Entries Tagged as 'Celebs'

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Law & Order SVU star washes-up for charity

Mariska Hargitay, star of the NBC cop drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and her charity, The Joyful Heart Foundation, have teamed up with upscale beauty product company, philoshopy, to sell joyful heart shower gel to help raise funds for survivors of sexual assault.

From the philosophy website:

The Joyful Heart Foundation is committed to the total healing and recovery for survivors of sexual assault: mind, body, and spirit and is a powerful step in a survivor’s journey to reclaiming a joyful heart. philosophy is a proud supporter of this amazing foundation and 100% of our profits from the sale of the joyful heart shower gel are donated to the joyful heart foundation.

The shower gel is only available for a limited time from www.drugstore.com. Check it out and buy a couple of bottles in your effort to help with this very important cause.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Sarah McLachlan – World On Fire

Thanks again to our Hawai’i star for bringing this to us.

This amazing music video by perennial cool rocker, Sarah McLachlan, redefines what it means to be a responsible world citizen. The Lilith Fair founder and outside-the-box thinker came up with an outstanding idea that advances the conscience of music in coming up with the concept for this video.

For her 2004 hit song, World On Fire, McLachlan decided to go cheap on the budget and produced the music video for a meer $15. Yup, you heard me right. For $15, McLachlan sat in a wooden chair and strummed her acoustic while lip syncing. And that’s it. Some screen graphics came in and out explaining the concept behind it all, but the only shot was of the solo strummer.

You see, McLachlan decided to take all the money that she would have spent producing a standard, MTV-friendly video and give it away to worthy charities around the world. The screen graphics in the $15 resulting video highlighted these charities and furthermore described the impact of the donated money. From medicine for 5,000 people in Kenya to food for a year for 10 street children in Calcutta, the power of the video’s message is very apparent. In all, some $148,270 were given to groups like Heifer International, Comic Relief and Film Aid. In a non-in-your-face way, McLachlan managed to inspire philanthropy in all of us. It’s really a great idea for a video and makes me glad to wait for the next cool McLachlan project.

Watch this wonderful video here: World On Fire.

Uncool disclaimer:
I know, I know, this is old news, but I have to admit that I simply had not seen or heard of this video before now. I’ll work on getting cable or picking up copies of Spin and Rolling Stone more often, but for now I’m just glad that I have hip friends out there to keep me in touch. So help keep NICE hip by sending in your tips.

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Kuralt Quote

I think Charles Kuralt is my idol. He hits it right on the head with this quote:

“The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.”

-Charles Kuralt

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Angelina Jolie shopping at Goodwill?

This is total rumor mill stuff, but fathomable given our subject.

According to Wedlok.com, Angelina Jolie apparently asked her stylist to find her wedding dress off the racks of a Goodwill store.

I think shopping at thrift stores, flea markets and Goodwills are not only fun, but responsible. Now, it takes some getting use to the flawed materials and nicked furniture, but second hand shopping is lighter on your pocket and on the environment too. Many of us would agree that our level of consumption is sometimes way off the charts. Why do we need piles of stuff, miles of junk in our lives? Why can’t we live the simple life with fewer bought items? Why are we so afraid of living sans materials? I actually don’t have a good answer to these questions.

If Jolie is buying a wedding dress from Goodwill, I will totally applaud her. She may seem to do things for show or to bolster her freaky outsider status, but at least she’s doing things. Adopting children is another example of responsible living. As the adage goes, Why bring another child into the world when there are already so many already without a proper home? Why horde resources for your own off-spring when a warm blooded child is out there waiting to be adopted. It’s hard for most of us to contemplate adoption, even though we are aware that in so many ways it’s the right thing to do. While we’re waffling, Jolie’s done it twice.

I do not want to belabor Angelina as eco-social champion. Just keep the Goodwill thing in mind the next time you feel the need to hit the mall or megastores. You’ll have a good time being good.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Unlikely quote

“Everyone’s born good. Everyone’s got the same size soul.”

James Hetfield, lead vocals of Metallica
speaking to prisoners at San Quentin, California (2003)
from Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Gateses #2 philanthropists in 2005

The tally is in and Bill and Melinda Gates were in unfamiliar territory playing the role of runner-up on a list of the wealthiest Americans.

