Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hope for Haiti: Part Deux

So I've decided that I'm going to host my own charity event for Haiti as a sequel to what the stars did. The only difference is that I'm going to have normal people on TV singing, dancing, etc... and we will be targeting Hollywood stars. The stars were able to raise 58 million for the relief efforts by hitting up average Americans for cash, so now its only right that we return the favor.

The strategy for my charity event will be simple, I'll just go down the list of all movie, music, and other celebrities one at a time. And on the screen I'll list their net worth, the price of their latest home, the price of their latest car, and the amount they made from their last movie, concert tour, and/or album sales. And one by one I'll guilt trip these dirty Hollywood dogs into giving more money.

In all seriousness, there were over 100 stars that took part in the event....58 million was the best they could do? And most of that came from call-in donations from normal people. They did a great job of getting people around America and the world to donate to the cause but where are their donations? Even if each of the stars only donated $1 mil, they would have raised over $100 mil. Some of the stars stepped up with donations, but I would argue that their donations were chump change compared to the difference they could have made.

George Clooney: $1 million dollars and organized the effort
(made about $25 mil last year, averages about $15 mil per movie, net worth is about $86 mil)

Leonardo DiCaprio: $1 million dollars
(net worth $43 mil)

Sandra Bullock: $1 million dollars
(net worth is about $85 mil)

Oprah Winfrey: $1 million dollars
(net worth is about $2.7 billion)

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: $1million dollars
(Angelina's net worth is $35 mil and Brad's is $150 mil)

I think all of these donations are embarrassing. All of these stars could have easily given double if not quadruple the amounts listed above without even flinching. And had they not gone on national television and made such a pleading desperate case for this cause I wouldn't have said anything about it, but my thing is this: If they care so much about the crisis in Haiti and are so hurt and upset and inspired to help then why don't they give more money since they can obviously easily afford it? But you might be saying, "Jake, you bald handsome devil you, why are you picking on the stars who gave, why not pick on the ones who didn't donate or donated even less than the above amounts" - ok you're right, here it goes...

- Puff Daddy donated $10,000 to the cause. This comes right after buying his 16 year old son a $360,000 new car. His net worth is about $346 mil.

- Jennifer Anniston donated $500,000. In both Seasons 9 and 10, every memeber of the entire cast of Friends made $1 mil per episode. Congratulations Jennifer, you donated half of an episode to "a cause you really believe in." Jen's net worth is about $110 mil.

- Madonna donated $250,000 dollars. In 2009, she was the highest earning musician in the world, making $110 mil. Her net worth is about $900 mil.

- Sean Penn as far as I know has not given anything. But don't worry, he is actually in Haiti helping out. Seriously, he is there. I'm sure all of his academy awards are really coming in useful in the relief efforts.

Please don't be thick and interpret my criticism of these chachy stars as a criticism against donating to Haiti. Haiti was a third world country before the earthquakes, and any progress they have made over the last decade has just been completely wiped off the map. They are people just like you and I and we have a responsibility as human beings to help each other out. It doesn't matter what country we are from, we all live on the same planet. We should do our best to give what we can just like we did for the tsunami in Thailand, the 9/11 attacks, Katrina, etc...

I just wish these a-hole stars would take some of their own advice and pony-up more substantial amounts to a cause they claim to believe in.

*I pulled the net worth figures from various websites and can't confirm any of them.


  1. This 7 year old kid in London raised $160,000 for Haiti just by riding his bike. And Puff Daddy could only come up with $10k?


  2. I do find it interesting that more Americans have given more money to Hati, a non-us crime ridden country then they did to the whole Hurricane Katrina disaster on American soil. Just an odd observation.

  3. Cindy and I donate more money to international charitable organizations than we do to domestic ones. Our reasoning is that the worst poverty in the US doesn't even begin to compare to poverty and living conditions in many of the third world countries. In the US, even poor homeless people can get free emergency room care, free meals at shelters and churches, and a warm place to sleep in shelters. In many of the African countries, the entire population is dying of starvation, malnutrition, lack of medical care, and/or thirst. I think the conditions are way worse than anything or anywhere in America.

  4. by the way Moonbeam3000, president of the HOA and galaxy - have you been to our HOA forum and voted on the "number of weekly trash pick-ups" poll?

  5. Well, that is true on everyday situations. When we donate, we send money to organizations like the Red Cross...they can figure where its best needed.

    As far as trash pick up, I have not voted in the poll but I am waiting on the bid to come back to us so we know savings we are looking at. Your Galaxy president only uses one trash pick up.

  6. Nice post Rayburn. While I agree with most your points, a million dollars is a lot of money even if you are stinking rich like George Clooney, and I give those celebrities credit for putting their money where there mouth is. Maybe Oprah could have stepped it up a notch.

    I must have looked over the part where you said Bono donated a million...POS!

  7. Yeah I know, I was probably being too hard on them and a million dollars is a lot of money, even if it isn't a lot of money to them. And that doesn't mean they don't donate to other charitable causes as well.

  8. Jake,
    We have to vote on the trash thing still...but it looks to save us about $4000 for the whole year.

  9. Is that a lot? I don't know what our total costs are...

    Hopefully thats a lot, I mean they would be reducing their trips to our neighborhood by 50%. So instead of 104 trips a year, they would only be coming 52 times. I wouldn't expect them to cut their fee in half, but it should still be a good discount, don't you think?

  10. No, its not very much....they charge more for Monday pick-ups to start with sense it always has more trash. They base their cost on trash amount and so you don't save a ton when it comes to the extra trip. I think we might go for it still though.

  11. Jake & Moonb007, I think you should continue the boring HOA discussion through email.

  12. and that's why Jake's mom is the coolest!

  13. Congratulations Nancy, you've earned Brett's approval. Now its for you to decide whether thats a good or bad thing.

  14. Oh Jake....if only you would have inherited your mother's wit and hairline. You would be one funny, handsome devil.

    Nancy / Ray -- I still think about once a month about my pink Sean Jean pajamas that you gave to goodwill and how you gave away a little piece of me with it.