Why Celebrities Leverage Their Influence to Help Us House More Veterans.
I told my 10 year-old not to write her name on the handle of her violin case, because the ink would quickly rub off due to friction and the oils in her hands. She still hesitated. When her not-yet-12 sister corroborated my statement with her less scientific opinion, that closed the deal. How can my nearly 40 years of experience compete with the idolization of an older sister?
It may seem shallow, at first glance, to allow ourselves to be influenced by idols or celebrities, however you define those words. But, as in the case of my two stepdaughters, they are closely connected. They are peers. They share a history full of emotion and memories. They have a bond that I, despite my best intentions, cannot equal. My youngest’s idolization of her sister means my almost 12 stepdaughter’s words and actions have a unique authority.
And so, in some ways, it is the case with famous people. Their words, their actions, their support or endorsement has a unique authority with their fans – people who have connected with them emotionally through their art. Whether because of a poignant scene from the screen or lyrics that become embedded in a memory, fans find themselves identifying with their idols. When that idol says this or that cause is significant, their fans pay attention. A voice they decided they trust carries weight with them.
What’s more, every single one of the artists who’ve lent their voice to the cause cares deeply. Out of all the hundreds of requests they get for their time, getting the word out about housing our veterans was one of the few they chose to give their attention to. We feel that makes their message even more compelling.
At Veterans Matter, we understand the power of connection. We know that when we tell you that our veterans are dying on the streets, you care. But we have observed repeatedly that when a musician or actor asks their fans to respond, even more people care. We enlist the help of celebrities because they are in a unique position to help us accomplish our mission: To house as many veterans as possible, as fast as possible.
Here are a few examples:
- When Katy Perry donated VIP party pack tickets & backstage passes, 22 more vets were housed. What’s more, a new region opened up that has the potential to house over 165 more veterans.
- When Kid Rock posted about us on his Facebook page, enough donations to house two more veteran families in his home state of Michigan poured in.
- When a whole group of artists and Cumulous Media came together to promote Veterans Matter around Memorial Day this year, we were able to get 50 more veterans off the streets.
- When author and speaker Mitch Albom joined the effort, a new chapter of Veterans Matter was launched with 16 veteran families immediately being welcomed into safe, permanent housing.
- When John Mellencamp threw his weight behind us to get Operation Indiana going, over $37,000 was raised in only 11 hours!
- When Dusty Hill of ZZ Top decided he wanted to get “all in” and house veterans in his home state of Texas, Operation Houston became a reality and has housed over 223 veterans to date.
As we gear up for another campaign this Veteran’s Day, aiming to reach even more people with PSA’s voiced by our celebrity supporters, we look forward to housing more of our heroes by leveraging the spotlight all of our friends and supporters give to us!