Archive for the ‘Donations’ Category

We Are The World

Posted: December 13, 2010 by brfrese in Celebrity, Charity, Donations
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I know that we have featured a post on this blog that discusses the music sensation that is “We Are The World.” Well, I wanted to blog once more before the deadline of our journey here and let you know that I think we can do incredible things.

 

I challenge every single one of you to find something that you are passionate about — whether that’s donating money or time to Keep a Child Alive because you like Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s, or raising money to send teachers to foreign nations to help students learn new skills. It is important for us to know we are part of something larger than ourselves.

While I have been critical of celebrity involvement in foreign nations, often citing that I think they are serving their own interests rather than those of the nation or area or cause they are helping, there is something to be said about it. They are trying to help. They are involved and, in some cases, on the ground offering support to these people. No matter what their motivations, this is something we can all appreciate and strive to achieve.

 

So I leave you with this: find your passion, your drive, your interest. Then, make a difference. One person can change another’s world, but it doesn’t happen if you don’t start somewhere. As much as we are divided by boarders and oceans, remember, we are the world!

 

Here’s the video, once more for old time’s sake!

 

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A poem by Sean

Posted: December 8, 2010 by tubridysean in Celebrity, Charity, Donations, Poverty
Tags: , , , ,

I wrote a poem. If I had more time, it would flow better and would be more mature.  But I think it does the trick.  Let me know what you think!

 

Philanthropist or Narcissist

A celebrity appears on a PSA,

Is it an earnest appeal or just a way to say

That they care about the world issues?

A fake smile and a box of tissues

Draw attention to the starving poor

But is this a good thing? I’m still unsure.

Bono, Oprah, Pitt, and Jolie

Give their heart, soul, and money

To help out the less fortunate

And work to make a world aid conglomerate.

 

In a society focused on reputation,

It’s hard to tell who shows true dedication.

Celebrities strive to associate their faces

With orgs and charities in all the right places.

That will make them look the best in the public’s eye.

Their actions are deceiving and sly.

A celebrity is not an expert on world news,

Just a rich person with biased views.

Don’t believe everything you hear

From a pretty face and a voice so clear.

 

Personally I find this involvement to be superficial

These people act like a world health official.

They are told what to say to the media,

So do your own research on Wikipedia.

Of course, these countries benefit from the philanthropists,

But it’s sad to see these celebrity self-serving narcissists.

Colin Farrell to end World Hunger

Posted: December 7, 2010 by kmw5211 in Donations, Hunger
Tags: , ,

 

This is exactly what I consider to be celebrity abuse of media and charities. As much as I appreciate Colin Farrell giving his voice to support ending world hunger, that is just not enough. If he was so dedicated to the cause of world hunger, his actions would’ve spoken louder than his words. Yes – he does lend his voice to the World Food Programme, but what else is he doing? Is he donating food or money to the WFP to encourage others to follow in his footsteps? No. He’s expecting his fans to do what he asks solely because he is the one asking. I do not appreciate that one bit.

I recently found an article from TIME Magazine called “Bad Charity,” and I thought I would share it with you all.

You can check out the full article here — it is really very insightful into our conceptions of charity work.

From Time Magazine

The article talks about a young man, Jason Sadler, who wanted to help out in Africa with a charity designed to donate T-shirts to Africa. He was, understandably so, surprised when he received harsh criticism from bloggers and anti-charity activists. He received this response for a few reasons:

1. T-shirts are not hard to get in Africa — an influx of free shirts to the market would bankrupt small entrepreneurs and those who vend shirts for a living.

2. The money spent shipping the shirts and supplies could better be used providing the impoverished areas with food and medical supplies they do not have.

One of his opponents was James Shikwati, a member of a Nairobi-based Inter Region Economic Think Tank, who found it ironic that after the second hand expansion of clothing into small towns shut down their textile industries, people who be interested in providing free shirts to the area.

He received additional criticism from a blogger who goes by the pseudonym “Tales from the Hood,” saying no level of rational debate seems to make an impact — sometimes people need to be yelled at for their charity because it isn’t making a difference.

He is, however, cooperating with his opponents and planning to readjust his charity model by donating shirts to orphanages who request them and to widows who can sell the shirts for profit. Sadler currently works with the founder of WaterIsLife.com, Ken Surritte, on his philanthropy efforts.

It is this kind of philanthropy we all assume is helping countries in other continents, but may actually be detrimental to their economic systems and ways of life. I want to know how you all feel about the way we look at charity and if we think it is always a good idea to get involved…even if we might be misinformed. Answer below!

