter fandom and appeared on the fandom_wank community. The first phase of the wank is known as LaptopGate and began when Heidi8 coordinated an effort for fans to buy Cassandra Claire, her roommate, and her boyfriend new laptops to replace ones that had recently been stolen.

CharityWank itself started shortly thereafter, when HP fan sapphireisle replied to a post in Heidi's journal, expressing frustration that the laptop fund was getting so much money and attention when she and her mother, who had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, had such a hard time finding donations. This led to wank, which resurfaced on an even greater scale several months later, when when sapphireisle's mother--Christina, a.k.a. sapphsmum--mentioned in her own LiveJournal that Heidi had refused to post a fundraising link for her.


On December 5th, 2004, Cassandra Claire announced on her LiveJournal that her apartment had been broken into and her laptop had been stolen, along with laptops belonging to Ruby, her roommate, and Josh, her boyfriend who had been visiting.[1]

A few hours after Cassie's post, Heidi8 posted a entry proposing a "whip-round" to gather money to buy new laptops for Cassie, Ruby, and Josh. Sam Starbuck (copperbadge) and Clio (jlh) offered drabbles to those who donated.[2] Ten hours later, Heidi announced that they had raised over $2,000 with donations from approximately 300 individuals.[3] The next day, she announced that they had met their fundraising goal but would continue taking donations for a toy drive at the hospital where Ruby worked, since a box of toys meant for the drive were among the things stolen from Cassie and Ruby's apartment.[4][5]

Cassie, Ruby, and Josh all posted thank you notes to their journals. Cassie later confirmed that she and Ruby had received their laptops, and Ruby confirmed that they also received the toys and money from the toy drive that went to the pediatrics ward.[6][7] It is unclear precisely how much money was raised, or how much went towards the laptops or to the hospital. Fan History Wiki alleges that the total was quoted as being more than ten thousand dollars, but this remains unsubstantiated.[8]

Wank started in the comments to Cassie's announcement of the robbery, mostly variations of whether it was inappropriate to ask about how it might affect the posting of Draco Veritas. Reports of the robbery and Heidi's fundraiser were posted to fandom_wank; the first wank report was deleted but a new one was created shortly thereafter.

Initial Charity Wanking

In a comment on a post on Heidi's LiveJournal, which announced that roughly 300 people had donated to replace the stolen laptops, sapphireisle expressed frustration that they were able to raise money so quickly while her family, who was in more serious need, did not get nearly the same amount of attention or support.[9]

Heidi's response to this comment was met with some criticism; one anonymouse called it "cold and outright snide in places,"[10] and the fandom_wank report states: "Heidi8 made a big deal about the charitable blood that flowed through her sainted veins like milk and honey and then refused to help the woman with rare cancer until fandom pressure demanded it."[11] Heidi, however, contended that she was trying to be helpful, and that she would be happy to post a link to Christina's collection but thought that it would be unwelcome.[12]

Both Heidi and Cassie did post links to Christina's fundraising website,, shortly after sapphireisle's initial post.[13] sapphireisle's post was also linked in the comments of LaptopGate report at fandom_wank, where readers proposed trying to raise the same amount of money for her as was raised for Cassie.[14] It gained further visibility at fandom_wank when the possibility of pimping the cause was the subject of its own mini wank report.[15]

March 2005 Wank

The wank was revived several months later, when Christina replied to one of Heidi's LiveJournal posts, which was signal-boosting Heidi's friend's breast cancer fundraiser. Christina asked Heidi to post a link for her own cancer fund, to which Heidi replied that she was too busy and suggested other resources. Christina posted on her own LiveJournal about Heidi's refusal, and things spiraled from there.[16]

In 2006, it was revealed many of the controversial comments made at fandom_wank about the subject were traced back to the IP used by MsScribe.

This article or section needs expansion.



  1. ^ Cassandra Claire. Untitled post. 05 December 2004. (Archived 09 December 2004 by the Wayback Machine [WebCite].)
  2. ^ heidi8 on LiveJournal: Xmas Gift for Cassie, Josh & Ruby, posted 05 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013, friendslocked as of January 2014.) A similar message was also posted to the ParadigmOfUncertainty mailing list: Update on Casse (25129), posted 05 December 2005. (Accessed 18 January 2014, WebCite.)
  3. ^ heidi8. Untitled post. 05 December 2012. (Accessed 23 April 2013.) WebCite.
  4. ^ heidi8. Updates on the whip-around. 06 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  5. ^ RubyDeBrazier. Toys for Sick Kids. 07 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  6. ^ Ruby posted an untitled thank you post on December 5th, Cassie on December 6th, and Josh on December 7th. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  7. ^ RubyDeBrazier. Untitled post. 20 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  8. ^ Fan History Wiki. Cassandra Claire#Laptopgate. (Archived 18 October 2011 by the Wayback Machine.)
  9. ^ The initial discussion can be read on Heidi's journal here. (Accessed 23 April 2013; note that sapphireisle's username now appears as "nore_fortuna".) sapphireisle's comments were also reposted at her own journal. (Archived 08 April 2005 by the Wayback Machine.)
  10. ^ Anonymous commentator on LiveJournal. Re: Hmmm..... I just wonder why? 08 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  11. ^ laguera25 at fandom_wank. There's a Wank A-Brewing in HPfen. 12 March 2005. (Accessed 23 April 2013.) WebCite.
  12. ^ heidi8. Re: Hmmm..... I just wonder why? 08 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  13. ^ Included in Heidi's LJ post "Tis the season..." (WebCite), dated December 8th; Cassandra Claire posted "A good cause" (WebCite) on December 9th.
  14. ^ iczer6 at fandom_wank. Re: FWers, your mission, if you choose to accept.... 08 December 2004. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  15. ^ smokingkills at fandom_wank. F_W Debate Wank! 08 December 2013. (Accessed 23 April 2013.)
  16. ^ sapphsmum. Untitled post. 12 March 2005. (Archived 15 March 2005 by the Wayback Machine [WebCite].)
  17. ^ WebCite link; WayBack Machine link
  18. ^ WebCite link; WayBack machine link.
  19. ^ WebCite link; WayBack machine link.