You can say what you will about American Idol, but I think what they did tonight was pretty cool. They had a special called ‘Idol Gives Back’ which was basically a fund-raiser for people in America and Africa. It was to help raise money for people here without enough food or education, and to raise money to help African children with malaria medication, education, and food. For a show as big a phenomenon as Idol to use their power for good was a very cool thing in my opinion.
News Corp. donated 10 cents for every vote on Idol this week (up to a $5 million dollar donation) and in doing so, Idol had it’s biggest vote total ever. I believe it was in the low 70 million votes. It’s amazing how many people vote for Idol on a weekly basis when we can’t get that kind of a turnout for a presidential election. Even though that normally makes me cringe, I’m glad they did so this week.
The special had a variety of actors and artists lend their support as well, and Ellen Degeneres hosted a charity concert, and herself donated $100,000. With some of the performances (Il Divo, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Earth Wind and Fire, Carrie Underwood) they are making the performances available to purchase on iTunes, with all of the proceeds going to the charity. So even if you don’t donate, you can buy a couple of songs and still make a difference.
The thing that really touched me was my eldest daughter, who is five years old. She was so sad with the plight of the children that she wanted to give all of the money in her piggy banks to the charity. We tried to explain to her that everyone needs to use their own money for food and clothing themselves and should donate as much as they can spare. But she still adamantly decreed that she should give all her money. It was right before bed, and there was not much reasoning with her at that point. But I wanted to write this down, because I know that when she becomes a materialistic teenager who needs the latest cool thing, I’m going to want her and I to remember just how big of a heart she has.