HPA Billings


News and Press

November Book Reveal!

Posted by [email protected] on October 14, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins

Join us on Wednesday, November 11th at 7 PM in the Off the Leaf Lounge to discuss!

Tie-in Campaign (November 18th):  For the third year in a row, the larger HPA organization is challenging chapters to raise awareness about income inequality. As we saw in the Hunger Games, there is a divide between the conditions for the districts and the capitol, a divergence that is mirrored somewhat by our real world—in lack of educational opportunities, income inequality, healthcare coverage issues, and a variety of other problems that arise from a disparity beyond simply “working hard” and “not working hard enough”. Odds in Our Favor seeks to address the issues in the districts and help make sure the odds are in EVERYONE’S favour. As with last year, we welcome community members to participate by telling us their inequality story on twitter with the hashtag #MyHungerGames (and if you @HPAbillings, it will show up on our website!) or on tumblr by providing a story and even a picture. If you’d like to find out what’s being done to help the 99% and how you can get involved (even in small ways), meet up with us at the premiere of Mockingjay to receive some information on Represent.us (to help our voices be heard by congress) and other initiatives to balance the inequalities we see in our society.

In honour of the release of Mockingjay part two (Hunger Games movie/book #3), the Harry Potter Alliance is once again calling on members of the community to share the story of their experiences with economic inequality. In order to add the voices of our Billings community to this discussion, we welcome people to participate in this event. We've created an easy-to-fill-out form that will help your voice be heard, as well as telling you other ways in which you can add to the conversation, if you so desire. We'd really like to hear from you so we can learn how to make the odds in everyone's favour.

Come find us at the release to learn more, visit Odds in Our Favour to participate, or join up with us at our November HPA meeting to hear about our collaboration with Fight for 15 again!

October Book Reveal!

Posted by [email protected] on September 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz.

Unlike in other months, we don't want you to come having read the whole book!  Find a story or two you want to share, and we'll tell spooky stories at our meeting on October 14th (same time and place as always)

August Book Reveal!

Posted by [email protected] on July 8, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

13 Reasons Why-Jay Asher

Join us Wednesday, August 12th at 7 PM at Off the Leaf to discuss it!

Tie-in Campaign (September 20th): As Jay Asher’s story shows us, there can be a multitude of reasons that could drive someone to complete suicide. It’s a heavy topic that many would rather avoid, but during National Suicide Prevention Week, we at the HPA want to take some lessons from Mr. Asher and share them with the community. We’ll be providing resources for those who suffer from a mental illness or the loved ones of those who need to know how to help.  We'll have a happiness-boosting activity for those with lived experiences as well as taking some #selfiesagainststigma at our table at the ASFP's Out of the Darkness Walk.  Photos courtesy of our talented photography majour.  We'll have some glow in the dark fabric paint so those who want to customize their shirts to literally bring them out of the darkness can do so, as well.  We hope to see you guys there!  If you want to donate to the ASFP in support of our group specifically, check out our tumblr!  


July Book Reveal!

Posted by [email protected] on June 10, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

For July, we will be reading the novel that inspired the huge box office hit, The Fault in Our Stars (the movie is eponymously named)!

Join us Wednesday, July 8th at 7 PM in the Off the Leaf lounge to discuss it!  (To share the event, visit its facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1615926455314558/)

Tie-in Campaign:Like our "mother" organization, we will be celebrating Esther Day on August 3rd.  Here's a bit of information about Esther Day (or visit here to find out what the HPA itself has to say about it)--

Most of us are now aware of the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, based on author John Green’s friend, Esther. Before she died, the author and his brother decided to honour Esther’s birthday every year and asked her how she would like to commemorate the occasion. Her wish was to have the day spent celebrating our platonic loved ones—unlike Valentine’s day, which celebrates romantic love, Esther requested a holiday where we tell our friends and family how much we love them. To memorialize Esther—or, as some of you may think of her, Hazel—come celebrate Esther Day with the HPA and make cards for your loved ones! We’ll have crafts available, as well as snacks and activities so you can invite all your loved ones to play games together!

We look forward to seeing you there!  Don't forget to tell your loved ones, that you love them!

Accio Books Update

Posted by [email protected] on June 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Oh my goodness, you guys!  Want to know what the final count for Accio Books 2015 was?? 254 books!

