The Xmas spirit is alive and well
Last month a bunch of amazing celebs made their way out to the Los Angeles Mission to devote their time and energy to help feed the less privileged people in the area for Thanksgiving. Yesterday, more celebs (including some of the same folks who came out last month) showed up at the LA Mission to help distribute Xmas dinner … here are a few photos:
I just give it up for my girl Kate Linder, who stars as Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless (and has for the past few decades), who is ALWAYS there at the LA Mission come holiday time to give so generously of her time and energy. In fact, all my love, respect and admiration goes out to the folks who continually and unselfishly give of their time in this way. There are many folks out there who are enjoying a merrier Xmas then they might’ve if not for the generosity of the volunteers at the LA Mission. They do very important work all year long but I like to highlight their efforts around the holidays. If YOU would like to lend a hand by pledging a donation to the Los Angeles Mission you can do so HERE.
[Photo credit: Splash News]
Also celebrates the 40th anniversary of one of his fave charities
Prince William was on hand to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of a British organization called Centrepoint which provides housing and support for homeless youth between the ages of 16 and 25. But, Prince Wills took things a step further and decided to spend the night on the street to see what it is like for homeless people of any age to brave the cold UK nights:
A cold icy sidewalk isn’t where you would normally expect to find a sleeping British royal, but it is where Prince William spent the night to highlight the plight of the homeless. William, second in line to the British throne, spent a night near Blackfriars Bridge in central London last week in an event organized by homeless charity Centrepoint. “I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London’s streets night after night,” Prince William said in a statement on the Charity’s Web site. Centrepoint’s CEO, Seyi Obakin also spent the night alongside the prince and said it was a difficult and dangerous experience. “There was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers, pimps or those out to give homeless people a good kicking,” Obakin said. “One of the hairiest moments occurred when we were almost run over by a road sweeper which simply didn’t see our small group huddled together, which just goes to show how vulnerable rough sleepers are.” The group encountered temperatures that dipped to minus four degrees Celsius and slept in old sleeping bags, using cardboard boxes as shelter. “It was the coldest night we had in a very long time and once it was over I think the prince appreciated the fact that he, unlike many homeless young people, could go home to a warm place,” Stuart Rogers, chief resources officer for Centrepoint told CNN. “He didn’t look his usual self given that he just spent the night outdoors and in rough clothes, but he didn’t look too bad.”
I cannot tell you how impressed I continue to be with Prince William‘s charity work. He could’ve very easily helped Centrepoint celebrate their anniversary and called it a day. For him to actually spend the night on the street to see what homeless people endure every single night is pretty remarkable. As a member of the British Royal Family, Wills will never really have to endure circumstances like this in his lifetime … but his willingness to try and get a sense of what the less fortunate endure is pretty admirable. If you would like to help out in any way you can, you can get more information on Centrepoint HERE. If Prince Wills can go out of his way to help, I can’t see why anyone else couldn’t do the same.
Toy for 'Tots'
Yesterday we saw photos of La Toya Jackson all dressed up in festive holiday attire doing a bit of lingerie shopping at Frederick’s of Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA and today we get to see a few more photos of the festively festooned La Toya doing her thang. This time, tho, La Toya is not shopping for undies … she is, instead, bringing joy and happiness to needy kids at AIDS Project LA. La Toya Claus teamed up with Toys for Tots for the occasion … behold:
First off, I have to commend La Toya for taking time out of her bizzy schedule (of underwear shopping, apparently) to devote her time and energy for such an amazing cause. Toys For Tots is a wonderful organization and AIDS Project LA is a terribly important charity. Sure, I like to poke fun at Toy from time to time (after all, she makes it so easy) but I am very impressed with her efforts here and I’m sure the kids who benefited from her endeavors are greatly appreciative as well. These kids will be having a Merry Xmas partly due to La Toya Jackson … that’s kinda cool, I think.
