This week over 60 shows on Network and Cable TV will incorporate story lines about volunteers into their scripts, highlight real-life volunteers, air public service announcements, or ask cast members to create a "tag" at the end of their show encouraging people to volunteer. The idea originated with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, (EIF) a charity made up of representatives from all facets of show business, at their annual retreat. Hmmm...what ideas are you coming up with at your annual retreat?
Some examples of story lines:
On Parks and Recreation Amy Poehler's character has wanted to convert an abandoned construction pit into a park. This week, her dream is fulfilled with an assist from a real-life organization called KaBOOM!, which provides volunteers to build the park and a playground.
On The Biggest Loser, contestants will volunteer at a Los Angeles food bank.
On Brothers, the guys volunteer as coaches.
On CSI: NY, Hill Harper's Dr. Sheldon Hawkes volunteers at a hospital.
Later this year, the campaign expands with trailers in movie theaters, efforts in music and more.
Sherry Lansing, EIF Chair, put the value of the media being donated to the cause as "priceless."
I can't wait to see if my favorite shows are participating. I'll be watching The Big Bang Theory tonight and I hope they participate - I can picture Sheldon at a homeless shelter. It's an easy assignment for Top Chef but I'll have to wait until Wednesday to see if they participate.
Stay tuned this week and maybe there’s a story you can connect with and use to recognize or encourage volunteerism in your own organization. Post your comments here with feedback on any of the shows you saw this week featuring volunteerism.
It'll be a lot of fun to share our favorites.