Celebrity Stalker: Sharing is caring

Christian Fatoohi

The stars start giving this holiday season.

ImageIt's that time of the year again. We're officially into the holiday season, also known as the season of giving when the Salvation Army stands outside Macy's with collection pails and every school seems to be having a Second Harvest food drive.

What have the rich and famous done to spread their joy and money this season? A lot, actually. Charity has become quite a celebrity trend in the past few years. In the last decade a number of heavily celebrity endorsed organizations have popped up such as One.org and the clothing brand Omnipeace worn by Eva Longoria and Jennifer Aniston.

Last week, while I was at the orthodontist waiting to get my braces tightened, I looked for a magazine to read and picked up "Parade." Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Parade" magazine? Wow, aren't you cool?

Well, it was either "Parade" or "Forbes," so I chose the former. That issue of "Parade" contained a special on "The Most Generous Stars" with, of course, Oprah at the top of the list, donating a staggering $50 million to education, health care, and advocacy for children worldwide. I was pleased to see that Oprah does do other things than hand out cars.

Another option stars have is volunteering instead of donating money.

Actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle have used their global star power as well as their good looks to raise awareness about Darfur. Angelina Jolie and Madonna have both worked in African schools. Furthermore, you've seen AIDS awareness (Product) Red items from iPods to Gap ads featuring dozens of celebrities ranging from Alicia Keys to Leonardo DiCaprio.

I'm pretty sure I've made my point that celebrities make excellent philanthropists. However, celebrities also get benefits in the form of positive media. It gets them into the press for something other than rehab or yet another divorce and gives them a nice legacy. It gives their fans a reason to love them even more and results in more sales for their movies and concerts. So, they're greedy big headed celebrities after all.

When you really think about it, we're no different. Most of us volunteer at Kaiser Hospital or join Octagon for college applications. I'm pretty sure there are very few students in our school who would actually be donating cans if they weren't offered  extra credit. We're all greedy humans who want something in return even when we're giving to others.

As Joey from the "Friends" sitcom perfectly put it, "There's no such thing as a selfless good deed. Because you still feel good after you did it."

However, even if Brad Pitt's or your motives are selfish, this holiday season, follow your kindergarten teacher's advice: "Sharing is Caring."

In the end all that matters is that positive change is happening whether it's done out of goodwill or not. We can make a difference in others' lives whether it's donating millions or pushing wheelchairs at the hospital.