It is Thursday and I wanted to share some information about Clay and his work with UNICEF…
I thought it would be nice to post a great reminder of a wonderful thing Clay Aiken did to make the world a better place.
On September 3, 2005, Clay was part of a 3-hour special on television titled:
Larry King Live: ”How You Can Help”
Clay joined Eric Clapton, Harry Connick Jr., Celine Dion and Bill Cosby and other celebrities and notables as they chatted with CNN’s Larry King on the three-hour live special to aid Hurricane Katrina victims.
Clay compared what he saw in Banda Aceh in March with the hope and resilience to what he knows will happen in the Katrina impacted areas. He mentioned another organization that often works in these types of disasters outside of the US but will be working with Katrina victims as well, the Oxfam America that he endorsed as another relief organization for donations.
The following is a transcript of Larry’s interview with Clay.
Larry: Joining me from Raleigh, North Carolina is my buddy Clay Aiken. Clay, of course, the multi-platinum recording artist, the 2003 American Idol runner-up. He was raised in North Carolina, and you work with UNICEF a lot. UNICEF doesn’t work internally, do they?
Clay: Uh, no. actually, UNICEF, Larry, is an organization that has a mandate to work outside of the U.S. They work with governments in developing nations, and they do work on projects with developed nations as well, when they’re asked by the government. So they’re not necessarily focused in the United States.
Larry: So what are you doing with regard to this tragedy?
Clay: Well, you know, I think what’s interesting…obviously, like most Americans, I’ve been glued to the television for the last few days taking a look at the damage, and really feeling somewhat helpless because I’m not able to be there and help out and be involved in the cleanup and the rescue process. But one of the things that’s really struck me while I’ve been watching TV is the similarities — and it’s hard to draw a comparison, obviously, between this and the tsunami — but I was in Banda Aceh and Indonesia in March of this year, and it’s amazing to look at some of the images on TV this week and see some very similar sights that I saw in Indonesia. But I guess the thing that has struck me the most — or did strike me the most in March when I was in Indonesia — was the amount of hope and resilience and just the attitude of recovery and rebuilding that was in Indonesia in March, and I think that the thing that really is resonating with me is the possibility of that here, because the American people were without a doubt the most generous they’ve ever been when it came to the tsunami and it’s amazing–the American spirit is really amazing and knowing that type of help from the American people helped rebuild areas like Indonesia and Sri Lanka and Thailand and is going to be able to do that here, as long as people step up and support in whatever way they can, obviously monetarily is the most important right now.
Larry: Are you giving personally?
Clay: Absolutely. You know, I think it’s something that–I wish I had the time to do–but monetarily really is the way that people–that’s needed right now. Obviously, you have to trust those organizations like the Red Cross. OXFAM is an organization that works outside of the U.S. similar to UNICEF but it’s working inside the–is mandated to work inside America as well. OXFAMAmerica.org you can go to for that. But those organizations are the ones that we really have to trust to be able to do the work. I’ve seen the work that UNICEF does elsewhere, and I know that other organizations that work in the United States are able to do that same type of amazing work that UNICEF does, yet do it here, and so I think the best thing to do, instead of sending, you know, non-perishable food and clothes right now, we have to be able to trust these people with our money, and donate to that cause that way.
Larry: Thank you, Clay Aiken, as always.
Clay: Thank you very much, Larry.
Larry: [Talks about Larry King Cardiac Foundation, Kobe Bryant, Jenny Craig] and as we go to break, here’s a little song by Clay Aiken. We’ll be right back.
The station played I Will Carry You over a series of pictures from the aftermath of Katrina as the show went into commercial.
These kinds of events always make me feel so proud of Clay who seems to have his priorities in the right order.
Did you see Clay’s interview when it was on CNN?
I have watched it several times! It seemed Larry King was very impressed with Clay! He gives his heart and time to helping children! Thank you, CANN for sharing this special memory with us!
Thank you for all the pictures. I do not remember this program on CNN. Clay cares about people. Thank you for the video. Thank you CANN.
Clay is not just a great singer, he is a great person. Even before he was known from American Idol, he worked with children who had special needs. UNICEF is one of the charities that I donate to because of their help for children around the world.