Colin Farrell to end World Hunger

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

Affleck vs Kristof — who’s better?

Posted: December 6, 2010 by brfrese in Abuse, Africa, Celebrity, Independence, War

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about Ben Affleck and his involvement with the UN Refugee Agency (the UNHCR) and their campaign to bring shelter to refugees. He is particularly involved in the Congo, and his methods involve using his celebrity  as a means to granting unheard individuals a voice. Let me give you a quick refresher on what he does —

In our Comm 410 class, we have learned about a man named Nicholas Kristof who is a reporter for the New York Times. His articles and videos are created in the same manner as the ones I previously posted about Ben Affleck — they pick and individual to learn about their story. Kristof is notorious for doing many, many interviews, but picking the best individual, true story and using that to create his messages. He feels that the American people attach to one person, one story, better than they do to groups of people (we are desensitized).  Here are a few pieces of his work:

And an article here.

So, seeing as how Kristof would be categorized as a popular and effective writer, yet not a celebrity, I am curious as to how you feel. Which member of our society, who focuses on an individual to tell their story and offer them a voice, is more effective? Granted they have used different mediums (Affleck his fame and a TV appearance on ABC, and Kristof his educated and informed following through the New York Times), but I still feel their methods are similar. If I had to pick who I think has the greater impact, it would be Kristof. I pick him because he is more consistent with his involvement (yes, I know it is his job, but that makes  his work more legitimate), and consistency yields results.

However, I want to know what you think, so fill out the poll below!

Determined or Destined for Failure?

Posted: December 6, 2010 by akl5086 in Africa, AIDs, Children, Uncategorized

As of Sunday night, the total amount raised for Alicia Keys‘ “Digital Death” Campaign was roughly $296,000. Now, five days into the campaign, celebs must be facing withdrawal.

I think the fact that donations haven’t been rolling in like they were expected to and the fact that celebs are still going relatively strong with the campaign shows determination, but what do you think?

Share your opinions or vote here!

Still “Dead”

Posted: December 4, 2010 by akl5086 in Africa, AIDs, Charity, Children

It has been four days since Alicia Keys’ digital death campaign for her charity Keep A Child Alive began. The campaign involved popular celebrities signing off their Facebook, Twitter and MySpace accounts until $1 million was raised to help those affected by AIDS in Africa and India. As of Friday evening, the campaign was shy of its total by $799,326. It has thus far generated an average of $66,891 per day.

So four days into the campaign celebs are still “dead.” However, this is not quite the case for all of them. Twitter updates about the campaign have been posted to celeb accounts including Keys, Swizz Beats, Khloe Kardashian, Jay Sean and Janelle Monae.

The campaign has been criticized for two reason. First, the minimum donation is $10, gossip columns have reported that fans would be more willing to give up the few dollars they spend on coffee rather than the $10 they could spend on the celebs’ new CD on iTunes, which I think is an excellent point. Asking for a minimum of $10 in this current economy is a bit much, people would be much more willing to donate a few dollars. The second reason for criticism stems  from the overall concept of the campaign, with celebs out of the social media game, awareness and reach of the campaign is limited. It was suggested that celebs should have “threatened” to die a digital death one by one until the $1 million was raised, this way they could continuously promote the campaign on their accounts.

I think the second point of criticism speaks highly of communication in current society. In cutting off their communications with fans and the world via their most valuable source of communication, they have limited their outreach. I think essentially people who follow these celebrities regularly have more than less become accustomed to the lack of constant updates rather than become more motivated to donate to get their beloved celebs back in the social networking circle.

At this rate, the campaign is said to last for 11 more days unless something drastic happens in which fans become more motivated to donate money.

Updates to come!

In light of my recent posts, I thought it would be a good idea to focus on an area where celebrity involvement has turned out to be helpful. But first, I’ll start off with a question: have you ever heard of Livestrong?

Of course you have. Now: have you ever heard of Stillerstrong (and not this isn’t about the Pittsburgh “Stillers”)?

My guess is, probably not. But it is something you should be aware of. Its a comical take on the Livestrong foundation created by none other than Ben Stiller — but its no joke. It helps build schools in Haiti as part of the Haitian School Initiative. Recently, Stiller’s charity has partnered with Artists for Peace and Justice to continue their work in Port-Au-Prince.

 

As you can see, Stillerstrong packs quite a punch when it comes to star power. Not only does Ben Stiller support it, but so does former president and humanitarian Bill Clinton! It built its first school in Cerevrine, Haiti in 2009 and the initiative really took off in 2010 after the earthquake.

This is the kind of charity our celebrities need to be involved with — helping build schools and hospitals for those who don’t have them, have been displaced, or need them to be improved desperately. It isn’t ruining a local economy, but rather building up a future one through the youngest generation. Everyone should show their support to Stillerstrong like they did to Lance in the early 2000’s…its a great cause to get behind!

Follow Up to Not the Thought

Posted: December 3, 2010 by brfrese in Uncategorized

So I just wanted to make a few comments about my last post.

I understand that it, in theory, did not mesh with the content of this blog. However, I think that it addressed an important issue not covered as frequently as we would have liked — not all philanthropy is good. We need to be careful about the level of involvement we have in some philanthropies, they might have adverse affects. I’ll leave you of an example of  T-shirts associated with celebrities (namely Tom Brady and the New England Patriots). These would have sold everywhere in the U.S….now you can see they were just given away. I wonder what the effect on their economy was?