* Sarah Palin unwittingly helped Planned Parenthood raise over $1 million during the presidential campaign when the e-mails asking for donations in her name spread virally in September and October. The e-mail directed people to Planned Parenthood’s Web site to donate in Palin’s name, and money went to the Planned Parenthood branch located in the same ZIP code as the giver. Donors could then have that branch of Planned Parenthood send Palin a card announcing the gift.
When asked about the fund-raising campaign yesterday, Alaska’s Frost Lady responded:
I have boxes of thank-you notes from people associated with Planned Parenthood thanking me for the donations. Same with some anti-hunting groups, they’re doing the same thing right now. It’s political theater–it’s great theater I guess for some.
Planned Parenthood Alaska–which received $5000 in donations during the email push– said they would earmark the money to help women access birth control, and that the funds would not be used to fund abortions. Palin is vehemently opposed to abortion as well as Plan B (the morning-after pill), but told Katie Couric she was:
all for contraception..all for preventative measures that are legal and safe.
Planned Parenthood provides sex and STD education, STD care, women’s gynecological health care, and birth control along with abortion counseling and services. In response to yesterday’s query about Planned Parenthood Palin said:
But on the issue of Planned Parenthood and abortion, at least Planned Parenthood, officials there and, I, we agree on a mission here that we’d like to see fewer and fewer abortions. And I, embracing the culture of life, have perhaps a different approach in how I would like to see that goal reached.
Here’s a pro tip for Gov GILF: Abstinence doesn’t work.
* To help parents meet their children’s educational needs, the supergroup Fleetwood Mac is auctioning off VIP tickets and meet-and-greets with Mick Fleetwood as a fundraiser. The auction benefits Hilltop Nursery School in Silver Lake, California, a parent-participation, cooperative pre-school founded over 50 years ago. Pairs of tickets for each show on the band’s Unleashed tour–plus face time with Fleetwood–are up for auction on eBay now and the charity auctions will continue throughout the tour.
* Justin Timberlake joined Bill Murray, Ray Romano, Kevin James, and Michael Bolton on the golf course at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, helping to raise over $6 million dollars for a number of charities including schools, arts programs, services for the blind and senior and food banks.
* In an essay in Elle magazine, Bono discusses a trip to Africa he took six years ago and the changes he has seen since there has been an increase in awareness and funding in HIV/AIDS care on the continent:
Our science and technology, it turned out, were more advanced than our conscience. We in the West had the means to save lives, but we lacked the resolve.
What can we do? Well, the short answer is: a lot. At the time of that trip, only 50,000 Africans had access to ARVs [anti-retrovial drugs]. That figure today is 2.1 million. That’s because a lot of people have been doing a lot of things, in Africa and all over the world. In the face of the AIDS emergency, we’ve got to gang up on the problem.
Bono points out the effect of conscious consumerism, specifically the (RED) brands–everyday consumer goods from coffee and wine to clothing and electronics–that benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Since its inception (RED) has raised $120 million for prevention and counseling programs as well as treatment, and is now the thirteenth biggest contributor to the Global Fund, giving more than some countries. Explains Bono:
The companies involved don’t mark up their products to get you to pay a premium. They take a piece of the profits from every (RED) thing you buy, and they use it to buy lifesaving medication for those who can’t afford it.
Charities and non-profits are feeling the economic chill, and sadly–between the markets, Madoff and budget cuts–it looks like it’s going to get colder. Celebrities help draw attention and money (maybe giving some of their own cash in the process) to causes, hopefully helping to maintain or increase donations as the need for services is on the rise.