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TV stars appear together in PSA to promote volunteerism

Posted: October 1, 2009 1:41 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2009 1:36 p.m.
 
LOS ANGELES -- Eight stars from the four major broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC - join together in new public service announcement that encourages viewers to tune in to an unprecedented week of television, Oct. 19 -25, as part of EIF's iParticipate national initiative to promote service and volunteering.

Simon Baker (CBS' The Mentalist), Emily Deschanel (FOX's Bones), Eva Longoria Parker(ABC's Desperate Housewives), Julia Louis Dreyfus (CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine), Masi Oka (NBC's Heroes), Michael Strahan (FOX's Brothers), Kate Walsh (ABC's Private Practice), and Rainn Wilson (NBC's The Office) are featured in the 30-second spot, which reinforces that great change begins with small choices and one decision to change leads to others.

The spot ends by encouraging people to tune in starting Oct. 19 to find out how the networks are participating. The PSA was produced by filmmaker Jesse Dylan, with his agency FreeForm. It began airing the week of Sept. 28 on all four broadcast networks.

EIF is mobilizing the entire entertainment community around the ground-breaking, multi-year iParticipate campaign, which promotes a new way of thinking about service and seeks to persuade millions more Americans to volunteer regularly.

As a centerpiece, the major broadcast networks and others will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and PSAs with inspirational messages and storylines about volunteerism.

More than 60 shows have signed up to participate.

Other elements of EIF's iParticipate initiative include:
-- a dedicated website iParticipate.org, designed to make it easier than ever before for millions of Americans to find volunteer opportunities in their local communities across five key areas of service: Children and Education, Community Health and Wellness, Financial Security, Environmental Conservation, and Support for Veterans and Military Families.

The website features calendars of events, maps, digital tool kits and uses the power of social networking vehicles like Facebook, to make it simple for individuals not only to volunteer, but to recruit friends to join them;

-- a series of celebrity-driven public service announcements that will reinforce the importance of volunteerism and supporting causes like Welcome Back Veterans. Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Matthew McConaughey are among the performers featured in the PSAs.

-- grants from the Entertainment Industry Foundation to key volunteer organizations to help build capacity to accept, train and deploy volunteers.

iParticipate was recently launched in the heart of New York's Times Square. EIF was joined by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 15 mayors from around the country, numerous celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher, Tyler Perry, Tim Daly (ABC), Christine Baranski (CBS), Randy Jackson (FOX), and Michelle Trachtenberg (NBC), among others, and key service groups to
launch the initiative.

Leading companies and organizations that have joined EIF in supporting iParticipate include AARP's Create The Good volunteer network (CreateTheGood.org), Medco Health Solutions and its "Give Health a Hand" program (GiveHealthAHand.org), Major League Baseball and its "Welcome Back Veterans" initiative (WelcomeBackVeterans.org), and UnitedHealthcare
(unitedhealthgroup.com/main/SocialResponsibility.aspx). These organizations will engage their employees all over the country in grassroots service efforts.

The rate at which Americans volunteer regularly has not increased in 40 years and has generally remained around 26%, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of all people who currently volunteer started because they were asked by someone they know.

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
The Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the leading charitable organization of entertainment industry, and has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues.

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