Clay Aiken – Articulate and Caring

On Wednesday, January 5, 2005, NBC-owned stations throughout the U.S. aired a one-hour “Tsunami Relief Fund Drive.”  Celebrities, volunteers and the American public joined together with UNICEF to raise funds for the 1.5 million affected children in South Asia.

The fund drive was broadcast live from WNBC in New York, and was hosted by the station’s lead anchors Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons. They were joined by Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell, who hosted the program from the West Coast. UNICEF Ambassadors Sarah Jessica Parker, Tea Leoni, and Clay Aiken along with UNICEF Supporters appeared live throughout the show to help support the relief efforts

On December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami – powered by a 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake – was unleashed near the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It struck 11 countries, crossed thousands of miles of ocean, and left more than 230,000 people dead. Millions were made homeless.  It was one of the most devastating events of its kind in history.

Charles J. Lyons was the president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in 2005.  He said:

“UNICEF is extremely grateful to NBC 4 for spearheading this initiative
and extremely thankful to those who made contributions on behalf of children
affected by the tsunamis in South Asia. The unprecedented amount of funds raised for
UNICEF in last night’s telethon will be converted into relief supplies within
days for children and families who are in critical need of basic care and

The final tally of the evening from more than 36,000 phone calls to 1.800.4UNICEF was an estimated $4.4 million. When combined with the $5.6 million in corporate donations, this put the total at a whopping $10 million. This amount did not include the many donations that were placed through the UNICEF automated system.

As a celebrity spokesperson for the Tsunami Fundraising effort, Clay played an important role in the evening.   He spoke eloquently about the need for education after the basic needs of the children were met.  He mentioned how important it is to keep some consistency in the lives of the children after the devastation.

In the following days, Clay was interviewed on many of the entertainment and news programs.  He was articulate and caring as he talked about the job that UNICEF was doing in the area.  He was an excellent spokesperson for UNICEF as he explained about how the money would be used.  He said:

“This money will help UNICEF address the immediate and emerging needs of
children in South Asia, and will include:
* Emergency immunization to prevent fatal childhood diseases
* Supply of clean, safe water and provision of basic sanitation
* Special feeding for malnourished children and pregnant women
* Care for traumatized children”

There are many videos of the different programs that featured Clay as a spokesperson for UNICEF.  I chose two that I think show how important his role was to the cause.

The Tsunami Fundraiser – Clay Sections


The Insider (they gave the wrong date, but its a lot of Clay!)


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12 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Articulate and Caring

  1. That was just the most horrible disaster. I'm so proud of Clay for the way he always gets involved and shows that he cares.

  2. I had almost forgotten Clay's involvement in that fundraiser for the Tsunami victims. It was great seeing these old videos.

  3. I've always loved how involved Clay gets when it comes to the well being of all children…. He's done it well before American Idol, and continues to do so….. Clay is a pleasure to listen to…he knows what he is talking about, and is doing it for the children…not for the wrong reasons……

    Once again, thanks CANN for bringing over these informative articles.


  4. Clay Aiken certainly had an important role for UNICEF in this disaster. It is always interesting to go back and see how much responsibility he had.

    Thank you for reminding us of all Clay has done for UNICEF.

  5. Clay Aiken's dedication to helping children and improving lives is what he is. His participation of the tsunami relief effort showed that.

  6. musicfan,

    UNICEF couldn't have a more dedicated, compassionate ambassador/spokesperson than Clay Aiken for children's causes around the world. Thank you for this excellent overview.


  7. Clay Aiken's involvement in UNICEF, the NIP, and other charities is very telling. He is very involved in causes for children and IMO is a class act.

  8. Clay Aiken is The Man win it comes to helping out with children in our troubled area’s. He is always there with a helping hand because that is just who he is. I am very proud of all the work Clay has done for Unicef..and will continue to do.

  9. Clay Aiken is a wonderful ambassador for UNICEF. I hope he's able to continue making a difference in the lives of needy children.

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