It seemed that everywhere you turned in 2006, there was another celebrity in the philanthropic spotlight. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt continued their worldwide humanitarian efforts. A whole roster of celebs posed in Gap
Now 2007 is barely a week old and Oprah Winfrey has made headlines for opening a lavish girls' school in South Africa. Want to place any bets on the next celeb to make a charitable splash? My money's on Britney Spears.
While it's easy to take potshots at some high-profile efforts, it's also hard to deny that larger-than-life luminaries also can bring lots of attention to specific social problems. But it doesn't take vast wealth and resources to make a tangible difference to our world.
Over the past six weeks, we've run a lot of articles connected to our 2006 Foolanthropy campaign. From explaining how we choose the charities, to offering individualtakesonwhyeach charity is important, we've tried to shine a Foolish light on five very innovative organizations and their efforts to improve the lives of both the planet and its citizens in sustainable ways.
Our Foolanthropy section is also filled with articles covering everything from what to expect when you're a volunteer, to how to make a charitable pledge, to what certain companies are doing to assist those in need. There's something for everyone there. (But be sure to take a look soon. Although the articles are up year-round, the campaign in support of this season's five charities ends on Sunday, and the one raising the most support gets an extra $10,000.)
Contributing to one of the charities won't get your picture splashed across the tabloids, but it will help a very worthy organization continue to enrich, amuse, and enlighten the lives of hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands, of people around the globe. And who wants to worry about the paparazzi, anyway?
Sarah Erdreich admires Madonna for making gossip scribes learn how to spell Malawi. She doesn't own shares of Gap.