WASHINGTON, March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FOX announced that the
Children's Defense Fund (CDF) will be among the select nonprofit
organizations featured on "Idol Gives Back," a special broadcast of
"American Idol" that will air Wednesday, April 9 (7:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on
"Idol Gives Back" seeks to raise awareness and funds for domestic and
international organizations that help children and young people, especially
those living in poverty in America and around the world. Academy Award(R)
winning actress and CDF Board Member Reese Witherspoon will highlight CDF's
work for children during the April 9 broadcast.
"The Children's Defense Fund is thrilled to be chosen as a recipient of
FOX's 2008 'Idol Gives Back' and grateful to FOX and our longtime friend
and Board Member Reese Witherspoon for showing the millions of American
Idol viewers nationwide that every step we take to improve the lives of
children improves the lives of all of us," said CDF President Marian Wright
Edelman. "As CDF turns 35 this year we could not ask for a better birthday
gift. Every 35 seconds a baby in the U.S. is born into poverty. The numbers
are staggering, and this partnership with American Idol offers us the
opportunity to share with the world the need to help change the lives of
millions of children who deserve a better start in life."
In addition to the Children's Defense Fund, "Idol Gives Back" will
raise funds for the Children's Health Fund, The Global Fund, Make It Right,
Malaria No More and Save the Children.
For 35 years, CDF has worked relentlessly to ensure a level playing
field for all children by lifting them out of poverty, protecting them from
abuse and neglect, and ensuring access to health care, quality education,
and a moral and spiritual foundation to help them succeed with the help of
caring adults and communities. Begun in 1973, CDF is a private, nonprofit
organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual
donations and does not take government funds.
Ms. Witherspoon first learned of CDF while reading Mrs. Edelman's book,
The Measure of Our Success during a road trip from Nashville to Stanford
University. She later reread the book, decided she wanted to join CDF's
work and called the Children's Defense Fund to get involved. Since then Ms.
Witherspoon has regularly participated in voluntary fund-raising events and
contributed financially, including donating all of the proceeds from the
Legally Blonde Barbie(R) Dolls. She has met each year with all of the Beat
the Odds scholarship winners in California. Ms. Witherspoon has served on
CDF's Board since 2006 and was instrumental in organizing a CDF-sponsored
visit to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to reach out to
the children traumatized by the storm and help them receive the physical
and mental support needed to heal.
The brainchild of Simon Fuller, "Idol Gives Back" has been recognized
as a life-changing program, earning praise from many of the world's best
known figures including President George W. Bush, HRH Prince Charles and
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Last season, "Idol Gives Back"
garnered a prestigious Governor's Award Emmy and raised more than $76
million for charity. The star-studded special featured performances from
the "American Idol" stage, where Ryan Seacrest hosted alongside judges
Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.
For more information about the Children's Defense Fund, visit
CONTACT: Casey Aden-Wansbury
SOURCE Children's Defense Fund