Station Studios Lends a Helping Hand in the Philippines

What started as a conversation about how to help those affected by the Typhoon Haiyan quickly turned into what became Station Donation.

Station Studios, a collective of artists which consists of Christopher Uminga, Matthew Fletcher, Chrissie Zullo, Sara Richard and Mike Choi used their artistic talents and auctioned off original artwork to raise money for Typhoon Haiyan relief.

“We were just having lunch and we all said we should do something about it. So from there we all just kind of immediately agreed on making sort of a donation thing happen and it kind of grew and grew pretty quick,” said Richard.

“It came together relatively quickly, it was basically like a few texts and we were just like let’s email everybody we know, let’s try to get some art, let’s try to raise some money,” said Uminga.

The artists of Station were not the only ones to participate as they were able to have fellow artists contribute to the cause by donating original artwork to be auctioned off.

“We were able to reach out to a lot of people we know and get some really good donations,” said Uminga.

It was not an easy road as the pieces were originally listed on eBay but were taken down due to the site’s policies.

“We got all of the artwork and then we listed it and promoted it for a couple of days. Then the first night they took five of the pieces down arbitrarily,” Fletcher said. “eBay offers their own kind of charity auction, but Unicef and the Philippines Red Cross are not approved by that auction. It seemed to us they wanted to go through them and do it their way, they weren’t going to accept any alternatives.”

There was a silver lining though as station decided to make their own lane and host the auction through their own site. The Station Donation was able to raise over 8,000  dollars which eBay would have got a cut of had the auction been held through the site.

“We kind of didn’t know what the alternative was,” said Fletcher. “Once eBay was down, we could either drop it or we could do it our own way.”

“We just kind of figured to get a blogspot and just have an auction. It costs like 12 bucks to register the domain name,” Uminga said. “And then it was just a lot of typing and just figuring out a way to pull people to come to the site and then a way for them to bid.”

“At first we were really worried because we had over 92 watchers on eBay and we were like there is no way 92 people are going to come over to the Station Donation website. We knew the numbers were probably going to drop and we weren’t going to raise as much money. In the end, I think we had over 120 registered bidders on Station Donation blog, so it actually went up and I think we raised a number we were all really happy with,” Zullo  said. “By doing it through our own website we were able to keep more of that money to donate to the charities, I think in the end it worked out better.”

The mad rush to raise money after being shut down by eBay would probably deter most from acting again in the wake of a tragedy, but not Station.

“We learned a lot this first time around, how to do things how not to do things,” Fletcher said. “If we could find a way to help we have the domain now.”

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