That's 254!

You helped us DEMOLISH the larger HPA organization's goal for the chapters, which was 175 books.  And this is only our first year participating in Accio Books!  

We owe it all to Sue Powell and her amazing group at Barjon's Books.  They were so helpful, hospitable, and gracious about helping out our little organization and, in turn, our Billings community.  We're so grateful for their help and we're excited to let her know soon what the final destination was for each of our 254 books, and we'll add to this post to let you know, too!  In the meantime, here's a picture of all the books!  Thanks again to Barjon's Books for hosting our donation box and to everyone who donated!  You guys rock!  

Accio Books!

Posted by [email protected] on April 7, 2015 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

After our April 1st meeting with our box decorating, we finally found a home for a drop box for Accio Books donations.  What is Accio Books, you ask?  It's an annual book drive to raise books for both the chapter's community as well as a national/international partner, chosen by the larger HPA organization.  This year, our chapter will be raising books for both local libraries as well as Operation Breakthrough, in Kansas City, Missouri, who provides education and learning materials to less fortunate children.  The HPA has set a goal of 175 books for each chapter, so hopefully you'll help us!  Until June 2nd, we will be collecting books as part of the campaign, and our dropbox can be found at Barjon's Books (223 N 29th St).  Any new or used books are welcome, and we appreciate the donations.  A big thank-you goes from our chapter to Sue Powell, the owner at Barjon's, who is happily housing our box at her store.  So stop by if you have anything to donate, and thank you from us and all the people you'll be helping!

Here's what the larger HPA has to say about the campaign, including more about Operation Breakthrough, our partner this year.

Pop Lit Book Club

Posted by [email protected] on April 4, 2015 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

What is Pop Lit Book Club you ask?

HPA Billings' new book club that features popular literature-- hence the name-- ranging from the Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars to un-movified titles, such as 13 Reasons Why.  Each month, HPA members will lead a discussion with community members about the book of the month, and together everyone will form a greater understanding of the novels.  Some might inspire silly questions, while others encourage deep thinking, and people can say as much or as little (short of monopoloizing the conversation) as they feel comfortable with.  

The book club will meet on the second Wednesdays of the month at 7 PM in the Off the Leaf lounge or executive room (varies by month), and the book that will be discussed will be posted on the website after the current month's discussion.  Suggestions are welcome (the Minister can be reached at: [email protected]).

For those who are interested in participating more fully and engaging with the literature, the HPA will supply events pertaining to the book of the month for a majority of the books, allowing those who enjoyed the stories to bring them to life.  

Note: Although HPA members are encouraged to participate in the book club and will be the "hosts", book club members are NOT required to join the HPA or participate in their events.  They will never be bothered with HPA emails.  Book club members are more than welcome, but membership of the two groups is not mutually inclusive.

We hope to see you there!!!

Mark your calendars for the following dates:

May 13

June 10

July 8

August 12

September 9

October 14

November 11

December 9

An End to the Winter Hiatus

Posted by [email protected] on February 21, 2015 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Now that the weather's starting to take a turn to warmer temperatures and our members have all settled into their 2015 schedules, it's time for more HPA Billings/ M.A.N.D.R.A.K.E. events and campaigns!  Now that Not in Harry's Name has succeeded, we have more opportunity to start a new campaign.  While we're deciding what to surprise you with, we can let you in on a secret about our closest upcoming event!

Along with the larger organization and many national chapters, HPA Billings will be happy to participate in Accio Books this year!  Keep an eye out for our book drop boxes (locations will be updated as they're added) to donate your gently used books to those who can use them.  Also, our book drive and trivia night will be announced on this post once the details are decided upon in our first meeting of the New Year!

We're excited to see some new people at the events and hopefully you'll stop by one of our book drop locations! 

Random Acts of Kindness and Carol Grams

Posted by [email protected] on December 6, 2014 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Hello there! If you're here, that means you've probably received one of our RAK items! It seems the House Elves have teamed up with Santa's Elves, and they're going crazy around town, delivering little surprises for the citizens of Billings. Hopefully you're here to see how to pay it forward, or maybe you're wondering why these creatures are doing this.


I wish I could tell you. Our Care of Magical Creatures professor assures me it's quite normal for House Elves to spread Christmas cheer in this way, and we hope they'll inspire you to do the same this holiday season. Based on the index in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I can give you a few ideas of the ways in which the House Elves are most likely to perform these charitable little acts, and maybe that will give you some ideas where to begin, as well.