[Photo credit: X17]
"We can be changing the world one child at a time"
So … it was reported earlier this week that Lindsay Lohan was bound for India and for the life of me, I had no inkling what in the world for. Unless someone was opening a new discotech/nightclub in the region, I couldn’t wrap my head around the purpose of Lindsay‘s trip … but know we know the circumstances surrounding her visit to the third world. Lindsay Lohan made her way to India to participate in a documentary about human trafficking … yes, that Lindsay Lohan. Here are few photos of L. Lo in India and some deets about her work there:
She might not be the first person to spring to mind when finding a celebrity to film a documentary about child trafficking in India. But Lindsay Lohan, who is known for her partying lifestyle, seems to be having quite a remarkable effect on the country already – and is probably hoping to have a similar impact on her career. The 23-year-old is visiting India to make a BBC documentary about women and children in the country. She twittered: ‘Over 40 children saved so far, within one day’s work. ‘This is what life is about . . . Doing THIS is a life worth living!!! Oh, and I’m talking about being in India.’ That post, along with one which reads ‘Traffiking [sic] is a big issue here. I’m [doing] what I can’, has since been removed from her page. Another message which said ‘Keep telling people about what’s going on in all 2nd and 3rd world countries’, has also been taken down. The Mean Girls actress, who is as well known for her partying lifestyle as her film work, said: ‘Focusing on celebrities and lies is so disconcerting, when we can be changing the world one child at a time. Hope everyone can see that.’ She also posted a picture of an impoverished village and said: ‘Count your blessings. Please try and do something to make a difference for others.’ The star also added that the trip was the ‘most amazing time of my life’ and mentioned the work of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which works against child trafficking. Among the places she has been, Lindsay visited the SANLAAP (women and children’s charity) home in Kolkata and will also be visiting local hospitals to give toys to sick children.
To be honest, I’m not even sure what to say to this … revelation. I think it’s really remarkable that Lindsay would even deign to be a part of a documentary like this … that she would take the next step and fly to the Third World is … unbelievable. While I personally think she doesn’t really do a service to the cause by speaking unintelligently on the issue via Twitter (which is why I suspect others had her take down her tweets), I cannot help but applaud her for her herculean efforts. After the jump, check out the photo that Lindsay shared with her followers on Twitter … More »
Posted under: Lindsay Lohan
The reason for the season
Acclaimed actor Kirk Douglas, Kate Linder (from The Young and the Restless), Kayla Ewell (from The Vampire Diaries), Gilles Marini (The Sex and the City Movie), funnyman Donal Logue and more were on hand at the LA Mission this Thanksgiving in order to give generously of their time in order to help feed the needy here in SoCal. Here are a few photos of these fine folks workin’ hard for those in need this year:
Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas served up seasonal cheer to homeless people in Los Angeles on Wednesday, dishing up Thanksgiving turkey dinners to the needy for the fifth year in a row. The 92-year-old star of “Spartacus” and his wife Anne were joined by hundreds of volunteers to distribute free meals to thousands of people at the Los Angeles Mission on the city’s skid row. The couple are the founders of the mission’s Anne Douglas Center, which helps train homeless women for employment. “My wife has been trying to help the women that have been forced onto the streets, and she is determined to give them a better life through the Anne Douglas Center where they have programs that improve and rebuild their lives,” Douglas said in a statement. “We gladly come to serve men and women at Thanksgiving time to give them a good meal and strengthen their desire for a brighter future.” Organizers said more than a ton of turkey, 750 pounds of mashed potatoes, 90 gallons of gravy and 800 pounds of mixed vegetables were distributed at Wednesday’s event.
Kirk and his wife Anne Douglas are awesome. It’s just so wonderful to know that they founded such a great program at the LA Mission and never fail to give of their time each and every Thanksgiving season. Much love and props goes out to the celeb folks who, too, gave of their time to give back to the needy this season. I cannot help but be very impressed by those who give of their time … they never have to, but I know it is much appreciated by those who benefit of their kind generosity. Well done!! This spirit of thanksgiving is what makes this time of year so beautiful :)
[Photo credit: Splash News; Source]
Is joined by fighting champ Sugar Ray Leonard
Kristen Stewart, who has been bizzy these days doing promo work for the release of her new sequel film The Twilight Saga: New Moon, was on hand at Dodger Stadium here in Los Angeles, CA this weekend to lend her support for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation‘s Walk to Cure Diabetes event. She was joined by sports star Sugar Ray Leonard … here are a couple of pics:
As you may or may not know, the JDRF‘s mission is to “find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research” and their Walk to Cure Diabetes is an annual event held countrywide that seeks to raise awareness and funds for that research. I applaud and fully commend Kristen for lending her name and growing fame to such a worthy cause … if every Twilight fan were able to donate even a dollar to the cause, they would be able to raise huge amounts of money to help find a cure for diabetes. If you would like to lend your support for this cause, you can make donations HERE at their official website. Kristen Stewart wants you to help the JDRF … will you heed the call?
