A gaggle of celebrities have voiced their support for the American Red Cross’s 2011 Holiday Giving Campaign.
The campaign asks the public to take a break from buying “stuff” and instead make a charitable donation to help those in need. Actor Ted Danson is the voice of Fred, the animated shopper featured in the TV spots, while singer/actor Nick Cannon voices the radio ads.
As part of the campaign, the Red Cross has created a 2011 Holiday Gift Guide, where you can “shop” for tax-deductible charitable gifts. According to a Red Cross press release, the gifts “could provide items such as food and shelter for a disaster victim for a day; a military comfort kit with a robe, phone or music card and other supplies for a wounded warrior; or basic necessities for a family who lost everything in a disaster.” However, shoppers can’t choose where or how the gifts will be distributed.
“Catalog gifts are contributions toward a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item. The donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within the program area; the remaining money is put to use where it is needed most,” says the press release.
The campaign has received a lot of celebrity love, especially on Twitter. Alyssa Milano, Maroon 5, Nate Berkus, Leeza Gibbons, Dr. Phil McGraw, Darius Rucker, Wynonna Judd, Amy Grant, Jackie Chan and Nancy O’Dell have all voiced their support.
“I love knowing that the gifts I give to loved ones through the Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog are truly saving and changing lives,” said Grant. O’Dell echoed the sentiment, saying, ”If you want to give a gift this holiday season sure to touch someone’s heart, give to the American Red Cross. No doubt it will make a difference in someone’s life.”
According to the same press release, 68% of Americans believe that in this economy, it’s important to give to charity (a 10% increase from last year). It’s heartwarming to see that even in tough financial times, we still care about those less fortunate. It’s this spirit of giving that led to the U.S. being ranked the most charitable country in the world.