It is hard to think about volunteerism and not to have in mind celebrities such as Angelina Jolie or other A-list movie stars. But how much do they inspire to do volunteering in general? And is it really a positive influence?
One thing is for sure – in our celebrity obsessed society many organizations see a benefit in engaging celebrities to volunteer.
Jolie is a “good will” ambassador for UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Also, UNICEF has a number of celebrity ambassadors, such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler and Clay Aiken.
“UNICEF’s celebrities have a wide range of talents and achievements, but they all share a commitment to improving the lives of children worldwide,” said Marissa Buckanoff, a spokeswoman for UNICEF. “And in each case a celebrity’s association with UNICEF comes about because he or she has already demonstrated that commitment.”
But one more thing about that: it is just good PR program for celebrities themselves? Is it merely for public perception of the celebrity only so they can selfishly advance their careers?
“When a celebrity goes to another country the media is there,” said Erin Rank, the president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, California.
Also celebrities are a kind of “advertising”,and putting them into “hot spots” is the best way to show where people need help more.
“Celebrities help bring the spotlight to the need for shelter with Habitat for Humanity.” – adds Erin.