[Photo credit: Splash News]
"I am making a straightforward request."
Yesterday we saw photos of Madonna and co. planting a tree and officially breaking ground on the construction of an all girls school in the African country of Malawi (the place where she adopted two of her children). Today, we learn that Madonna has written a blog for The Huffington Post directed at YOU in the hopes that you will join her attempt to enrich Malawi thru her charitable organization Raising Malawi. Here is the full text of Maddy‘s blogpost and some screencaps from an accompanying video plea:
This week, my family and I are in Malawi to attend the ground breaking ceremony for Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. I am making a straightforward request. I’m writing to urge you to join me in saving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. And I’m asking you to do it right away. Raising Malawi, the organization I co-founded in 2006, is dedicated to ending the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s one million orphans. By donating to Raising Malawi, you can literally transform the future for an entire generation. To encourage your involvement, I’ve pledged $100,000 to match your contributions dollar-for-dollar. Why Malawi? Seven years ago I might have asked myself this very same question. Why not Afghanistan, or India? There are impoverished children, desperate for health care and education, everywhere in the world. Something about Malawi’s children connected with me and their hardships were too much for me to ignore. So I started learning more about Malawi, and, little by little, I began working with Malawians to improve their communities. Visiting Malawi can be a very humbling experience. In the face of such overwhelming challenges, it’s easy to feel helpless. At the same time, it is impossible not to recognize how much we can do to improve the lives of vulnerable children. Right now, I am particularly concerned about Malawian girls whose lives are made even more difficult simply because of their gender. In 2008 Raising Malawi announced the creation of an all-girls boarding school, the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. Architects have drawn up plans. We’ve identified a plot of land. And some of Malawi’s poorest girls are eager for the opportunities that a comprehensive secondary education will bring them. But we’re still in need of additional funds to complete this project, and there’s no time to lose. My own daughters will each have a solid secondary education. They have a family that assures them that they can be anything they want to be, that they are not limited in any way. I believe that the same should be true for girls in every part of the world, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. The girls of Malawi are bright and resourceful. They are eager to learn and grow. When I look at my girls and see them thriving, it is my greatest wish that the girls in Malawi will have the same chance for happiness. This is where you come in. Please join me in supporting the work of Raising Malawi. Every dollar we collect will make a huge difference in a child’s life. By matching your donation, dollar for dollar, I will personally ensure that your contribution has an even greater impact. That’s a promise. This is my call to you: Give an opportunity to a child who would otherwise have none. Support the work of Raising Malawi. Will you join me? Please visit www.raisingmalawi.org/madonnamatch to contribute and learn more.
