A Baltimore grandmother visits heaven for an hour before being brought back to life.
By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasAn actress finds her light, rich kids make a lemonade stand for a cause, and a celebrity foundation hits a milestone of giving. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.Portia de Rossi Goes to the LightPortia de Rossi has had to keep some of Hollywood’s deepest secrets. For years she hid her homosexuality, fearing that it might impact her ability to get roles. And, she now admits, that she was on a 300-calorie a day diet that whittled her down to a shocking 82 pounds.But if you never saw the “Allie McBeal” era de Rossi, you could never imagine that she lived through such an unhappy and unhealthy period. In her new memoir, “The Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain,” she discusses her battle with bulimia and anorexia, and her dark existence in the closet.These days, Portia DeGeneres (her new legal name) is married to talk show host Ellen–out of the closet, healthy, and clearly happy. And very brave to share her emotional journey, not only in her new book but with Oprah and Ellen on their talk shows this week.Portia Shares Her Personal StrugglesBen Stiller’s Kids Sell Lemonade for CharitySometimes you assume that second generation stars have no concept of normal life. After all, they were raised by famous parents and often treated to the finer things from birth. How could they possibly know what it’s like to be a kid in suburbia.That’s certainly what we’ve already thought of Ben Stiller–the Manhattan born actor/director and son of the comic duo Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. But clearly we were off base.The celeb and his wife, actress Christine Taylor, are obviously not only passing along a few lessons in regular childhood experiences to their kids, they’re encouraging a spirit of giving as well.Their two children Ella, 8, and Quinlan, 5, recently built a lemonade stand. And the $120 they earned, went to Project A.L.S. The organization is on a mission to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.Meara and Stiller must have raised Ben right, because it seems he learned good parenting from somebody. Newman’s Own Hits $300M MilestoneEven from beyond the grave, Paul Newman is giving back. It was announced this week that his organization Newman’s Own Foundation has donated almost $300 million to charities worldwide.Newman’s Own Foundation had its humble beginnings in 1982 in Newman’s basement where he made salad dressing for his friends. It has grown to one of the largest charitable organizations around expanding from just the dressing to over 175 products–all natural and all charitable.The foundation is based on Newman’s philosophy “let’s give it all away.” And so they do. All net profits after taxes go to organizations like AIND/Giant Steps School, Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, Calvary Hospital, Discovery Center, Feeding America, and Safe Water Network.In a celebration of the milestone, Newman’s daughter Clea spoke of her dad saying, “He felt that when you are given so much, you should reach out and help others that haven’t been so lucky. It’s just the right thing to do.”