Saturday, April 25, 2009
Brad Pitt to the Rescue
I often donate T-shirts and other movie-promotional items to local churches and other charity groups during clothing drives for various causes. So, like, if you ever see a TV news report on some earthquake in Mexico, and there's a survivor walking around in a Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star jersey with his meager belongings kept in a The Longest Yard tennis bag, you'll know who's likely responsible. But, really, I've never been involved in a large-scale effort like this. And I can't help wondering why this sort of thing doesn't happen more often.
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I challenge Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to spend the obscene reserves held by their 'Jolie-Pitt' Foundation on legitimate efficient 'humanitarian' work or turn the funds over to others who will. To date, they have taken in $22,000,000 on the sale of baby photos alone, another 6 or 7 figures from other sources, and spent or granted only a fraction of that on 'humanitarian' work or 'good will' of any kind. The rest so far, has been spent on PR campaigns, plane rides, and super-high end accomodations for Brad and Angie in exotic locations around the world. I challenge them to operate with a reasonable overhead, open their books to prove it, get over themselves, and get their 'foundation' worthy of a decent rating by an independent watchdog like Charitywatch.org. Otherwise, to stop selling baby photos for their own 'charity' and stop seeking publicity for donations made in their own name to their own foundation/travel/PR firm within a week of their latest film or DVD release. I challenge Brad Pitt to do the same with his 'Make it right' Foundation. Which to date, has not been given a decent rating by ANY independent charity watchdog. Otherwise, to stop competing with 'Habitat for Humanity' for PR, credit, and funding. Who by the way have been building homes for the less fortunate in every major city including New Orleans for decades. 'Habitat for Humanity' has been 'Top Rated' for years by charitywatch.org and others. They operate with a low overhead, volunteer workforce, and donated materials. No similar effort can match their progress hour for hour or dollar for dollar. Unlike 'Make it right', the homes built by 'Habitat' don't sit vacant. They don't exclude by cost, lower income families. They are allocated and built specifically for the less fortunate who take part in the building process and move in immediately upon completion. 'Habitat' works in every major city including New Orleans. It puts 'Make it right' to shame. In fact, hundreds of legitimate charities have been given good-excellent ratings by Charitywatch.org and other independent watchdog groups. By contrast, the vast, overwhelming majority of celebrity 'foundations' have been rated poorly, fair, or not rated at all. They are inefficient, corrupt, focus heavily on PR, and operate with shady, self-serving, misleading accounting practices. Still, they have the nerve to self-audit, self-praise, mislead the donor/fan base, seek funding from a number of sources including ordinary people, compete with legitimate charities, and cash in on maximum PR for their inefficient 'humanitarian' efforts. Its not right.
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