December 6, 2009

The Season Of Giving Is Here

No matter how or what you celebrate this time of year, it is the season of giving. It's also the perfect time to touch upon the charity and good works of both Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. However, STS will be going about this a bit differently, discussing the topic in depth and presenting many stories that the skeptics are either completely ignorant of or in denial.

So let's go back to the beginning with Nicole Kidman. The skeptics would have us believe Kidman's trips to Sydney's Children's Hospital are just PR stunts. Well the haters are just plain wrong. Kidman grew up in a household and family of caregivers. Her mother a nurse and educator, her father an author and researcher who paved the way in cancer management, and an aunt who is an alcohol/drug abuse counselor. She's talked through the years how she spent time in hospitals with her mother seeing the sick and helping out where she could. When she grew up she didn't rest on her success and good fortune.

Here is a set of photos from all the way back in 1991, where Kidman along with her sister Antonia visited Alexander Children's Hospital.

The truth is Kidman has a long history with charity and caregiving. Contrary to skeptic insistence, Kidman became a licensed massage therapist solely to help her mother cope with her battle against cancer. She at that point had already left school, carving out for herself a career in the Australian acting scene. She never took the classes in order to support herself or the family. Now the lies you've tried to perpetuate Mimosa are straight!

Mimosa: "Doesn't she claim that she had to stay home and take of her ailing Mum? Or was that later on? Was that the reason she gave for not going to college?

I tend to get her lies mixed up after a while."

How Nicole Kidman has helped cancer charities throughout the years is almost too numerous to mention. She's been doing it since the mid 90's. But let's show a few anyway ;)

Nicole and her mother Janelle helped launch the magazine Pink Ribbon, for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. They were chosen "to stress the point that while Nicole is famous, no one is above being touched by breast cancer".

Nicole Kidman became the first Chair of The Women's Health Fund at UCLA. She's been a chair for the Reproductive Women's Cancer program and a member of its board. She's continued to financially support them with her being listed as a 2009 Director's Circle member whose "lifetime contributions have advanced the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center's mission to end cancer through research."

But it's not just about money. Kidman was thanked by co-editor Dr. Jonathan Berek in Novak's Gynecology, the gold standard gynecology textbook for medical students.

"My thanks to Nicole Kidman, the chair of the advisory board for the UCLA Women's Reproductive Cancer Program—whose support and friendship has helped stimulate this project."

Later on she used the promotion of Moulin Rouge! to fundraise using Bloomingdale's famous window displays. She also became the very first person to model for Key To A Cure, which raised money for the Women's Cancer Research Fund. After being asked by The Entertainment Industry Foundation and Saks Fifth Avenue, they sold t-shirts designed by Stella McCartney.

In 2006, she helped launch Breast Cancer Awareness month in the UK by donating and becoming a face for the campaign.

Then there's 2009 where both Kidman and Keith Urban went to Stanford University to raise funds for their cancer program. She was invited by her friend Dr. Berek who is has committed his life to research and treatment of cancer. Kidman has been a champion of Berek and nominated him for Time's Person Of The Year in 2007 for his efforts as "one of the leading proponents of immunotherapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer." They both spoke about the strides that have and can happen with donations and Urban performed several songs. Although the skeptics at Urban Myths want to cast a bad light on the luncheon, it did in fact raise thousands of dollars. The expense of the luncheon was covered by sponsors, which the skeptics failed to reveal.

"The event was sponsored by Dianne and Tad Taube, through the Koret Foundation and Taube Philanthropies. Lisa Schatz, former executive at Esprit and The Gap, chaired the event, along with Susie Fox, Lisa Goldman, Lainie Garrick and Dianne Taube."

But of course there's so much more to talk about besides cancer charities.

There's the little things like the fact she's signed dozens of items for charity including underwear for Elton John's AIDS foundation.

She's designed mugs, jeans, gift cards, and different items of clothing all for various charities to raise funds like Clothes Off Our Back, Jeans For Genes, 'Little Tee Campaign' for Breast Cancer Care, SixDegrees.Org, and Whatever It Takes.

And then there's UNICEF/UNIFEM

Despite skeptic belief and wish to spread lies, Kidman has been involved with them for many many years. It started back in 1994 when she was named an UNICEF ambassador for Australia. At the time Kidman helped with their Rwandan relief efforts. She was a face that spoke out against land mines and protection of children in war-torn countries. She also raised awareness in the Asia/Australian arena of the world in support of children. She was honored by the Paul Newman Foundation and was selected by them to give $200,000 to her chosen charity. That money went to UNICEF Australia and their efforts to help children living in isolated areas of the outback, East Timor, and Burma. Kidman also made PSA's aired on flights to promote their "Change for Good " program. UNICEF collects international currency on flights around the world and puts the money to good use.

