Actor Ben Stiller from There’s Something About Mary and Meet the Fockers recently launched a new foundation to help build schools in poverty stricken areas around the globe. While you may be thinking, “Zoolander did what?” it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Reason being, Ben (or Zoolander…whatever) isn’t new to the philanthropy scene as he’s gone to Africa and Haiti multiple times since in 2009. On those trips, he and others helped raise money to rebuild the Cévérine School in Haiti which brought education to the minds of over 250 children. Once the earthquake hit, the school and its education were gone. It was then that he realized an area of focus should fall on proper education, alongside providing food and healthcare.
To create even greater contributions, Ben started a foundation which would develop initiatives that support high-quality schools and bring education to the hands of youth everywhere. It would also bring awareness to help solve issues of poverty and education in Haiti and concentrate any type of donations or funds to such areas. With such a great mission and goal at heart, the only thing left to do was to give it a name. Of course Ben thought of the obvious “Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too”, but imagine typing that into your URL. Other names that didn’t make the cut included “The Ben Cross” and “No Child Left Ben-Hind”. Instead of using some name that references his own, he looked to top paid actress Jennifer Aniston and created the promo (below) with the title SeeJenniferAnistonNakedFoundation.com. When explaining the decision to use the name, Ben simply stated, “It seemed like more people would go to that.” Yes Ben, yes they would.
A joke of course, clicking the link re-routes you to the Facebook page of the properly titled The Stiller Foundation. In spite of Bem being uncomfortable having a foundation named after him, the title works. On The Stiller Foundation’s Facebook page you get to be with Ben as he and others try to make schools for those in need. From pictures with kids to videos showing progress, you really get involved with the rebuilding with no filter. When it comes to the promo, Jennifer is clearly in on the joke. The promo for the foundation is light hearted, sprightly, and completely necessary for such a cause. Last thing one needs is another commercial of a drab voice over showing a child in unfair conditions; since they are so hard to watch it’s easier to turn away. Ben’s promo on the other hand is funny and keeps you watching to the end.
If you check out The Stiller Foundation website (above) you get to see the composition of everything from the Facebook page, promo, and more. The site contains work of the foundation, future plans, news and events, links to donate, and you even get to learn about Stiller Strong (right) . Stiller Strong is an initiative with Causecast and the Global Philanthropy Group. With a motto of “stealing great ideas from other people’s charities to build a school in Haiti,” Stiller is making great strides for a cause with humor as its base. In a set of witty viral videos featuring Owen Wilson, President Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Ryan Seacrest and many others Ben brings attention to his cause in some progressive ways. Yeah sex sells, but celebrities engage. Already gaining over $300,000 there is still more to go and we can all help. By donating or purchasing a Stiller Strong head band (starting at $14.99) all proceeds will go to rebuilding schools for those who need it—and who doesn’t need that?
After seeing this foundation I am so excited to see the effort and work done to help those in need. Honestly Ben I liked you in Tropic Thunder and I loved you in Zoolander, but with this foundation I respect you. Great work.
“The Stiller Foundation with Jennifer Aniston” Promo