1. Leaving change on soda, vending, and laundry machines


2. Leaving popcorn on a Redbox to help others have a full-blown movie night


3. Leaving a little extra for their servers at the end of the meal (Just kidding-- House Elves unfortunately don't get to go out for dinner, but they told me they wish they could do this one)


4. Helping a neighbour shovel


5. Bringing a meal to a neighbour or a friend


6. Donating blood or plasma


7. Letting someone go ahead of you at the store


8. Buying a coffee for the person behind you or leaving a gift card behind for the person next in line


9. Paying bus fares


10. Donating books to a library


As you can see, the House Elves are chock full of ideas on how to bring Christmas cheer. We hope you decide to join in and pay your act of kindness forward.  For one final suggestion, maybe you'd like some information on our Carol Grams:

Carol Grams

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

And what better way to celebrate it than by sending HPA Billings to serenade your loved ones with classic carols?  

How it works:

Contributors can order a package that includes a base of two songs to send to their friends or family, and our members will use your time requests to find a date and time where we can reach your party, knock on their door (or ring the doorbell) and carol away!  The orderer can even choose from the desired songs from our song list or request their own (which do need to be approved).  Furthermore, there's an option of including a gift bag with your order that will be given to the recipient at the end of the gram.

What's in the gift bag:  Our gift bags include something for everyone in a family-- there are ornament painting kits for two, peppermint or sugarplum bath fizzies for mum, bubbles with snowflake wands for the little ones, and hot cocoa for the whole family to enjoy, all wrapped up in fun winter-themed bags :)

Where do the funds for this fundraiser go?

Thanks to Purecharity, HPA Billings can accept donations to be sent to the benefitting organization, the NEA Foundation, a four star charity whose goal is to improve public education!  By using this website, the person ordering the carol gram can rest assured that their donation money is being sent directly to the NEA Foundation via a check from Purecharity.

Here's the website to help you find out more about the funding side of this fundraiser: https://www.purecharity.com/hpabillingsxmas

The order form can be filled out here.


Posted by [email protected] on October 28, 2014 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Update: Unfortunately, due to lack of interest, the Rice-a-Thon has been cancelled.  We hope to see you all at the premier, and hopefully we'll get a chance to meet you all soon for another event.

Regrettably, October was just TOO busy a month to compete with all the other great events going on in town.  Yay, Halloween! 

But we have some great plans in store for you for November!

On Saturday, November 15th (a week before the release of Mockingjay), we have a chance for members of the community to bring the Hunger Games to life by fighting real-world hunger!

And if that's not enough of an incentive, there's always the promise of a $100 cash prize to the winner!  

Want to know the details?? Of course you do!

Where: Billings Parmly Library computer room

When: Saturday, November 15th from 1 PM- 2:30 PM (different districts will compete at different times, but don't worry, we'll provide registrants with their time slots!  And we more than welcome you to be present for the whole event, especially since those who surpass the preliminary rounds will be competing in a final round against the best of the best tributes)

What: A competition to earn the most rice on freerice.com in a window of time (to earn the title of "tribute" and then later of "Victor"-- you know you want a title that awesome)

Why: a whole SLEW of reasons.  Obviously, everyone should be celebrating the long-awaited and much-anticipated (we know it's not just us over here at the HPA) release of Mockingjay.  And there's no better way to celebrate the Hunger Games than by tackling hunger!  Which brings us to point number two...YOU'LL BE COMBATING SOCIAL ISSUES like Katniss herself!  Competitors will be striving to earn as much rice as possible for the hungry of the world.  Finally, for those who don't find either of those to be reason enough...there is a $100 to the victor of our Rice-a-Thon.

Who: HPA Billings and you!

How: Competitors will be emailed with instructions so you'll find out details if you sign up!

The more, the merrier!  

To sign up, just click here

Don't forget to check out Odds in Our Favour, as well, to get in the Hunger Games spirit!

Also, for those who want more excitement and real-life Hunger Games-ness, we're working on adding more to our event to make it more interactive and Hunger Games-esque, but we wanted to get the word out ASAP so more of you get the chance to sign up!  We'll keep updating based on what we're able to make happen.