Nate Solder, New York Giants offensive tackle, has decided to opt of the 2020 NLF season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that God’s help and guidance led him to the difficult decision in an announcement on social media last week. “My family and I have been praying, wrestling, and listening to God about […]
By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasThis week chicks announced they’re rockin’ for charity, a singer made plans to build a school, a child star urged fans to give back to other kids, stars and locals joined forces to save a landmark, and actors wrote letters to the troops. See which celebrities got involved in this week’s inspirational pop culture moments.The Ladies of Lilith Fair Give BackThe rockin’ ladies of Lilith Fair are hitting the road again this summer and they’re giving back locally. Tour organizers are launching the “Choose Your Charity” campaign on Facebook where fans can go online and vote on a pre-selected list of women’s groups in their area.Voting on a preliminary list of organizations starts on Monday, May 3 and will get whittled down to a group of the top five, and then three for each city on the tour. This final round of voting will start the next day and run until May 31.Once Lilith Fair founders Sarah McLachlan, Terry McBride, Dan Fraser, and Marty Diamond pick the winners from the top three in each locale, the tour will donate $1 for every ticket sold in that town to the chosen charity.And really, everyone who goes to see Lilith Fair wins. The summer concert series, which kicks off in Calgary on June 27 and wraps up in Dallas on August 18, features performances from artists like Corinne Bailey Rae, Martina McBride, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, and Norah Jones.Shakira Plans to Build Haitian SchoolFor Shakira, singing “I’ll Stand By You” from the comforts of a Los Angeles soundstage during the Hope for Haiti telethon was not enough. This week the Colombian singer got on a plane and stood side by side with the young victims devastated by January’s disaster. Shakira said she was visiting Haiti to begin preparations to build a school in Port-au-Prince for the children of the Caribbean country. Her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation has constructed similar projects in Colombia and Shakira says those establishments will be a model for this school. The Barefoot Foundation provides education, food, and support to over 6,000 underprivileged kids in Colombia. The singer hopes to bring those same benefits to the suffering children in Haiti so that they can have a brighter future. In a brief interview from Port-au-Prince she said, “We need to think about the future of this country and of how Haiti’s children can be useful to their societies tomorrow… Education is one of the fundamental tools with which to develop and rebuild Haiti.” Justin Bieber’s Fans Raise Pennies for a Good CausePop sensation Justin Bieber proved he’s not just a pretty voice and a good head of hair this week. And no, we’re not talking about his “Saturday Night Live” appearance here. Young JB continued to prove he’s got quite a charitable spirit as well.The 16-year-old singer, reached out to fans and asked for help to raise money for a children’s hospital in Buffalo, New York earlier this year. This week he announced the results on his Twitter page @justinbieber tweeting “shoutout to @Kiss985Buffalo for helping us organize this amazing event here to raise close to $200,000 for the Children’s Hospital!!” The donations could only be given in pennies. No checks, bills, or larger coins were welcome. That’s a lot of copper.The students of the Edward Town Middle School raised the most for the cause – $16,927, winning the KISS 98.5 School Spirit contest. So besides that warm and fuzzy feeling one gets from giving, they got an added bonus– a free show from Justin himself.Fighting to Save a Piece of Hollywood History Preservationists fighting to protect the land surrounding the historic Hollywood sign got a brief reprieve this week, when the deadline to buy the area was extended by sixteen days. The inspiring fight shows what people can do when they come together. From big Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks to local kids selling cupcakes, Hollywood is rallying to Save the Peak. The land in question was sold to Fox River Financial Resources in 2002 for $1.7 million. Last year news surfaced that the group was putting the land up for sale to the tune of $12.5 million. Along with the land comes approval to build four luxury homes right there on the peak under one of then nation’s most famous landmarks. But thankfully, The Trust for Public Land has stepped in to raise the money. The plan? Buy the land and donate it to Griffith Park so it is forever saved. They were given until April 14th to raise the funds, but they came up short. $1 million short to be exact. When Aileen Getty and Tiffany & Co. stepped in at the eleventh hour with a $500,000 matching challenge, the Trust was granted two more weeks. So far some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Steven Spielberg, Norman Lear, and Lucasfilm Foundation have donated to the cause. But what’s so special about this campaign, is it’s not just the big guns coming out. Locals from the surrounding neighborhood are giving everything they can. Most recently they held a Save the Peak rally and fundraiser in Lake Hollywood Park at the foot of sign. Bands played, kids had a bake sale, and hikers donated the change in their pockets to preserve the land. We’re hoping some local celeb will dig deep and throw in the last bit to save the Hollywood landmark, otherwise they’ve got a lot of cupcakes to sell.D.B. Sweeney and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Send Letters from Hollywood Regardless of where you stand on the topic of war, it’s hard not to feel for the young men and women who put their lives on the line every day. That’s why “Eight Men Out” actor D.B. Sweeney and “Jerry McGuire” Oscar winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. have teamed up with the U.S. Army to launch the Letter from Hollywood initiative. Each week, another celebrity will write a personal note to the troops. So far, “The Lord of the Rings'” Sean Astin and “Criminal Minds'” Joe Mantegna have supported the cause. And according to Astin’s letter he has at least a little bit of first hand military knowledge, “I served for 10 years as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. It was an incredibly rewarding way to learn about the Civilian and Military leadership of our Armed Forces.”For more on the Pop Culture Passionistas, visit their website.