Morgan Freeman Appears in New PSA Asking Americans to Volunteer for Others' Health

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 General News
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PSA Developed With Support From The Medco Foundation's "Give Health A Hand" Initiative

Part of New Volunteer Initiative Called iParticipate Led By The Entertainment Industry Foundation

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman appears in a new Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) public service announcement that encourages Americans to volunteer their time to care for someone else's health. The spot is one of a series of PSAs that all major broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC - will launch this fall as part of the EIF's iParticipate national initiative to promote service and volunteering.

The 30-second spot featuring Freeman likens volunteers to superheroes. While superheroes may fly and bend steel, becoming a real hero is as simple as volunteering for someone else's health. "By providing comfort, lending a hand, or simply keeping us on track. Everyone's health needs a hero. Who will you look out for?" Freeman asks.

Freeman dedicates much of his time to giving back as the founder of PLAN!T NOW, an organization focused on natural disaster preparedness. Initially founded in response to the wake of death and destruction left by Hurricane Ivan on the island of Grenada, PLAN!T NOW advocates empowerment of people through information and connection, and creates dialogue between people living in hurricane and severe-storm affected areas and those who should prepare in coastal regions of the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Produced by filmmaker Jesse Dylan with his agency FreeForm, the PSA asks Americans to find a volunteer opportunity at The PSA was developed with support from Medco Health Solutions, Inc., in conjunction with the Medco Foundation and its "Give Heath A Hand" program, which has teamed with iParticipate to offer every American the opportunity to close gaps in our healthcare system and help others get healthy.

"Through our collaboration with the Entertainment Industry Foundation we hope to inspire all Americans to become actively involved in addressing healthcare issues. Solving the healthcare crisis begins with each of us as individuals reaching out - one person to another," said Jay Silverstein, a director of the Medco Foundation. "The Medco Foundation is considering ways to collaborate with those on the front line of health care, and to provide critical information that could help improve the health of family and friends."

EIF is mobilizing the entire entertainment community around the ground-breaking, multi-year iParticipate campaign, which promotes a new way of thinking about service and seeks to persuade millions more Americans to volunteer regularly. As a centerpiece, the major broadcast networks and others will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and PSAs with inspirational messages and storylines about volunteerism. More than 60 shows have signed up to participate.

Other elements of EIF iParticipate initiative include:

iParticipate was recently launched in New York's Times Square. EIF was joined by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 15 mayors from around the country, numerous celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher, Tyler Perry, Tim Daly (ABC), Christine Baranski (CBS), Randy Jackson (FOX), and Michelle Trachtenberg (NBC), among others, and key service groups to launch the initiative.

The rate at which Americans volunteer regularly has not increased in 40 years and has generally remained around 26%, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of all people who currently volunteer started because they were asked by someone they know.

About The Medco Foundation

The Medco Foundation was established with the generous support of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. The Foundation focuses on supporting activities aimed at educating and informing the general public about health, wellness and medicine safety issues; providing low income, disadvantaged and other distressed populations and communities with access to medicine and information about medicine; and fostering and promoting opportunities for volunteerism and civic engagement generally. The Medco Foundation is in the process of applying to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) corporation. For more information, go to

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation

The Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the leading charitable organization of entertainment industry, and has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues. Visit or

-- a dedicated website, designed to make it easier than ever before for millions of Americans to find volunteer opportunities in their local communities across five key areas of service: Children and Education, Community Health and Wellness, Financial Security, Environmental Conservation, and Support for Veterans and Military Families. The website features calendars of events, maps, digital tool kits and uses the power of social networking vehicles like Facebook, making it simple for individuals not only to volunteer, but to recruit friends to join them; -- a series of celebrity-driven public service announcements that will reinforce the importance of volunteerism. Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Faith Hill, and Matthew McConaughey are among the performers featured in the PSAs. -- grants from the Entertainment Industry Foundation to key volunteer organizations to help build capacity to accept, train and deploy volunteers.

SOURCE The Entertainment Industry Foundation

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