Archive for the Charities Category

Lindsay Lohan Battles Human Trafficking In India

"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 TwitterMore »

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Celebs Give Back This Thanksgiving Season

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]

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Jake Gyllenhaal Does ‘In Style’ Magazine

Reveals his need for glasses, lends support to New Eyes for the Needy charity

Did you know that Jake Gyllenhaal is an eyeglass wearer? I sure didn’t … which I why I was very surprised to see his appearance in the new issue of In Style magazine talking about his need to wear glasses and his lending support to the New Eyes for the Needy charity which gives out vouchers for folks in the US to receive free eye exams and free glasses as well as donates prescription glasses to underprivileged countries. Here is Jake‘s New Eyes advertisement in In Style mag:

The copy reads: I’ve had really poor vision ever since I was a little kid — my mom first took me to the doctor because I was smacking into walls — and every time my prescription changed, we gave my old glasses to New Eyes. So when I started looking for a cause that I had a strong, visceral connection to, I thought of it and wanted to help bring awareness to its work. New Eyes sends donated prescription glasses to underdeveloped countries, and in the U.S. it distributes vouchers to patients for a free checkup and free glasses. There are so many people who have bad vision and don’t know it. I’ve seen kids who were on the verge of failing out of school who got glasses from New Eyes and their lives changed. It made me think, What if, when I was young, my parents hadn’t been able to afford my glasses? What would my life have been? Thankfully, my eyesight is something that I can take for granted. I want to try and help other people take theirs for granted as well.

This is so cool … there are so many needy charities out there and this is but another one. But, before Jake‘s appearance in this ad I had no idea that New Eyes even existed. It sounds like they do a lot of great work for a lot of very needy people. Jake also appears in a promo vid for the charity — after the jump, check it out in full … More »

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Kristen Stewart Walks To Find A Cure For Juvenile Diabetes

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]

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Madonna Asks That You Join Her Raising Malawi Charity

"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 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 »

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Madonna Plants A Tree, Builds A School In 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]

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Nicole Richie & Joel Madden Break Ground On A New Playground

"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]

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Are You Ready For The 2009 LA Gay & Lesbian Center Gala & Auction?

Well you should be cuz it's gonna be a FAB event!!!

My good friend (and sometimes roving reporter) Darion is working with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center on their 2009 Gala and Auction this year (which takes place THIS SATURDAY October 24) and would like me to pass along some great info about this year’s event. Up for auction at this year’s event are some very cool items and experiences including: 2 VIP Tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert with limo transportation to her LA concert along with a meet and greet with Lady Gaga herself, 2 Tickets to The Showgirl Must Go On in Las Vegas, NV plus a meet and greet with The Divine Miss M Bette Midler, A walk-on role on How I Met Your Mother with Neil Patrick Harris, a signed iPod by Kylie Minogue, a signed guitar from Maroon 5, 2 Tickets to any Columbia Pictures world Premiere in 2010 (where you can walk the red carpet like your favorite star), and MUCH MUCH MORE!

For me, the big prize has to be the chance to win a walk-on role on HBO‘s True Blood:

All proceeds from the auction and ticket sales for the gala ball will go to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center which provides advocacy work, seniors programs, empowering youth programs, life-saving health services and personal development courses for GLBT members of the community … which is an endeavor that I fully and wholeheartedly support. This year’s Gala & Auction promises to be a complete blast!!!

Click HERE to see the (thus far) confirmed list of celeb attendees, click HERE to see what other items/experiences are up for auction and click HERE to purchase YOUR tickets to attend the event this year. My love and respect goes out to Darion and everyone involved with this year’s event. It is my sincere hope that they are able to generate LOTS of revenue for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Woot!!

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Celebs Take To The Streets For The 25th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles

30,0000+ folks walk to raise millions for AIDS research

The 25th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles took place here in SoCal Sunday kicking off with a rally in West Hollywood, CA yesterday morning. A bunch of celebs took part in the walk in order to help raise funds for AIDS research charities … including George Takei, Felicity Huffman, La Toya Jackson and my dear friend Pauley Perrette. Here are a few pics of some of the celebs who participated in yesterday’s event and some deets about the AIDS Walk itself:

More than 30,000 people took part in Sunday’s 25th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles, which benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles and several other Los Angeles-area AIDS service organizations. The opening ceremony began at 9:15 a.m., and the 6.2-mile walk started at 10 a.m. at West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. From there, walkers headed south on La Cienega Boulevard, east on Melrose Avenue, south on La Brea Avenue, west on Beverly Boulevard and north on San Vicente to return to the park. Among the celebrities who participated were Felicity Huffman, Aaron Carter, Mary Louise Parker, Darryl Stephens, George Takei and John Lloyd Young. A VIP post-walk reception hosted by actress Teri Hatcher began at noon. San Francisco Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom attended, along with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land. Villaraigosa and Land spoke to the crowd about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Los Angeles and the work of AIDS Project Los Angeles. “Today in L.A., there are 60,000 people living with HIV, and as many as a quarter of them don’t even know they are infected. It’s so important that we get them into testing and get them into treatment and care early so that they can stay healthy,” Colin Weil of AODS Project Los Angeles said.

I understand that this year’s AIDS Walk LA raised $3.15 million for the cause! Woot!! My hat is off to any person who gives of their time in this manner … thank all y’all who walked the walk and put your time where your money is to help find a cure for this deadly disease. Kudos and thanks again for your hard work this year!

[Photo credit: Splash News; Source]

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Janet Jackson Helps Raise Funds For AIDS Research

Attends an amfAR event in Milan

Janet Jackson, who has been seen at various Milan Fashion Week events in Milan, Italy in the past week, made a special appearance at La Permanente to attend amfAR‘s Inaugural Milan Fashion Week Event to add her starpower to the drive to raise much needed funds for The Foundation for AIDS Research. Janet was joined on the red carpet by current Out magazine covergirl Donatella Versace but she graced the stage all on her own during the event … here are a few photos:

US singer Janet Jackson lent her star power to a gala charity in Milan that raised more than a million dollars for AIDS research, organisers said. “This battle needs all of us to be brave warriors,” Jackson said during a brief appearance at the Monday evening dinner and dance organised by the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). The evening’s biggest sale was a Dsquared jacket signed by Janet Jackson and other celebrities, snapped up by Diesel designer Renzo Rossof for 36,000 euros (53,000 dollars). Earlier a pair of handmade boots decorated with some 3,000 stones, made for Michael Jackson but never worn by the late king of pop, went for 10,000 euros. He died June 25 aged 50.

Janet Jackson is a real trooper … it’s very commendable for her to lend her name to such an important cause. She’s had a difficult year and I’m sure her work has kept her grounded but it’s really amazing that she also is making time to do much needed charity work as well. Keep up the amazing work, Janet!!

[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]

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