Wednesday, 23 December 2009

What can you learn from

Right now one exciting charity venture that is making headlines in America is Ben Stillers ( charity aiming to raise funds of a school in Haiti.

At first sight, there seems to be nothing too special about this - celebrities big or small always seem to be involved in promoting a charity or another. But take a closer look at and you will soon discover that .... well, what Ben is doing is something unique and special. And, I dare say perhaps he is paving the way for a new kind of celebrity involvement in charity work.

Having had lots of fun watching the different videos on this site here are some of the things I have discovered that make stillerstrong work.

First of all the cause is simple and focused - Ben Stiller is not trying to save the world - he has simply teamed up with Save the Children to build a new school for poor kids in Haiti. And, he is asking fellow celebrities and other people who visit his website to donate to this cause.

Secondly, unlike some celebrities who give a five minute endorsement to a cause Stiller is spending some of his time regularly to shoot mini-videos asking people to give to the cause and giving out his stillerstrong bands. This idea of headbands is a play off from his movie Zoolander.... and works rather well in this particular context.

Thirdly, every now and then Stiller reveals the comical side of celebrity involvement in charity work - see the episode when he speaks to Bill Clinton who asks him about the capital of Haiti and Stiller is honest that he doesn't know. Or the episode when Stiller tries to convince Owen Wilson to donate to the cause and Owen pretends to show interest... ah, and the episode when he hires and fires the fundraising consultants...

In short, Stiller doesn't pretend to be the perfect charity champion and he doesn't expect donors or fellow celebrities to be perfect either...

Fourthly, the website is full of interesting and entertaining ideas and more importantly easy and quick ways to give. It also offers the visitor many opportunities to stay connected to the cause and give feedback on what they have seen ....

On the whole, I really enjoyed the experience of surfing on stillerstrong and am feeling quite tempted to buy one of those headbands.

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