U.S. Entertainers Teaming Up to Spotlight Service
(Sept. 29, 2009) The U.S. Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) has announced a campaign to begin this fall intended to encourage volunteering and charitable service, and will include spots on primetime television, a public service campaign and a website, iparticipateusa.org.
According to a press release, eight stars from the four major broadcast networks-ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC-will join together in new public service announcements that encourage viewers to tune in from Oct. 19 -25 to find out more about EIF's iParticipate national initiative and watch storylines that feature charity and philanthropy..
Simon Baker (CBS' The Mentalist), Emily Deschanel (FOX's Bones), Eva Longoria Parker(ABC's Desperate Housewives), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine), Masi Oka (NBC's Heroes), Michael Strahan (FOX's Brothers), Kate Walsh (ABC's Private Practice), and Rainn Wilson (NBC's The Office) are featured in the 30-second spot, which reinforces that great change begins with small choices and one decision to change leads to others. The spot ends by encouraging people to tune-in starting October 19 to find out how the networks are participating.
As a centerpiece, the major broadcast networks and others will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and PSAs with inspirational messages and storylines about volunteerism. More than 60 shows have signed up to participate.
Other elements of EIF's iParticipate initiative include:
- A dedicated website iParticipate.org, designed to help Americans find volunteer opportunities in their local communities across five key areas of service: Children and Education, Community Health and Wellness, Financial Security, Environmental Conservation, and Support for Veterans and Military Families. The website features calendars of events, maps, digital tool kits and uses the power of social networking vehicles like Facebook, to make it simple for individuals not only to volunteer, but to recruit friends to join them
- A series of celebrity-driven public service announcements that will reinforce the importance of volunteerism and supporting causes like Welcome Back Veterans. Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Matthew McConaughey are among the performers featured in the PSAs.
- Grants from the Entertainment Industry Foundation to key volunteer organizations to help build capacity to accept, train and deploy volunteers.
The campaign states that the rate at which Americans volunteer regularly has not increased in 40 years and has generally remained around 26 percent, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of all people who currently volunteer started because they were asked by someone they know.