Wyclef Jean and Matt Damon have first hand experience in dealing with the effects of Hurricane Gustav on Haiti. Jean and Damon took matters into their own hands and went to Haiti to hand out food and generally do what they could to help out. Damon admits he’s seen poverty before, but never coupled with disaster. Jean continues that it is hard to describe what they experienced first hand. What he could express was the importance of the international community’s help in the matter. Together with Yéle Haiti, Damon and Jean are trying to make a difference. Yéle Haiti sponsored food, clothing, blankets and medical supplies in the areas that were hit hardest by the storm. To find out more about Damon and Jean’s excursion to Haiti, see the link below.

What do you think about  the situation? Are these celebs doing enough to help Haiti? Better yet, are they inspiring you to help?

 

Related Article:

Matt Damon and Wyclef Jean Help Haitian Flood Victims (www.huffingtonpost.com)

In a 2007 Washington Post article entitled “Stop Trying to ‘Save’ Africa” Nigerian born Uzodinma Iweala writes about his frustration with the way African aid is handled in the media.  Celebrities receive global praise and attention for their contributions to Africa, when actually it is the hundreds of volunteers dedicating their lives to helping displaced Africans survive.  The sad thing is that only the big-name, high-profile celebrities such as Oprah, Bono, and Angelina Jolie get the attention.  African born celebrities such as NBA star Dikembe Mutombo hardly ever receive press for their humanitarian work.  People like Dikembe Mutombo have a vested interest in helping Africa.  He does not start foundations to improve living conditions in Congo and donate $15 million to a hospital in the Congo named after his mother in order to improve his image, he does it because he feels it is the right thing to do–to give back some of the money he made in order to help those who are not as fortunate as he is.

If David Bowie is African, then I'm the Queen of England!

That’s not to say that Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian work and Bono’s countless humanitarian efforts are any less important or substantial.  Every bit of aid, not matter the intention, is appreciated.  It is, however, saddening  and in Mr. Iweala’s case maddening, to see the way the media presents aid to Africa.  The most frustrating was a series a print ads that pictured (usually) a white celebrity with tribal paint on his/her face with a tagline underneath the picture that says “I Am African.” This is a little bit ridiculous and almost mean.  Yet, according to Mr. Iweala, it is just one of the many ways that Western culeture is trying to assert itself as culturally superior to Africa.  “[A]fricans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West’s fantasy of itself,” Mr. Iweala writes.  This is a striking thought to ponder. I think that we Americans do use aid to Africa and other foreign trouble nations as a means of convincing ourselves that we are humanitarians.

Personally, I feel that too often, celebrities provide aid to Africa and then run around to everyone saying, “Hey everybody, look what I did!”  These people are not the true philanthropists.  Anybody with a well-known name can stand in front of a video camera and tell people about the starving, emaciated children in Africa.  Any celebrity can sign onto a charity and give 1% of their multi-million dollar salary to the cause.  I admire those such as Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Dikembe Mutombo, and others who actually go to the villages and refugee camps in Africa and give their time to make a personal connection to these people.  Aid is aid, not matter what the intention is. I believe that Angelina Jolie isn’t only spending time with African people and even adopting African babies for attention; I think she honestly and truly cares about the future of the continent and its people.  However, the media brings so much attention and publicity to humanitarian aid, that it seems as though Ms. Jolie is only during humanitarian work as a publicity stunt.  The newspapers follow Ms. Jolie throughout Africa, documenting her travels and humanitarian aid, often including pictures with her surrounded by dirty, starving children.

I give all the people who donate their lives to helping others in need, especially in Africa, a lot of credit.  That is something I could never do.  Most of the people Angelina Jolie is visiting have never seen her movies and most likely have never even heard of her.  To them, she is probably just another volunteer.  The hundreds of thousands of people who dedicate parts of their lives or their whole lives to aid in Africa should be given some much deserved respect.  Instead, the media only focuses on celebrities who donate any bit of money to a charity.

Africa and the African people will appreciate any cent of money and any second of time given as aid, however, the media portrayal of these humanitarian acts needs to change.

Sources:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/13/AR2007071301714.html

Harrison Ford has been a supporter of Conservation International since 1991 (well before his most recent Indiana Jones film), a firm that provides funding for scientists in over 30 countries to help fight ecological issues plaguing the area. Since its start, Conservation International has helped donate over $100 million to those scientists that deal with tropical wilderness and marine areas. Ford has helped lead the charge by donating tons of money, time and land to these causes. Also, despite the fact he has never won an Oscar, he has received a multitude of awards (some even coming from our own U.S. House of Representatives) for his ecological efforts!

 

I feel like this type of involvement in international communications and issues is particularly useful. Raising support so that local scientists can perform the work themselves is great — its when celebrities don’t help solve the issue with the locals but rather impede or simply delay its negative effects that we have a problem. Celebrity support displayed in the media should always be about self efficacy for the nation or community they are helping.  Ford’s interest abroad and the awareness he has helped bring to the topic truly make the man who has done so much internationally in his acting career (Indiana Jones, again haha) a special celebrity.