Now as far as UNIFEM is concerned, the skeptics wish to believe Kidman wormed her way into the organization. The truth is that Kidman's mother told her about them and Kidman asked to help. However, she had to go through a screening process to make sure she was serious about helping them. Kidman talked about that in an interview and a UNIFEM director was quoted confirming it. In addition to her focus on violence against women she also was asked and accepted the chair position of Cinema for Peace, a yearly international charity gala, who work with UNIFEM.

Unfortunately for Mimosa her wish won't come true because the promotion happened a long time ago.

Mimosa:" I really hate to see her pomoted as a representative for women, considering everything.... I hope that gets derailed."

What's funny though is that Mimosa and others have stated how little UNIFEM/UN/UNICEF work. It's simply another urban myth. All one needs to do is find their websites or look at their Twitter updates to see the progress happening. Things like...

*Spanish Ministry of Equality Recognizes UNIFEM’s Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence

*U.N. Recruits Men to Help End Violence Against Women

*UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Announces US$10.5 Million in Grants for 13 Projects in 18 Countries

*UN forum on women celebrates progress in Asia-Pacific, notes challenges.

Let's look at a few more charities Kidman supports.

There's of course the Sydney Children's Hospital. It was reported by the media in 2001 that Kidman donated $100,000 dollars of her own money. But of course that's just what is reported. She visits children there when she is in the area and is a reminder that there's always sick children in need. Visits that haven't gotten press have been used in promotional and fund-raising materials. A search for Kidman and SCH shows that she has been involved with them financially and time-wise with or without the cameras there to cover it.


One boy though in particular that Kidman has met has given a face to children with cancer. Dylan Hartung. He's an Australian boy who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. He traveled to New York for extensive treatment and when Kidman saw his story in the paper she went to visit this brave child with her daughter Isabella. They have since become friends and Hartung continues to be an example of fighting the good fight. He told Kidman she made it on his list of "chicky babes" and asked if she knew Angelina Jolie. He wanted to meet her. Kidman made it happen. Several years later Dylan said he and Nicole are "very close friends".

Children have always been close to her heart. While filming Cold Mountian in Romania, her and the rest of the crew would visit orphanges on weekends. One organization FARA, which means "nothing", particularly benefitted. There's pictures of Kidman and FARA children who got to make a visit to the set.

When Kidman found out FARA's single bus was too far gone for repairs, she arranged that one of the set vehicles be given to the organization. After a lawsuit was settled in which she won money for false claims of an affair with co-star Jude Law, she donated the money to FARA. Today, she is a patron of FARA and still recognized on their website as an appreciated supporter.

There's also Australia's Theatre For Young People. She and director Baz Luhrmann are the official Patron and Ambassdor for the theatre.

"Both of our stories started right here at atyp when we were teenagers. We spent our holidays and spare time at atyp enjoying workshops and productions. That is why we have chosen to be the Patron and the Ambassador of this company; we believe in what atyp does for young people."

From a letter by Nicole Kidman and Baz Luhrmann, 2007.

What else has she done?

Narrated two moving documentaries, one on Simon Wiesenthal and the other on the plight of Sudanese boys.

Speaking of video here's a few clips of Kidman and charity. The first is Nicole having fun with fans and signing autographs and the March of Dimes Walk in Nashville. The others show her involvement in Whatever It Takes and SixDegrees

And let's take this opportunity to dispel the rumors the skeptics like to spread about Kidman and her anti-American feelings. Keith Urban's too. Kidman is a yearly donator to Bette Midler's New York Restoration project auctions. When she was living in NYC she donated $25,000 to Parks and Recreation for afterschool programs for disadvantaged children. She along with others was a face asking for help at America: A Tribute To Heroes benefit. Around the same time in 2001 Keith Urban was one of many who on a morning breakfast show, joined with other artists to sing in support of America. He's played Farm Aid. He supported the Tennessee Land Trust. And at so many shows asked the audience to take a moment to honor our troops overseas.

But like Nicole, Keith has done much because he knows he's received much. The two of them support a Aboriginal boy growing up in Australia. His music has been donated for use on Aboriginal and addiction charity cd's in his home country. The many guitars and other items including jeans and a birdhouse, he's designed or signed for charity. In 2001, he helped out fellow Aussie Kasey Chambers at the ARIA's and stepped in for a band member who had just been in a horrible car accident.

Due to the unfortunate car accident Chris Cheney (The Living End) was involved in last week, The Living End regret that they have had to pull out of their ARIA's performance with Kasey.

