Olivia Wilde is involved with many charitable organizations and here you can learn more about them and how you can help!
- Artists for Peace and Justice (Co-Executive Director) – Artists for Peace and Justice, established in early 2009, is a fundraising effort founded by Paul Haggis and friends that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty and enfranchisement in communities around the world. The organization’s immediate goal is to build schools to serve the poorest areas of Haiti, providing an education, hot meals, clean drinking water and regular medical treatments to the children living in the slums.
“I am proud to be a part of this extraordinary organization, and will update wildethings.org with news and information about our progress in Haiti.”
- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols. MSF’s work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation.
“When I was a teenager, the first organization I started working hard to support was the incredible Doctors Without Borders (or if you’re cool and French, Medecins Sans Frontieres.) I have fantasized about becoming a doctor so I could travel with them to the world’s most dangerous places, caring for those with no access to desperately needed health care. They are an international coalition of medical professionals who work independently from any government so they can speak out against atrocities they witness from the ground. I’ve seen their work in Haiti, and I have met their doctors, and based on everything I know about their outstanding commitment to humanitarianism, I award them my own personal BAD ASS Award.”
- ACLU (Foundation Board Member) – The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
- Your First Amendment rights – freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
- Your right to equal protection under the law – protection against unlawful discrimination.
- Your right to due process – fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
- Your right to privacy – freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities.
“I’m proud to sit on the foundation board of the ACLU Southern California.
Voltaire said, “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” But what does that really mean for us in America? We are lucky to have one of the strongest constitutional protections for speech in the world. However, the words on the document don’t mean anything without someone to enforce them. As the ACLU saying goes, freedom can’t protect itself. That’s why the ACLU has worked tirelessness to preserve the right of artists, political activists, war resisters and many others to express their beliefs and opinions, however critical of the government they may be.
I believe we have to judge our society not by how we treat the privileged and the empowered. We judge the civility and quality of our society by how we treat the silenced, the condemned, the undocumented, and all those whose views and rights are deemed inconvenient. The ACLU upholds the promise of the Constitution for those people. One day, some of you may find yourself in a position of holding an inconvenient view and looking to the ACLU for support. I am so proud of all of us for helping the ACLU fight the good fight. I am a member of the ACLU. You all are members in spirit. I hope that you will choose to become a member in practice.”
- Power Up Gambia – Our mission is to provide reliable electricity and water to healthcare facilities in The Gambia through solar energy.
“I first became involved with Power Up Gambia (PUG) a few years ago, after meeting its founder, Kathryn Cunningham Hall, at the Do Something Awards. Kathryn spent time volunteering in The Gambia’s Sulayman Junkung General Hospital (SJGH) in 2006, and witnessed people dying from deaths that could have been prevented on account of the lack of sufficient electricity. In some hospitals in The Gambia, generators only have enough energy to power hospital electricity for one to two hours per day! (Imagine a pregnant woman trying to plan to have her baby between 9:00-11:00 am)
Following her visit to the Gambia, Kathryn began fundraising to install solar panels on hospitals and medical clinics in The Gambia, in order to harness solar electricity. Solar panels are a viable and efficient solution to The Gambia’s energy problem. Since 2008, more than 108 solar panels have been installed at SJGH, thus providing hospitals with the essential energy that they need to power up lights, and lifesaving machines.
This organization impresses, inspires, and excites me. It’s the perfect combination of humanitarianism and environmentalism.
I’m hoping to visit The Gambia with PUG sometime soon. I’m also excited to pick up some tips for equipping my own home and the production set of HOUSE with solar panels as well. I live in Los Angeles–like in The Gambia, solar powered energy is just common sense!”
- Environmental Media Association – The Environmental Media Association believes that through television, film and music, the entertainment community has the power to influence the environmental awareness of millions of people. This initial concept set the stage for our 1989 launch and it remains a core EMA tenant today.
