We must all do our part to offer aid

Royal Purple Editorial Staff

Helping spread the word on where to donate isn’t required by public figures and household name celebrities in the U.S., but we as a society shouldn’t automatically expect them to do so.

Word by mouth travels fast in today’s society. Naturally, when a influential and usually destructive national event happens, a large portion of the world knows about it, and people quickly take to the internet seeking more information or suggestions on how to offer help.

Since Hurricane Harvey and Irma hit the Texas and Florida coasts, respectively, relief programs have been set up to help those in need.

Oftentimes, in response to those funds being set up, celebrities and public figures are held to a higher standard in society, where they are supposed to take their visibility and their inflated social status, and use it to spread information about campaigns, or contribute themselves. We believe that this is unfair – it is easy to forget that celebrities and public figures are also just people, similar to us, who have the right to support the charities they want, and stay silent on those they don’t.

A number of public figures have opened their wallets to support the cause. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Drake and Nicki Minaj took to social media to help launch fundraisers for hurricane relief and worked with the “Hand in Hand” foundation to raise money, raising a combined total of $44 million. J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans football team had a goal to raise $200,000 with hurricane relief efforts and ended up raising $37 million.

James Corden used his CBS late night show to reach out to viewers and fans with information on the Hand in Hand foundation to call and donate or visit the website. Another $5 million was donated from the Apple company to help with hurricane relief.

President Donald Trump has written personal checks out to hurricane relief associations totaling $1 million. David Fahrenthold, reporter for the Washington Post, has been tracking the president’s claim, and has found that the 12 charities that were outlined as beneficiaries of the donations have either received a personal check from Trump, or have decided not to comment.

Other sports players have given to associations helping hurricane victims as well.

Steve Mason with the L.A. Lakers basketball team had tweeted that anyone who donated $10 or more, would be put in a drawing to win tickets.

When events such as this happen, there shouldn’t be a standard we hold celebrities and public figures to when it comes to contributing to raising awareness and assistance for the affected. When a natural disaster or disruptive event happens to our country, those who have a higher status shouldn’t feel compelled to help. When they do choose to assist, those impacted appreciate their efforts, but they are in no way entitled to doing anything, in the same way that ordinary citizens are not.

Our nation has a history of coming together in tragic times as citizens work together to offer aid to those in need in the wake of disasters. In times of struggle, devastation and recovery, don’t expect public figures to do your philanthropy for you and your wallet.