Veronica Mars fundraising project raises USD $3.5 million in record time as millions of starving children in Africa dream wistfully of food

Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars

A grassroots fundraising campaign to bring cult TV show “Veronica Mars” to the silver screen has so far brought in more than USD $3.5 million, as millions of poverty-stricken children in Africa continue to go hungry every day.

Launched March 13th by “Veronica Mars” writer/producer Rob Thomas, the Kickstarter project motivated enough supporters to push donations past the $1 million mark in just over four hours, making it the fastest project to hit $1 million. Donations are still regularly pouring in, with conservative estimates putting the final haul at a little over $4 million by the time the project wraps up in April.

“This is truly an incredible feat that demonstrates the strength and power of loyalty, perseverance and determination,” Thomas said, in apparent reference to the multitudes of diehard “Veronica Mars” fans who have quickly thrown their support for the underperforming TV show, which never made it past #138 on the Nielsen ratings chart during its brief three-season run.

The South African government estimates that about 75% of South Africans have inadequate access to food, and roughly 89% have never seen or heard of “Veronica Mars.”

The cancelled show’s titular star, Kristen Bell, has expressed excitement over the positive reaction to the project, and promised to “work my hardest to give everyone a little bit more Veronica.”

“If I ever die, do me a favor. Go on Oprah and tell the world that I loved kittens,” she said in an open letter to fans.

Meanwhile, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are hungry/undernourished each year, with 47 percent of the population living on $1.25 a day or less. One in five South African children suffer from chronic malnutrition, according to South Africa’s Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. The South African government estimates that about 75% of South Africans have inadequate access to food, and roughly 89% have never seen or heard of “Veronica Mars.”

Dlamini admits that she has seen a couple of Veronica Mars episodes and “kind of liked it,” and wishes the Kickstarter project well.

“I am truly happy for the thousands and thousands of people who will finally get to see the Veronica Mars movie they’ve been dreaming of since 2007,” said Dlamini. “These people are truly inspiring and show us all that if you put your mind to something, you can make it happen.”

The “Veronica Mars” movie is expected to hit theaters in early 2014, by which time another 9 million children under the age of 5 will have died from starvation and/or illness in sub-Saharan Africa.

To donate to the UNICEF South Africa foundation, please visit: http://www.unicef.org.za/donate/.

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