Celebrities donating to charity

I just read this link about JK Rowling donating a set of signed books to help raise “thousands of pounds” towards a sick 2-year-olds treatment for a horrible illness:


Okay, this may not be a popular opinion, I know, but I have a problem with this. I don’t understand why, since JK Rowling is a multi millionaire many times over, it is considered such a wonderful act for her to sign 5 books (which costs her NOTHING) that will raise “thousands of pounds”. Thousands of pounds will not cover the cost to save this little girl, fly her to America and pay for the hospital treatments. JK could easily cover this girl’s entire treatment without even noticing the cost. I’m not saying it wasn’t a nice thing to do, but if you love children, have the staggering amount of money that she does, why not go the distance?

BTW, this doesn’t just apply to JK Rowling. I was really angry when all the celebrities went on TV to beg for our money (in the U.S.) for the 9/11 victims and ended up raising about 10 million dollars, out of the pockets of people who work hard every day and probably donated in $100 increments, and probably felt the loss. We’re talking Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Oprah and about 50 other incredibly wealthy people. If they cared so much, why couldn’t they have shelled out a million or two out of their own pockets instead of just “endorsing” the fundraiser with their sacred presence?

Sorry, this just gets my goat.

I do love the Harry Potter books. Don’t flame me too badly. I’m a nice person.


Let’s say Rowling did foot the bill for this little girl. Then about the next one? And the next one? And the one after that? And so on. There’s (unfortunately) an unending supply of sick children.

She’s using her celebrity status to encourage others to give.

Well, poor JK Rowling. There’s also an unending supply of money for her. She’s currently richer than the Queen of England and I don’t see the money flow ending at any time in the forseeable future.

And so what if she continued to help sick children out? She would be doing real good in the world. Yes, she’d cure one life, then save another life, and another… do you really think she’s going to go bankrupt paying for cancer treatments?

I’m not suggesting she become the health care system for England, or any other country; however it makes me grit my teeth at all the accolades of kindness and generosity she is receiving. Sure, it was a nice thing to do, but if she truly thought about it and wanted to make a difference in the world and save children’s lives, why not use all those millions (probably billions by the time the Harry Potter craze is over with for good) to help real children?




I think this thread has the potential to be a Pit thread, since I don’t believe there’s a factual response to be had without asking Rowling herself.

I don’t mean for this to be a Pit thread. I am honestly asking a question as to whether I am the only one who has ever had this thought. Sorry if my response got heated. I am looking for a discussion, if anything.



How much, exactly, have you given to the girl’s cause? My guess is $0.00.

And you’re griping about someone making a gesture that will raise thousands of dollars.

I think your issue is more with your envy than with anyone elses charity.

Okay, then.

In that case maybe Great Debates is the proper forum.

There are plenty of people with plenty of money who don’t give a dime of it to anyone but themselves. Just because JK Rowling is rich doesn’t require her to give away millions. That she is doing anything at all, and bringing the girl’s plight to the attention of others is nothing to scoff at.

Seriously, I don’t understand the mentality that Rich = Obligated to the World.

No one gets rich on their own. Not to denigrate the hard work that people who actually make their own money put into it (as opposed to inherited wealth), but you can be the hardest worker in the world and if you don’t have a combination of other people and favorable circumstances you aren’t going to be successful. The idea that those who have received from others great wealth have some obligation to help out those who are not as fortunate is hardly an outlandish one.

Oh my goodness. You’re way off-base. I have given nothing to this girl’s cause because I read about it for the first time twenty minutes ago. Will I? Probably not, because I have to struggle to make ends meet with my own family.

I’m not griping that she made the gesture; I’m griping that she (and other ridiculously rich celebrities) get so much praise and are painted as saints for what is really more PR than any kind of real generous gesture. I’m sure she’s not a cold-blooded strategist; however, my point remains that she is not really going to help much compared to what she could do, with a little girl’s life on the line.

Envy? I never even thought about that. Envious of what? That JK has written a terrific and enormously popular serious of children’s books? Sure, I’d like to have done that, but I’m not a writer so I wouldn’t say I am envious. Envious that she has a lot of money? Uhhh… sure, okay. Yes, I will admit it. I would like to have a lot of money. However I have done nothing to earn a lot of money nor was I born into a wealthy family.