On The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2005 list of the 60 most generous Americans, the Gateses took number two to Cordelia Scaife May of the Mellon fortune. May left a bequest $404 million to charities and her own Colcom Foundation, in Pittsburgh.

The Gateses transfered $320 million of their largess to their foundation last year, making good on a pledge from 2004. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest charitable entity in the country with assets well in excess of $25 billion, giving over $1 billion of that away per year.

Rounding up the top five on the list are Eli and Edythe L. Broad of SunAmerica ($300 million), George Soros ($240.1 million) and oil man Boone Pickens ($229.2 million, $165 million of which will go to Oklahoma State University).

NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg was seventh on the list giving away $144 million. Technology tycoons continued to dominate the list with the Gateses as well as Pierre and Pam Omidyar of eBay fame (#8, $133.7 million) and Larry Ellison of Oracle (#10, $115 million) also giving at extraordinary levels.

Although these may look like crazy levels of wealth being strewn about, 2005 showed an almost 60% drop in giving amongst our top 60 philanthropists. While 2004 saw those on the list donate $10 billion to charity, the 2005 tally settled down at $4.3 billion. Could this be a precursor to a cooling economy and a slow down in philanthropy for 2006? I hope not, but we’ll see.

View the complete list at The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Do Something

From its website:

Do Something was founded in 1993 by Andrew Shue (Melrose Place) and Michael Sanchez, childhood friends who had a dream: what if community service was as cool as sports? Do Something strives to make this a reality. We inspire, support, and celebrate the ability of young people like you to change your world.

Our Programs
1. Monthly Challenges: Do Something provides monthly “challenges” in 3 areas: community building, health, and the environment. Challenges can be after-school activities or in-school class projects, undertaken in groups or alone, and they never require any money to execute. Over 4 million kids have tackled these challenges.
2. Do Something BRICK Awards® & Do Something Grants: Young people rock. They should have role models who rock too. Through the BRICK Awards and the grants program, Do Something celebrates young people who have dared to dream up and pursue their own community change ideas. Do Something has distributed over 1 million dollars to these amazing young people. In 1998, CNN dubbed the BRICK Awards “the Oscars for young people in service” and in 2005 President Bill Clinton attended the ceremony.
3. Build Magazine: Just as Rolling Stone helped create icons of rock-n-roll, Build Magazine is giving a face to community service. Currently distributed gratis, it is the only public service magazine distributed nationally through Sam Goody stores. Most of the articles are written by kids.

In 2004, Do Something raised $1.8 million for their programs.

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Bloomberg’s next job in philanthropy

New York mayor, Mike Bloomberg yesterday asserted in a news conference that his next job will be in philanthropy and not a run for the White House.

The billionaire mayor and founder of the Bloomberg financial media empire is already an extremely philanthropic citizen — most recently giving $100 million (about 1/50th of his net worth) to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University for stem cell research — and will continue to be one of New York’s most generous givers when he returns to private life.

Read more…

New York Observer

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Steinbrenner hears about boy’s philanthropy and makes good

Read this article in The San Diego Union-Tribune about how Arkansas school kid, Jonathan Farrar, donated the $1,000 he was saving to go watch a Yankees game in person to his local school district to help save his school from closing.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner caught wind of this story and sent young Farrar a letter telling him how proud he was for his action. In recognition of the good deed, the iconic owner decided to bring Farrar over for a home game in The Bronx over the summer. To top it off, Steinbrenner also decided to replace Farrar’s $1,000 donation.

Now that’s goodness flying all over the place.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Joey Cheek wins gold and our hearts

500 meter speed skating gold medal champion, Joey Cheek, shocked reporters yesterday at an Olympic press conference.

Instead of talking about his recent triumph on the ice, Cheek indicated that he wanted to make a statement. He proceeded to announce that he had decided to donate his U.S. Olympic Committee bonus money of $25,000 to help children in the war-torn region of Darfur in Sudan. He will be making this gift through the international non-governmental organization, Right To Play (formerly Olympic Aid).

This is an incredible and extremely selfless gesture for Cheek. I believe this demonstrates extreme niceness. Cheek is not only an Olympic golden boy but today’s NICE guy.

Interesting fact: Cheek reigns from Greensboro, NC. From my year and a half covering nice people, it sure is clear that a concentration of them seem to be from North Carolina. Other highly nice states include Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Arizona.