Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson, Philanthropist

A recent entry on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Give and Take blog talks about Michael Jackson as a philanthropist and suggests that he was at the forefront of celebrity-driven philanthropy:

The entertainer supported dozens of charities during his life, including USA for Africa, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. He reportedly was listed in the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star.” The number was 39.

As a humanitarian, he is perhaps best know for “We Are the World,” the 1985 song he wrote with Lionel Richie that raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa. To honor the King of Pop’s philanthropy, some fans and small companies have pledged to make donations to his favorite charities.

What a special soul. Read the entire post HERE.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Holocaust Museum, and Honoring Officer Johns

I was absolutely heartbroken last week after the tragic shooting at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). A place that was designed to teach tolerance became a site of hate and violence.

I am very proud to have worked at the USHMM in the late 1990s. I was a fundraiser there, and I also volunteered in their education department, giving tours to school groups and to law enforcement officers (including FBI agents and local police forces). It was so inspiring to see the ways that the Museum transformed its visitors every day.

I felt moved to visit the Museum on Friday, because I really wanted to be a part of the Museum's visitation numbers that day. I am happy to report that this was not an original idea! The Museum was CROWDED. Lots of visitors, including school groups, and the Museum was out of Permanent Exhibiton passes by the time I got there in the late afternoon. Evidently, there were lines around the block to enter the Museum on Friday. I'm so glad that people showed up to show the world that one lunatic act of hate will not deter people from getting educated and valuing diversity and tolerance.

A fund has been set up to honor Officer Johns, the security guard that died in the shooting. Find information about the fund, and about Officer Johns, HERE.