“Envy” on my part truly has nothing to do with my point. And please note that although I started the post because of the link about JK’s “contribution” (if you think about it, she’s actually going to make money, because someone will have bought the books and given them to her to sign), the post was really about all celebrities that donate their presence rather than the money and then are out spending like there’s no tomorrow and flaunting their wealth. It seems incredibly hypocritical to me.

I would like to hope, that if I ever came into an enormous amount of money, that I would be like Bill Gates and actually give large amounts to the needy (and he and his wife do it quietly, without making a big “look at me” about it). But who knows? Sometimes I think that money changes a person’s view of the world, especially if they did not grow up rich.


No, she’s not obligated to lift a finger. If I hadn’t seen the highly publicized article about the signed books being donated, I would never have even wondered what she does with her money. But to “bring the girl’s plight to the attention of others” who probably have to struggle to make ends meet, who are already spending money to read her books in the first place, strikes me as a pretty poor effort. How much better to quietly cover the costs of the poor girl’s treatments and say nothing? And yes, for all I know, this happens a lot. It’s the posturing and half-a$s efforts that tick me off because they stink of publicity. Didn’t her 5th book just come out in paperback?

Rich people are not obligated to help poor people. Or to help children dying of cancer because their parents can’t afford treatments.

But if they are going to go out and try to make themselves look good or feel good with a pathetic drop in the bucket “donation”, then they are being hypocrites.

They can spend all their money on cars and houses if they want or they can give it all to charity. Or they can choose to be somewhere in the middle and if they are worth $100 million, decide that maybe 1 million could be put to good use in the world. No obligation, just morals.

And since you will ask, yes, I donate what I can to charity. Me giving $100 to a charity is about the same as a million to George Clooney and his ilk.


I’m not saying that being wealthy doesn’t mean you should help out. I’m just saying that it’s never enough for some people. If she helps one girl, someone will say “Why didn’t she help one thousand children in Nigeria for the same amount of money?” If she helps 1000 kids in Nigeria, someone will say, “Why doesn’t she spend the money in the country that she benefits from?” It’s a no-win, never-happy situation.

And when her money ran out, she’d be tossed aside for the next millionaire.

So therefore, she should help no one? That’s some logic. Why save one life when you might be asked to save a second? Or a hundred more? Sure, draw the line wherever you feel is appropriate.

Apparently (and again, I am speaking io ignorance if she has done anything like this without alerting the media), her line to draw is to help no one, save for signing a few books. Wow, I’m in awe of the generosity. She had better stop though, or she’ll be asked to sign books for every cause out there.

Please. Where has general morality and decency disappeared to? This is what the rich are worried about? That if they help one person, they may have to help more? Oh, dear.


She’s not helping no one!

She is currently worth one billion dollars according to this link:


She has four more movies coming out, 2 more books (at least), and who knows how much in merchandising.

Is her money going to be running out any time soon?

I’m bothered that this is focusing solely on this one person, because I meant it as a general question about ultra-rich people in general, however I didn’t realize she was worth that much. I’m now even less impressed with her “donation”.


Of course, there are entire governments built around the notion that no one person should have more than any other.

Ummmm… I take this to mean “She is indeed helping someone, she is bringing the terrible plight of this child to the attention of the public who will then contribute the money to save her life.”

Yeah, that’s really big of her. The public are the ones that have to scrape up the money to buy her books, so naturally let’s let them pay for it rather than her, even though she wouldn’t notice the withdrawal from her bank account.

And I’m sure she is armed with a staff that is more than capable of turning away the droves of needy that could pop up begging for money if she gave money to this family.



OK the books are being sold at an auction. They are, by virtue of being signed, now very valuable, and will be bought by someone who will not being “scraping” to buy them, but by someone probably very rich themselves.

Um, yes, I actually meant that I thought we should all become Communists. You saw right through me.

I guess someone will bring up Hitler or the Nazis next and the thread will be closed? What was the name of that rule, back in the days of Usenet?