Demi is probably feeling pret-ty pleased with herself right about now, and with good reason. Ecorazzi readers may have recalled reading about the friendly competition that she and fellow do-gooder Kevin Bacon were engaged in just a few short weeks ago. Participating against each other in the Pepsi Refresh Celebrity Challenge, both were hoping that the public would offer them the most support via online voting in order to bag the tidy $250,000 grant for their respective charities. Well, the ballots are in and as it happens, the age-defying beauty has scored the grand prize through the charitable foundation that she and hubby Ashton Kutcher launched earlier this year.
It’s difficult to fathom that on a yearly basis, approximately 150,000 – 300,000 children are enslaved and sold for sex in the United States alone, contributing to a $32 billion global industry. The sole purpose of the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) is to enlighten the public regarding the existence of child sex slavery while also offering rehabilitation programs that enable victims to reclaim their lives. This dark underbelly of our culture could very well emerge from the shadows and become more accessible to law enforcement with the type of high-profile shot in the arm that Moore’s triumph will likely give it.
While $250,000 may not go as far as it used to, the beneficiary — Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) – is elated to be on the receiving end of the fiscal boost and will hopefully make every dollar count toward rehabilitating the children who have endured such a horrific period in their lives. In a press release, Moore announced GEMS’ plans for the money: “The Pepsi Refresh Grant will allow GEMS to train 10 former victims as outreach workers and employ them to go back to their community and refresh the lives of thousands of victimized girls,” adding, “I believe the work that GEMS is doing is nothing short of heroic!”
Don’t be so quick to shed a tear for her friendly adversary, though. Bacon, who had an equally notable cause through SixDegrees.org – to inspire people to support a vast array of charities that spread even more good throughout the world in half the time – should still hold his head up high because he’s emerged a winner either way. Okay, so there’s a big difference between $250,000 and the $100,000 that he was ultimately awarded with, but the adaptive actor – who is currently in the midst of drumming up funds to aid Haiti earthquake survivors – plans to disperse thousands of $20 SixDegree.org charity “Good Cards” which he hopes people will pass on to whichever charities they can personally identify with. In the long run, his master plan could breed a new mini-uprising of do gooders who might very well take the world by storm. We definitely approve.