As I mentioned above, this blogpost comes complete with a video message from Madonna about her Raising Malawi charity. After the jump, check out that video in full … More »
Posted under: Madonna, Raising Malawi
The Raising Malawi Academy for Girls will open by 2011
Madonna has made her way to Malawi this week to plant a tree and officially break ground on the site of a new girls school to be called The Raising Malawi Academy for Girls which is slated to open by 2011. Maddy and her children — Lourdes Maria, Rocco John, David Banda and Chifundo Mercy James — were all in attendance at today’s tree planting/ground breaking ceremony … here are a few photos:
Madonna marked the start of construction of her school for girls in Malawi on Monday by planting a tree at the planned site of the $15 million school. The 51-year-old celebrity arrived in the impoverished southern African country on Sunday accompanied by her four children — daughters Lourdes and Mercy, and sons Rocco and David. Madonna adopted Mercy from Malawi earlier this year and adopted David from the country in 2008. The singer was dressed in a dark summer dress and a colorful shawl during Monday’s ceremony in the town of Chinkhota, some six miles (10 kilometers) from the capital, Lilongwe. Together with eldest daughter Lourdes she planted a Moringa tree, a hardy tree with edible leaves. “If this school is a success — with God-willing it will be — we will replicate it not only in Malawi but in other parts of the world as well,” she said. The new school will be called the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls and will open by 2011 and educate 500 students, said its future principal, Anjimile Mtila-Opponyo. It will be similar to the school built by talk show host Oprah Winfrey in South Africa. Mtila-Opponyo said the curriculum will emphasize science and mathematics. “Madonna did not accept that Malawian women would not study science to become doctors,” she said. The singer told some 1,000 gathered villagers she was inspired by the strength of Malawian girls and women. “In all my travels, investigations and conversations the most recurring thing is how amazing Malawian women are, both young and old, how industrious they are and how much they deserve to be educated,” she said. Madonna’s Raising Malawi, a charity founded in 2006 when she first visited the country, helps feed, educate and provide medical care for some of Malawi’s orphans. Malawi, a nation of 12 million, is one of the poorest countries in the world. About 500,000 children have lost a parent to AIDS. Madonna will also meet with President Bingu wa Mutharika on Tuesday and visit some of the orphanages her charity supports.
Clearly Madonna has big plans to make good on her promise to give back to the country that has given so much to her. It’s very clear that she loves her adopted children very, very much and is working as hard as she can to enrich the region as best she can. It would’ve been very easy for Madonna to adopt her children, throw some money towards Malawi and never look back. I have every confidence that her commitment to the people of Malawi is genuine and true. It is my sincere hope that The Raising Malwai Academy for Girls is a huge success … and will help educate a new generation of girls so that they can forge their own successful futures. This is so great!! If you would like to donate to Raising Malawi and help Madonna in her endeavors, you can find out how to do so HERE. Madonna will MATCH whatever amount you choose to donate!
[Photo credit: INFdaily]
"It's so rewarding to see the smile on these kids faces"
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, proud parents of two children and founders of The Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation, were on hand yesterday at Beyond Shelter here in Los Angeles, CA to officially break ground on a new playground for underprivileged children. As you may be aware, The Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation has been raising money for some time now to fund the construction of this playground and yesterday was the day to get the work started. Here are a few photos of Nic/Joel with some of the lucky kids who will get to enjoy this new playground at the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday:
They may have their hands full with newborn Sparrow and 21-month old Harlow, but Nicole Richie and Joel Madden took time away from home on Thursday to take care of some less privileged kids: After 13 months of fundraising, the couple broke ground on a new playground at a homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles. “It’s so rewarding to see the smile on these kids faces,” Richie, 28, tells PEOPLE. Several of the pint-sized inhabitants of Beyond Shelter’s Broadway Village 2, a shelter in an L.A. neighborhood with the highest concentration of crime and poverty, turned out to celebrate the happy news that they would soon have a place to play. “I spend tons of time here,” says Richie. “When I found out the kids play on a concrete slab or play inside all day, it hit me. Kids need to have an imagination, to be outside and to be free.” So will they soon be having play dates with Harlow? “Absolutely,” says her proud dad, 30. “Now that she’s playground age, she can!” Adds Richie, “We started [the Richie-Madden Children's Foundation] so it could be something that our siblings, parents and our kids could all do together. It’s something we talk to her about all the time.” Next up for the couple, who raised $35,000 for the playground with the help of C&C California and Marble Slab Creamery, is 4EveryBaby, an online baby registry for mothers in need. Madden jokes that with all the projects Harlow has inspired, including Richie’s jewelry line House of Harlow 1960, the couple are brainstorming a project in Sparrow’s honor. “Sparrow’s going to get an awesome club,” he quipped. “Because he’s awesome.”
This is great news … I know Nic/Joel have been working so hard for so long to raise the funds to build this playground … it’s wonderful to see that they are finally at the construction phase. I’m sure the kids really appreciate their hard work and are very much looking forward to enjoying the playground once it’s completed. It’s pretty fantastic that with all the personal and professional stuff going on their lives, Nicole and Joel still make it a priority to give back to the community. Kudos to them!! If you would like to donate to The Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation so that the couple can keep funding projects like this you can get more information on how to do so HERE.
[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]