This weekend Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were photographed on the street in New York City holding up homemade signs, expressing their desire to advocate for their favorite charities rather than be photographed by the paparazzi who were following them. The photo can be seen in: OKMagazine.
Their signs invited the public to go to our website, www.wwo.org, and to gildasclubnyc.org. Both of these wonderful actors have been engaged in charity for a few years and each of them has a very personal reason for their engagement. We should applaud this wonderfully generous and humorous act of kindness especially during a time of chaos and hideous acts around the world. It has been a very tough few months marred by acts of violence and political mudslinging, but I want to take us away from mayhem and hate and point out a sweet and tender moment authored by two young people who are loving and caring. We need this generosity to make peace now! See the photo on WWO's Facebook page.
Since I am the founder and CEO of Worldwide Orphans Foundation, I can speak about Andrew Garfield's support for WWO, which works to transform the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. Andrew is WWO's Ambassador of Sport, and has traveled twice to Haiti and once to Ethiopia on service trips for the organization, playing soccer with the kids and getting them excited about physical movement as a way to develop their minds and bodies.
Andrew has generously participated in a number of events on our behalf. Last week, on the anniversary of 9/11, he joined WWO as a guest at BGC Charity Day 2012.
I accompanied Andrew to BGC where, as part of the event, he closed deals on the sale of financial products that we both knew very little about. This doesn't matter because on that day, millions of dollars were given away by hard working traders. All their profits went to 150 charities and WWO was lucky enough to be a recipient. The feeling in the room on the 18th floor at BGC was exciting and jubilant. Many sports figures and actors were at desks holding phones and repeating nonsensical terms; "strike and ratio" were two words I heard over and over again. We ran into Edie Falco and Susan Sarandon on the floor and shared smiles and consensus that this was a great place to be to make a difference in a crazy world.
Andrew was quiet and thoughtful at the event. He shook hands and was photographed with hundreds of traders. The "Wounded Warriors" floored him. I could see him visibly shaken and in awe of their courage and playful interactions with the traders and celebrities. The "American Bombshells" who travel and entertain for the Wounded Warriors were full of zesty energy and their red lipstick and sexy military costumes were divine.
We were scheduled to be at BGC for an hour, and it was a very consuming and hard-working hour. We met and were photographed with Howard Lutnick, the CEO and mastermind for BGC and Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day. Just as we were leaving there were some quick last minute photos for Spider-Man with a child of an employee.
Andrew didn't want to leave. I could see that he felt that kind of separation anxiety that I feel all the time with charity events. There is nothing more gratifying than the connection created at such an event. We are all in this together in every way. There is no individual at these events...there is just the community of giving. It is powerful and palpable. It is addictive, frankly. Andrew Garfield became addicted in just an hour and as we drove away, we shared our sense of loss and planned and schemed about our next moments of giving and sharing.
I want to give a special thanks to Howard Lutnick at BGC and his fabulous team that makes this kind of event, seamless. And thank you to Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone for keeping us in their hearts.
Dr. Jane Aronson
Founder and CEO, Worldwide Orphans Foundation