For the last 11 years, Clay Aiken has chosen to quietly immerse himself in helping others and speaking out about what he felt was important.
In 2004, Clay was asked to be an ambassador for Ronald McDonald House Charities. One of the first things he did in this position was to sing at the McDonald House Charities Awards of Excellence Gala for Danny Glover.
A few days later, Clay participated with other celebrities at McDonald’s World Children’s Day. Clay made and then donated a cement cast of his handprints for an auction for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The cast sold for over $15,000. He also donated an autographed apron from the event that raised $5,100 in the eBay auction. Doing the math, the total donation to RMHC was more than $20,000.
The website, Business Wire wrote a wonderful article about Clay and his work with RMHC.
STUDIO CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 19, 2004–As part of his philanthropic efforts with children’s organizations, multi-platinum recording artist Clay Aiken is working with McDonald’s to better the lives of children around the globe through the “Give a Hand” program. Aiken is urging Americans to purchase $1 paper cut-out hands at participating McDonald’s locations on Nov. 20, World Children’s Day. The proceeds from all hands purchased will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
“As a former special education teacher, I’m uniquely aware of children’s needs,” states Aiken. “I’m grateful to McDonald’s for allowing me to work with them to champion causes that make positive differences in kids’ lives.”
As part of the program, Aiken also donated an autographed cement imprint of his hand to be auctioned off on EBay. Currently, the bid on Aiken’s imprint is more than $10,000. The winning bidder of the Clay Aiken handprint will be awarded the signed cement handprint from Aiken personally at one of his holiday concert tour stops this year. Aiken’s Holiday Concert Tour, sponsored by McDonald’s, kicks off Nov. 21 and goes through Dec. 23, 2004. Aiken will also be seen on Jan. 1st riding on the first float McDonald’s has ever entered in the Rose Bowl Parade.
Aiken’s own organization, the Bubel/Aiken Foundation (TBAF), an organization committed to funding inclusive programs that connect children with special needs to their typical peers, will be celebrating World Children’s Day with an art event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Aiken, a former special education teacher and mentor, will join 30 developmentally-disabled children and 30 non-disabled children in art workshops on Nov. 20.
Aiken earned his degree in special education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The formation of TBAF was based on an independent study project Aiken created while in college.
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation is a 501 ( c ) (3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Federal EIN #20-0146446. L.A. Police Commission Charitable Services Section Information Card No. R1417.
The article can still be seen at BUSINESSWIRE
The Ronald McDonald House Charities continue to do so many wonderful things for children. According to their website:
There are currently 322 Ronald McDonald’s Houses in 52 countries and regions. Ronald McDonald Houses act as a place to stay for families with hospitalized children who are receiving treatment. Ronald McDonald’s Houses provide over 7,200 bedrooms to families around the world each night, with an estimated value of $257 million in lieu of hotel costs.
It is always exciting to see all the wonderful things that Clay has done in support of children all over the world. He has certainly “used his voice”… I look forward to seeing all the things he will do in the future!