A couple of weeks ago, I berated Donald Trump for his catch-22 offer to President Barack Obama regarding college and passport records. In general, that was a jerk move right before an election.
However, he’s not the only celebrity who’s been active these past few weeks.
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many celebrities have been giving back, especially in New York City. Lady Gaga, who grew up there, has been one of the big donators.
Whether you love her music or hate it, Mother Monster donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to benefit those affected by the storm, and that is something to be commended. Sure, she has earned millions more that could be aiding the recovery effort (those outrageous outfits don’t pay for themselves), but at least she’s giving back.
Jerry Seinfeld, who recently did a show in Anchorage, is adding a show in Long Island to his current tour and is donating all the proceeds to Sandy relief.
In addition, Seinfeld is donating 100 percent of proceeds from two other shows in New York to aid the victims and so is comedian Colin Quinn, who is touring with Seinfeld.
Major networks ABC and NBC both raised money for victims as well.
ABC raised a reported $17 million by urging its viewers to donate for an entire day. Two of its largest donors were Barbara Walters and George Stephanopoulos, personalities for the network, though how much they individually donated wasn’t released. NBC raised a whopping $23 million in a telethon as well. Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, also made a $1 million donation to local charities.
Perhaps best of all, despite the small financial benefit to New Yorkers, was rapper The Game’s personal contribution on Election Day. He gave 500 different people $20 each to take a train so they could get to a functional polling location to vote at, totaling a $10,000 donation that had other non-monetary benefits. He also gave rides to more than 60 people to and from polling stations so they could cast their vote.
No matter what political party you affiliate with, that is awesome. For many, voting was a step toward normalcy, something the people in the East Coast desperately need and deserve. Kudos to The Game. Well done.
No matter if we like a celebrity’s work, they are people too — people who are capable of caring about others and wanting to do something to help in an emergency.
So, for once in my life, I urge others to emulate these celebrities. Donate money to the American Red Cross for relief efforts or, if you don’t support that organization, try the Salvation Army or the numerous other groups raising money for relief efforts. There are also ways to volunteer your time for help if you plan on heading that way to visit relatives or friends for the holidays. Contact local organizations to find out how.
I know we’re mostly all poor college students trying to make ends meet for ourselves, so it’s unrealistic to hope that we can go all out and donate as much as the celebrities already making an effort. But every penny counts right now for the victims. They need food and shelter and help getting their lives back, and they will be grateful for whatever aid they can get.
Be a rock star. Help the victims on East Coast. This college student has already donated $20. It’s not much, but it is a step in the right direction.