We here at Care2 are so excited to be working with Oprah and her staff at O magazine. We were even more excited to hear that Oprah is receiving an Oscar for all the humanitarian work she has done. Yes, the little golden man will be atop Oprah’s mantle.
The Academy of Motion Picture Sciences‘ governors voted Tuesday to give Oprah the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. This award is usually given to people who have given outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes. It is named after screen actor Jean Hersholt, who served as president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund for 18 years. In 84 years of the Oscars, the award has only been given 34 times.
Past winners include Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope and Paul Newman. It is not given every year, but periodically, when the Academy feels that a member has done extraordinary things for their fellow human beings. The shoe certainly fits on Oprah. She personally donates more of her own money to charity than any other performer in America. In 2005, Business Week estimated she had given away 303 million dollars up until that point.
This was not about how she does things on a grand scale in terms of giveaways. Not about the cars or houses or trips to Australia.
This was about the things she does on a grand scale for the world around her. Specifically cited were the Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and her creation of a girls’ school in South Africa. The announcement cited her extraordinary efforts in providing education and awareness of the plights of women and girls around the world.
The Angel Network was founded in 1998, and stopped accepting donations in May 2010. While the network was active, it collected over $80,000,000 for dispersal to those in need. Oprah personally covered all administrative costs associated with the charity, so 100% of all funds raised went to charity programs, and grants to non profit organizations.
Morehouse College has been the recipient of scholarship money, and after Hurricane Katrina, Oprah donated 10 million dollars through the Oprah Angel Network Katrina (OANK) for relief efforts. The OANK raised still another million for continued relief efforts.
Oprah also invested $40 million and some of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. The school opened in January 2007 with an initial enrollment of 150 students (increasing to 450).
Is it any wonder that the Academy Awards is rewarding a woman who uses her celebrity status to make a difference in the world?
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