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More About the "American Idol Gives Back" Charities


Each year, one of the American Idol season episodes is dedicated to raising money and awareness to selected charities around the world. Last night, the two-hour event featured several celebrity appearances and performances, which in the past has come to raise more than $140 million.

“Idol Gives Back” or IGBF was started in 2007 by show creator Simon Fuller as a way for those behind the popular reality series to raise money for children and families in need. Charities are selected that support programs to provide food, medical care, housing and other assistance to those who are disadvantaged both inside and outside of the United States. This year, five charitable organizations are served by the money raised, in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the ONE Foundation, co-founded by Bono of U2.

The Children’s Health Fund was founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician Irwin Redlener MD. The CHF provides health care for homeless and low-income children and their families. At least 14 million children and youth in the United States live in poverty and have poor access to adequate health care. The organization has a national network of programs with teams of dedicated medical professionals in 15 states and the District of Columbia bringing essential primary care services to more than 2 million patients.

Feeding America provides more than 37 million low-income American individuals and families with food through 200 member food banks and 61,000 agencies. In 2008, 14.6% of households in the US were food insecure, up from 11.1% in 2007. According to the USDA Household Food Security in the United States 2008 report, the top ten states with food insecurity rates higher than the national average were Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Maine, and North Carolina. For every one dollar donated, Feeding America helps to provide 7 meals to men, women and children facing hunger in our country.

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Malaria No More is dedicated to end malaria deaths in Africa. Every 30 seconds, an African child dies of this preventable and treatable disease. Through the support of IGBF, Malaria No More has helped millions of families in Uganda, Zambia, Angola, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Mali, for example, MNM distributed 2.3 million long-lasting insecticide treated nets to protect individuals from mosquito bites. They also gave 2.8 million children under the age of five a measles vaccine, polio vaccine, and Vitamin A supplements.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization focused on underserved rural area children, where one in five lives in poverty. Their mission is to create a lasting, positive change in the lives of children, and to ensure that they grow up protected and safe, educated, healthy and well-nourished. The group partners with schools and community organizations to provide high-quality early education services as well as literacy, physical activity, and nutrition programs for children from kindergarten to the eighth grade. In 2009, Save the Children responded to more than 25 emergencies, providing food, shelter, and medical care to children and their families.

The United Nations Foundation is a public charity created in 1998 with a gift from entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner. The organization works toward decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, and creating a clean energy future. The UN Foundation worked directly with the United Nations to help Haitians rebuild after the devastating earthquake in January 2010.

Donating to “Idol Gives Back” is easy. They accept checks or money orders (no cash) at the following address, or you can use your cellphone to text the word IDOL to 20222 to give a one-time donation of $10 that will be billed by your mobile service provider.

Idol Gives Back Foundation
P.O. Box 414214
Boston, MA 02241-4214
Please make checks payable to Idol Gives Back Foundation.
This page is updated on May 12, 2013