LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Actor Matthew McConaughey appears in a new public service announcement that encourages giving back to veterans and military families who have given so much in service to our country. The spot is one of a series of PSAs to be launched this fall on all major broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC - as part of the Entertainment Industry Foundation's iParticipate national initiative to promote volunteerism and benefit the Major League Baseball-launched and supported Welcome Back Veterans (www.welcomebackveterans.org).
In the 30 second spot, McConaughey visits with veterans, service men and women and their families to pay his respect to their service while reminding us we can say thank you in so many ways. "It's our duty to serve veterans and military families who serve their country in the most difficult ways imaginable," McConaughey says in the PSA. "Let's honor their service with ours."
Produced by filmmaker Jesse Dylan with his agency FreeForm, the PSA emphasizes that small acts of kindness make a big difference in the lives of military men and women and their families. The PSA was developed with support from Major League Baseball (MLB) and its Welcome Back Veterans program, which has teamed with iParticipate to help veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families with treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as job opportunities, to raise funds and volunteer support.
"With Major League Baseball teaming with the entertainment industry and stars like Matthew McConaughey, we are confident that our collective voice will help create a groundswell of support for our returning Veterans," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "I hope this program can demonstrate to the brave men and women who serve our country that we respect their sacrifices and honor their bravery."
EIF is mobilizing the entire entertainment community around the ground-breaking, multi-year iParticipate campaign, which promotes a new way of thinking about service and seeks to persuade millions more Americans to volunteer regularly. As a centerpiece, the major broadcast networks and others will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and PSAs with inspirational messages and storylines about volunteerism. More than 60 shows have signed up to participate.
Other elements of EIF iParticipate initiative include:
- a dedicated website iParticipate.org, designed to make it easier than ever before for millions of Americans to find volunteer opportunities in their local communities across five key areas of service: Children and Education, Community Health and Wellness, Financial Security, Environmental Conservation, and Support for Veterans and Military Families. The website features calendars of events, maps, digital tool kits and uses the power of social networking vehicles like Facebook, making it simple for individuals not only to volunteer, but to recruit friends to join them;
- a series of celebrity-driven public service announcements that will reinforce the importance of volunteerism and supporting causes like Welcome Back Veterans. Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman and Faith Hill are among the performers featured in the PSAs.
- grants from the Entertainment Industry Foundation to key volunteer organizations to help build capacity to accept, train and deploy volunteers.
iParticipate was recently launched in New York's Times Square. EIF was joined by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 15 mayors from around the country, numerous celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher, Tyler Perry, Tim Daly (ABC), Christine Baranski (CBS), Randy Jackson (FOX), Michelle Trachtenberg (NBC), among others, and key service groups to launch the initiative.
The rate at which Americans volunteer regularly has not increased in 40 years and has generally remained around 26%, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of all people who currently volunteer started because they were asked by someone they know.
Boasting a diverse resume actor and producer Matthew McConaughey has earned a wide array of credits working with some of the industry's top actors and directors. His film credits include Dazed and Confused, A Time to Kill, Contact, Amistad, U-571, The Newton Boys, EdTv, The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, Sahara and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
In addition to his film career Matthew also takes the time to give back. In 2008 he started the just keep livin Foundation which is dedicated to helping boys and girls transform into men and women through programs that teach the importance of decision making, health, education, and active living.
The just keep livin Foundation has partnered with Communities in Schools in West Los Angeles to implement fitness and wellness programs in two large, urban high schools. CIS is the nation's largest, non-profit, dropout prevention organization. We know through the amazing work CIS does for underserved students throughout the nation, and in our community, that we can make a difference in keeping students and helping them graduate. Through the just keep livin afterschool program we give these kids a healthy start in life and the promise of a healthy future. www.jklivinfoundation.org
About Major League Baseball / Welcome Back Veterans
Launched by Major League Baseball and created by New York Mets Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon, and a group of private citizens, Welcome Back Veterans support veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by addressing the PTSD needs of the veterans and their families as well as providing job opportunities. Major League Baseball, in partnership with the McCormick Foundation, has raised money through auctions on MLB.com, sales of special stars and stripes logoed caps that have been worn by all 30 clubs, and other fund raising activities. To date, Welcome Back Veterans has awarded $5.8 million in grants to 24 non-profit agencies providing service and assistance to returning veterans. Welcome Back Veterans has teamed with the University Hospitals of Wiell Cornell Medical Center in New York, the University of Michigan and Stanford University, to develop a series of national clinics to treat PTSD in returning veterans and their families. Visit www.welcomebackveterans.org.
About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
The Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the leading charitable organization of entertainment industry, and has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues. Visit www.eifoundation.org or www.iParticipate.org.
SOURCE Entertainment Industry Foundation