I feel that speaking for others is the best way to use my voice.
The rest of it, all the pop-star stuff,
is ultimately a platform for giving back.
~ Clay Aiken ~
For over ten years of his life, Clay Aiken has been a busy entertainer. His life was filled with singing, recording, touring, acting, and included 2 runs as one of the stars of Monty Python’s Spamalot, 2 TV specials and many, many visits to the popular talk shows on TV. His busy life would be enough for most people, but Clay also chose to quietly immerse himself in helping others and speaking out about what he felt was important.
If you are a fan of Clay Aiken, you probably know that he co-founded The National Inclusion Project in 2003. The organization has grown and is now one of the top organizations that serves to bridge the gap that exists between young people with disabilities and the world around them.
And, many people know that Clay became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF with a focus on education, in November, 2004.
But, there is so much more to Clay’s charity work. In fact, there is so much more than I can report about in one day. The following are only highlights of some of the things that Clay has participated with during the years.
Did you know that:
- Clay became a Ronald McDonald House Charities Ambassador on November 22, 2004.
- In November, 2010, Clay joined supporters of GLSEN (The Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network) in Washington to speak in support of two bills that were coming before the government: The Safe Schools Improvement Act and The Student Non-Discrimination Act.
- While starring in Spamalot, Clay worked hard to raise money for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids. Clay lent his support by offering items to the on-line auction. For two years, his items topped the bids for BC/EFA. The two Sir Robin bears broke records for the highest amount of money earned.
- Clay made a “doodle” and a mask that were auctioned off to worthy charities.
- Clay mentored one of the groups of kids involved with Rosie O’ Donnells Broadway Kids’ Showcase on April 27, 2009.
- On January 10, 2004, Clay performed at the halftime of a men’s basketball game at UNCC. That same evening, he donated $20,000 to the universities capital campaign
- Clay was a guest speaker at the “2010 Human Rights Campaign Carolinas Gala” held in Raleigh on February 27, 2010.
- In 2004, Clay appeared with other celebrities as part of the McDonald’s World Children’s Day event. The event raised money for the Ronald McDonald house and other children’s charities. He put his handprints in cement and raised more money than all the rest of the items combined.
- Clay performed at a benefit for the Autism Society of Delaware and the Bubel Aiken Foundation on June 5, 2004.
- Clay met with children at P.S. 76 in Harlem, New York in 2003. He read to a class of second-graders as part of Wachovia Corporation’s Reading First program.
- On 11/20/04, Clay celebrated World Children’s Day with an art event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Clay joined children with and without disabilities from the YMCA of Los Cerritos and Ability First of Claremont to participate in inclusive art activities such as tracing each other’s hands.
- On 6/16/04, Clay appeared with Naomi Judd at America’s Promise to Youth gala. This was the first annual gala for the group as they paid tribute to those whose personal and legislative leadership is helping improve the lives of millions of children by ensuring that every youth has the five fundamental resources they need to succeed.
- To help honor Youth Service Day, Clay joined young people with intellectual disabilities and their Best Buddies in the planting of trees in Hollywood, Florida.
If you look at this list, you will see that I have not mentioned, Clothes Off Your Back, The David Foster Foundation, The True Colors Fund, The Rosalynn Carter Institute, The American Australian Association, Disney Hand, Forces of Nature Aid Foundation, MDA, National Center for Learning Disabilities….and MANY MORE!!
I feel bad for only just mentioning The National Inclusion Project and UNICEF. These are so important to Clay, but I thought today, we would look at the bigger picture. I will report on Clay’s involvement with these 2 charities on another day.
Clay opens his heart to the world. How easy it is to support this young man!
Every celebrity should hope to be a role model to kids, to teenagers, to young adults.
I talk about the causes that are important to me now, things that matter to me, and I’m in a position to help.
~ Clay Aiken ~