Celebrities visiting hospitals vs. donating

While browsing the web, I see many stories about celebrities giving back to their communities, but some types of giving back get more attention than others. Celebrities who visit kids in hospitals get a lot more admiration and respect from the internet than those who donate sometimes millions of dollars to charities that help children. I don’t think this is fair to those celebrities who donate their money, those who are truly doing something to help children.

One of the organizations that helps kids with terminal illnesses meet their celebrity idols is the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Sometimes, a child’s wish is to meet their favorite celebrity or character from a movie and this organization can make that happen. The problem with this is that those celebrities who do go visit children might only be doing it for publicity. Celebrities certainly get a lot of it from a hospital visit.

These visits don’t give the child anything that helps them with their disease. They make them smile and feel amazing, but all the while the parents could still be struggling with medical bills to keep their child in that hospital. The hospital itself might not be able to do much for the child because they don’t have money for the best equipment.

There have been studies that have shown long-term benefits to children who have received wishes, but the fact is that those celebrities who do visit the kids only benefit a few of them – the ones they visit – and only in certain ways.

Donations can help an organization benefit many more children.

Despite the fact that donations help more people, that’s not what those who write these stories are focusing on in this case. Many of the stories about celebrities visiting hospitals describe the photos of the celebrities with the kids as “cute” and “inspiring.” No one really thinks about the long-term effects of these visits on the kids or even the effects on the people reading the articles. These kinds of articles make it look like all these celebrities have hearts of gold. No one really writes about celebrities making donations unless they are larger than the average celebrity donation – it has become normal for famous people to donate to charity and people have become desensitized to this type of giving back.

There may be another reason why visits are more revered than donations. Money isn’t seen as a very compassionate thing by today’s society. The common phrase “throwing money at it” makes it seem like money is a way of dismissing the problem, trying to make it go away. Charities asking for monetary donations don’t seem as great to people as those who seek the donations of items or hours spent volunteering. The opposite of this ideas is true when it comes to charitable donations. Charities can do so much with that money, they can perform acts that are seen as compassionate by society because they have the money that was “thrown” at them by celebrities.

I’m not discouraging celebrity hospital visits as a whole, I just don’t think they should replace donations. There have been stories of visits that do benefit multiple people. The cast of the movie “The Avengers” was reported as showing up at a children’s hospital for a surprise visit with all the kids there. Other celebrities who don’t donate huge sums of money sometimes hold charity livestreams on YouTube or Twitch where they entertain their viewers and ask for small donations to the charity they are raising for in return. Some celebrities donate and visit children. No matter what each individual person does, actions that help more people should be held in higher regard and encouraged more than those that help some people and give the helper more publicity.

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