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[liberationtech] MEDIA: Philanthropist encourages volunteerism online -- Delete if not interested
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Wed Jan 20 15:17:13 PST 2010
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*Philanthropist Earl Stafford to launch online effort encouraging
By Avis Thomas-Lester
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 20, 2010; B03
Northern Virginia philanthropist Earl W. Stafford and comedian Bill Cosby
are planning to announce a new Internet-based effort on Wednesday to
encourage more Americans to volunteer by telling them about other people's
Doing Good: The People's Project will list volunteer opportunities and
provide information about groups that are engaging in volunteer projects,
The effort is a continuation of Stafford's People's Inaugural
which brought hundreds of poor, sick and homeless people to Washington to
participate in events surrounding President Obama's inauguration.
Stafford said he scheduled the announcement of his new effort on the first
anniversary of Obama's inauguration. Cosby has filmed a public service
announcement for the project.
Stafford, who last year sold his Centreville technology company to Lockheed
Martin, said he was prompted to encourage volunteerism after witnessing the
generosity of people who contacted him during the inauguration with offers
to help with his project.
Cosby said Tuesday that he got in touch with Stafford after hearing about
the People's Inaugural Ball. He praised Stafford's foundation for its work
in the United States and abroad in countries such as Haiti, where Stafford
has traveled three times on mission trips for his church. Stafford has given
$50,000 to the earthquake relief effort there and has pledged to match some
funds from other donors.
"I am an admirer of Mr. Stafford," said Cosby, who wore a sweatshirt
emblazoned with the words "Doing Good." "What he did really inspired Mrs.
Cosby to make me do what she wanted me to do, and that was to call Earl and
volunteer to give him an evening or a day of Bill Cosby to help him in
whatever promotion he wanted."
Stafford has been involved in charitable work for years. Last month, he was
recognized by the Salvation Army of Greater New York with its first Stand
Together Award. He was named last year to Ebony magazine's Power 150 and in
November was given the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Washington
chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Mary Virginia of Washington, who attended the People's Inaugural Ball, said
Stafford helped restore her "dignity."
Stafford said he received 9,000 calls and e-mails offering to help with the
"At the Stafford Foundation, our focus is to collaborate with others who
seek to do good, other agencies," he said. "So after the People's Inaugural
Project, we made a vow to stay in contact with our guests and those we
brought in. . . . We want to work with them to spread the word that doing
good feels good."
Cosby said that is why he signed on to help.
"It is a good idea for people to find out about groups that are doing good,"
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