November 25th, 2009
06:33 PM ET

Thankful for stars who care

Kirk Douglas is 92 years old, and still shows the effects of the debilitating stroke he suffered more than a decade ago.  Still, today he was where he usually is on the day before Thanksgiving: serving up a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings to thousands of homeless and hungry folks at the Los Angeles Mission.

Douglas and his wife, Anne, have hosted the event for the last five years, and other celebs always show up to help: this year's servers included "Star Trek" and "Avatar" star Zoe Saldana, "High School Musical"'s Corbin Bleu, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., along with local politicians and other volunteers.  Last year, the street dinner served more than 3,000 people, and this year's crowd figured to be even bigger.  The recession has delivered a double whammy to food banks and pantries: demand is higher than ever, with some people who used to donate now looking for donations themselves, and businesses battling to stay afloat are cutting their usual contributions down, or out.


It's been two months since we began this little "Find The Good" experiment, to see whether people cared about the positive things celebrities did, in addition to whom they slept with and what they wore.  And the response has been heartening, with some commenters saying they've been inspired to increase their own charitable efforts.  To me, that's the best possible result of celebrity philanthropy, and reason enough to keep reporting this kind of good news whenever possible.

When I carve our turkey tomorrow, I'll be thankful for many things, including celebrities who set good examples – and for everyone who's read these posts, commented on them, and made giving back part of their lives.  May all of us know the joy of helping others at Thanksgiving, and throughout the year.


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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Marsha Dolkas

    Not only is it heartening to hear about the good works of famous people, but it is also great when we get to hear about them as caring and involved parents, as well. I am a teacher, and whenever I read that a star works with his/her kids on their homework, I always share it with my parents and students. I do the same thing when I hear that a celebrity volunteers at his/her kids' school. We need to show this side of famous people to encourage the average parent to step up to the plate and support his/her kids' education. Please report more on that; it's great to read about it. Thank you.

    November 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jessica

    I absolutely LOVE that CNN is posting more articles like this one! I love to hear that celebrities are actually doing something good and not just getting naked for PETA ads!

    Even if you're not a celebrity to be a role model doesn't mean you shouldn't do something good with what you have. Even if you don't flaunt it. – Like Shaq – I didn't know he did work for domestic/child abuse causes – but just seeing the article about him paying for little Shaniya's funeral was heart warming. That poor little girl didn't deserve what happened to her – and it's amazing that Shaq helped out just out of the goodness of his heart. Makes me love him just that much more!

    November 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. char

    i applaud shaq for paying for shaniyas funeral. apparently he does a lot of work for domestic/ child abuse causes. seems like a good hearted giant of a man! kudos to him. kirk douglas too, despite age and ( stroke aftermath) is serving dinner to homeless folks.

    November 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Debra R

    Kirk Douglas has always been a favorite of mine. He is an excellent actor and wonderfull man. Keep going Kirk!

    November 26, 2009 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |

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