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Avengers assemble to help real-life children in need

The last time Marvel fans saw Vision and Bucky, they were on opposite sides of the ideological conflict at the center of “Captain America: Civil War.” Now, less than two months before the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” Paul Bettany and Sebastian Stan have found common ground: children’s charities.

On Tuesday, Marvel announced “The Universe Unites,” a campaign to generate support and revenue for Make-A-Wish, Starlight Children’s Foundation and other organizations that provide care and services to hospitalized children and their families.

Some donations will come in the form of revenue sharing, with a percentage of Marvel profits from sales on March 3–4 dedicated to these organizations. In other cases, Marvel is enlisting stars of “Infinity War” like Stan, Bettany and others to tweet photos of special toy care packages containing products related to their characters. The goal is to attract enough likes to “unlock” automatic donations of as much as $250,000 to Starlight.

“Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman celebrated the use of social media to affect positive change, especially via Marvel’s #HeroActs hashtag. “Being a Marvel superhero gives us a powerful platform to directly influence positive change,” Boseman said in a statement. “Giving back to kids is the most impactful role you can play. ‘Marvel: The Universe Unites’ and #HeroActs is just a fun way to support a noble cause while entertaining kids and fans around the globe.”

Marvel revealed that toy and game partner Hasbro plans to donate $1 million worth of cash and merchandise to the Give the Kids the World organization, which caters to the needs of children with critical illnesses. Toymaker Funko, another Marvel partner, will make a $1 million donation to Starlight as part of the “Universe Unites” campaign.

“From our fantastic cast to our toy and retail partners, it’s great to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together in this way to support children’s charities,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in a statement. “The launch of the products for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a fun way for fans to celebrate the countdown to the movie, and this initiative underscores that moment in a really special way.”

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