EMA mobilizes the entertainment industry in educating people about environmental issues, which in turn, inspires them to take action. A pioneer in linking the power of celebrity to environmental awareness, it was EMA who invented the ‘green carpet,’ launching the concept of taking a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle – not a limo – to high profile awards events and bringing the concept of alternative automotive technology to millions of previously unaware households.
“The Environmental Media Association (EMA), is an incredible organization that strives to promote environmental awareness through various forms of media, and in partnership with the entertainment industry. Their projects range from the “greening” of production sets for television and film, (including the “greening” of the HOUSE set, in progress!), to handing out awards to those creative individuals whose artistic work attempts to raise environmental consciousness.
The EMA also supports organic urban gardens in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Currently, the EMA works with 10 different elementary and high schools in LAUSD. The students and teachers are directly involved in every aspect of the garden–from the fertilization and planting, to the daily upkeeping (weeding and watering), to the harvesting, and most importantly–feasting!
I visited the 60,000 square foot garden plot at Venice High school in the end of February and was amazed by the diversity of edible delights. The students introduced me to the Wasabi plant. I’ve been eating it in my salads all week! Amazing for clearing up your sinuses! We planted carrots together, and I saw the most beautiful artichoke I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to return for the harvest in May!”
- W.E.A.P.O.N – W.E.A.P.O.N., is a response to a demand by African women and girls to have easy access to education and forum where their voices can be heard. With respect for local culture and values we work closely with communities to fund, cultivate and create education and arts initiatives, ensuring the opportunity for women and girls to become more self reliant.
Here’s the skinny: Small, grassroots organizations that focus on specific projects operated by the local community are often more effective and accountable than gargantuan, broad based, NGOs.
I am really excited about my good friend, actress Megalyn Echikunwoke’s, new education project for women and girls in Nigeria, her father’s native country. The mission of the organization, called W.E.A.P.O.N (Women, Education, Arts, Providing Opportunity Now!) is this:
“Project by project and community by community W.E.A.P.O.N will create partnerships with local leaders, art centers, schools, and existing organizations, to develop and provide funding for specific arts and education projects designed to empower and support the women and girls in that community.
There are a few reasons I like this idea.
- First of all, Megalyn, being Nigerian herself, has a personal connection to her cause that will never fade, regardless of how much (or little) it appears in the news.
- Second, her decision to support local projects on the ground that are already proving to be effective, and are only in need of additional support, is a smart one. For example, they will provide full secondary school scholarships to young women so they don’t have to drop out and lose their chance at escaping the cycle of wasted brain power that leads to maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, abuse, and other preventable tragedies. It is nearly impossible to import expertise into a foreign community without running into issues of trust, miscommunication, and fleeting fancy (when the volunteers have had enough and want to go back to Wisconsin.) By choosing to partner with existing education programs, W.E.A.P.O.N, and any other org that runs this way, is approaching the issue at hand with respect for the wisdom only gained from experience.
- Third, it’s an education program for girls! As I’ve quoted when discussing Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer prize winning journalists, and co-authors of Half The Sky,“There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism.
I have deep respect for this organization’s goal, and the way they intend to achieve it. They are passionate, and committed to being specific and effective, while respecting and collaborating with the local community. This is an example of someone identifying a problem and deciding to take action, despite the often harrowing and thankless process of running a small organization.
- TOMS Shoes – TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we’re all about. The TOMS One for One mission transforms our customers into benefactors, which allows us to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support.
I love my TOMS, and wear them almost every day, whether I’m in New York, Haiti, or Venice Beach. They’re unique, comfortable, fresh, funky, and fly. But wait, there’s more! With every pair of TOMS you buy, a pair of desperately needed shoes goes to a child in the developing world. Voila, ladies and gentlemen, you have done a great deed just by looking cool. This is not just a fashion statement, its a movement.
“Campaign Happiness…believes that happiness comes from giving… Inspires people to take action with purpose… Starts the conversation of what happiness means to each of us… Is an ongoing discovery.”
All quotes were taken from WildeThings.org