Upon hearing of Chris' misfortune, Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, keith urban offered to step into the breach and join Kasey's band for the evening. Kasey, who has been great friends with keith for many years and a huge admirer of keith's talent was, delighted to accept.
These two exceptional talents will perform Kasey's "Not Pretty Enough"

There's the All For The Hall benefit, Live 8, Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, his support of the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School, and recently a pledge to support the White Ribbon Campaign which challenges all men to denounce participating in or condoning physical violence against women.

"Australian men and boys will be asked to swear they will never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

A raft of high-profile men have already joined the My Oath campaign, which calls for positive action to end the abuse.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, comedian Rove, country music singer Keith Urban, TV host David Koch and former Idol winner Shannon Noll have all pledged their support for the White Ribbon Day initiative."

There's Urban's support of FiftyForward, an organization that provides meals on wheels and other support for the older Nashville community. Keith and Nicole have gone on meal runs for them and supported them through the CMT awards. The skeptics said this didn't exist and threatened to expose them by calling Meals on Wheels. Whatever happened to that skeptics? Chicken?

There's Keith helping out buddy Dolly Parton by appearing in a promotional video for her Book Lady project

And of course who could forget his $500,000 donation along with Nicole to the Australian bush fires relief effort. It was one of the largest donations of the night. Yet that wasn't enough for the skeptics. The amount wasn't large enough and they gave publicly, the famewhores! But let's compare just for fun, someone else who gives. Taylor Swift.

She gave away a signed guitar to a young devoted fan who was Oprah. Her dress to an organization that helps disadvantaged girls at Prom. She donated $25,000 to children in need in the UK when she was in London. $100,000 to flood victims in Iowa when she was there for a concert. Does anyone see anything similar yet? Swift donates publicly and where she is at the time. Just like Kidman has done for years. Swift is set for life but is she donating massive amounts of money here, there, and everywhere? No. Is what we know her to have donated all that she has given? We doubt it.

So in closing, you may have noticed we left out Keith's involvement with St. Jude's. It's because we have some very moving material. He's been involved with them for years. And yet, after he and Nicole got together, the skeptics said his efforts were all for the publicity. They said everyone in Nashville helps them out so what he did was no big deal. Only after that, he was awarded by St. Jude's for his effort in front of and behind the scenes. Fans were called liars when they posted online stories of St. Judes employees privately telling visitors what a wonderful gift Keith Urban has been to them. Last year, Keith was chosen as a voice for radio ads to support the charity. His work with them continues. The skeptics completely ignored these videos and for good reason. They negate everything they say on the skeptic threads.

And the final straw to break the skeptics' backs, Keith Urban's nomination for 2009 Tennessean Of The Year!

Keith Urban. Aside from continuing to be one of the biggest names in country music, Urban took up the cause of fundraising for a prominent Nashville landmark, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He organized the Oct. 13 "We're All for the Hall'' concert after the "All for the Hall'' initiative was started by Vince Gill, the museum's board president. Gill had challenged country music artists "from major superstars to hometown heroes" to donate one evening's proceeds a year to the hall of fame.

Urban took up the challenge and recruited some of the biggest names in country music to help him, including Taylor Swift, Faith Hill and Brad Paisley. The night, which Urban called "one of the greatest open-mike nights ever seen in Nashville,'' raised over $500,000, and he has pledged to do it again in 2010.

This holiday season, if you can, please donate to a charity close to your heart, or one discussed here. There's no better feeling than sharing whatever you have, whatever you can do, with someone else.


Anonymous said...

Thanks SM! Great work! I didn't know Nicole's aunt is a drug and alcohol counselor. I've heard Nicole and Keith donated a large sum of money to keep a local theater opened somewhere in Nashville. They use their name to draw attention to the charity not to themselves but the skeptics are too lost in hate to see it.

SkewerMistress said...

There's something quirky going on with the comments again! It says the comment has posted but it's not here.

"O M G! Can I say you just made my Monday morning? Don't let this get buried in the archives!"

Thanks anon but once more blogs get posted it will be pushed down the line. What I can do though is make a link in the sidebar later to this specific entry.

Anonymous said...

SkewerMistress, that comment appears in the comments section under the Open Letter to Sue-Nomorefan blog.

The local theater where they donated money is actually in Franklin.

Great blog. Chalk up another 'wrong again' for the skeptics.

BTW, I've never seen so much finger pointing, pming and 'I didn't do anything' going on as I have behind the scenes of the skeptic boards today. Wink.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this, very well written and very much on point.

If anyone is getting their lies mixed up, it is the idiots, they are so confused that they don't know what is up or down.

Anonymous said...

Probably see a few (new) dusted off screen names pop up. lol
As usually happens when they get really desperate.

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