November 2nd, 2009
01:50 PM ET
Over the past week, we've chronicled Don Cheadle and friends playing poker to benefit Darfur, Selena Gomez working for UNICEF, and Anthony Edwards running the New York City Marathon to help build a Kenyan children's hospital. Each time, we've received at least one comment along these lines: "What about all of the problems here? Why don't these stars help Americans first?"
It's not an unreasonable question – though maybe those folks missed our coverage of Georgia flood relief, David Spade helping firefighters, Moby donating concert proceeds to domestic violence shelters, and our first Find The Good story, Ludacris helping donate cars to people in need.
It's true that many of the highest-profile celebrity charity efforts seem to be aimed overseas. Is that because those projects seem more exotic, or is the need there truly greater? Plenty of stars are working to solve domestic problems, from David Arquette's constant work with food banks to Adam Lambert helping schoolkids to Soleil Moon Frye's advocacy of Alzheimer's awareness. And let's not forget the king of celebrity philanthropy: the late Paul Newman, whose Newman's Own foundation has donated more than $280 million to thousands of different charities, in the U.S. and around the world.
But back to our question: should American celebs focus on American causes, or is all charitable work laudable, regardless of location? And for those who favor domestic efforts, what should take priority? (Are you doing anything toward that cause?) And do you know of any stars whose work we should be profiling here?
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