Idol Chatter

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
This week’s inspiring pop culture events came in all shapes and sizes. A charitable little boy made a big Hollywood deal, the First Lady received a Kids’ Choice Award, and Demi and Ashton got tough on child slavery. Here are our favorite inspirational pop culture moments of the week.
12-Year-Old Philanthropist Coming to a Movie Theater Near You
12-year-old Zach Bonner is an amazing kid and, in fact, he’s been doing pretty special things for the last five years. When he was seven, he collected water bottles for Hurricane Charley victims. And that was just the beginning of his philanthropic efforts.
Not long after he created the Little Red Wagon Foundation walking from his Florida home all the way to Washington D.C. (about 1,225 miles) to raise funds for homeless kids. As honors and awards came pouring in (including a nod from then President W. himself), so did attention from Hollywood.
Now the writer who brought us “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and the director of “Rudy” are teaming up to do a film called, appropriately, “Little Red Wagon.”
Of course, Zach’s getting used to film crews. His last charity hike–a six-month 2,478 mile trek from Tallahassee to Los Angeles, again for homeless youth, was filmed for a documentary.
Now, of course, comes the burning question is who will play the inspirational youth? We’d like to recommend Max Burkholder, who plays Max Braverman on “Parenthood.”

First Lady and Nickelodeon Work to End Childhood Obesity
What do Taylor Lautner, Jay-Z, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Michelle Obama have in common? They are now proud recipients of a Kids’ Choice Award. On Saturday, March 27, First Lady Michelle Obama received a special honor during Nickelodeon’s 23rd Annual Kids’ Choice Awards.
Miranda Cosgrove and Keke Palmer presented Obama with the first-ever Nickelodeon Big Help Award, recognizing people who inspire kids to make this a better world.
The goal of Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign is to reduce childhood obesity by arming parents and kids with healthy options, support, and education in the battle against the bulge for kids.
In a taped acceptance speech the First Lady encouraged kids to take control of their health and be active.
The award also kicked off Nickelodeon’s “The Big Help–Millions on the Move” campaign, to inspire kids to make positive changes in four areas: the environment, education, health, and community service. The network plans to donate $1 million to school and community projects nationwide.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher Team Up to End Haitian Child Slavery
Demi Moore’s had a busy week what with her oh-so-tacky Twitter war with Kim Kardashian. Luckily, she also used her pop culture powers for good, not evil. Demi and her hubby Ashton Kutcher are teaming up to address the issue of childhood slavery in Haiti.
Their DNA Foundation is raising awareness of “restavec” a local practice meaning “one who stays with” and in which one out of ten kids is sold into other Haitian homes. The Hollywood heavy hitters are using their high profiles to urge government officials and non-profits immersed in the rebuilding process to push to make these practices illegal. A very worthy use of celebrity, indeed.
Read more on the Pop Culture Passionistas blog.

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