LEGO has long been an uncommon but effective partner with drives for charity. They’re either given away as donations by charitable organizations, or actively used in raising funds. An example of the latter was the campaign by St. Edmundsbury Cathedral in the UK last year. A similar charity drive is now open in the US, specifically in the national capital.
The Washington National Cathedral was built in the early 20th Century and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. It sustained damage during a 2011 earthquake, necessitating repairs that are ongoing to this day. But funds are drying up and more is needed.
Much like what happened in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the WNC is in turn spearheading a LEGO building campaign. Visitors to the cathedral will be given the privilege of adding a brick to the scale replica of the WNC for every $2.00 donated to the repair fund. LEGO volunteers would supervise the model’s construction, guiding donors where to put their pieces.
In an interview with DCist the Cathedral’s communications chief Kevin Eckstrom relates that the 2011 Virginia Earthquake caused them $34 million worth in damages. So far only $15 million have been successfully repaired, hence the idea for the LEGO campaign.
We suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise why the Washington National and St. Edmundsbury LEGO campaigns are similar; both were initiated with assistance from the UK-based LEGO group Bright Bricks. The WNC charity project, when finished, will have 400,000 LEGO pieces (potentially making $800,000 in donations), 13 feet long and 1,400 pounds heavy – the size of a minivan in estimate.
The charity campaign began last Friday, March 1. For the occasion, the mascot of the Washington Nationals MLB team Teddie placed the LEGO-brick cornerstone on the model. This commemorates Teddie’s origin, President Theodore Roosevelt, doing the same for the actual WNC way back in 1907.