In recent years, New Jersey has gained a reputation as the “arm pit of America.” It is stereotyped as the breeding ground of reality stars, guido muscle heads, and drunk college girls. Yet in the past month, New Jersey’s citizens have proven that they deserve more credit than they have been given. Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey shore in late October and sent shock waves through the state. It is during this time of crisis that people have shown their true colors and made strides to help the tragedy stricken people of New Jersey. Yet this brings up the question of what intentions these people and companies have in helping the people of New Jersey…
There seem to be three different categories of aid that occurred after Hurricane Sandy. There is comradery, charity, and celebrity. Comradery was exhibited within the community. Local Boy Scout troops, church groups, etc. tried to assist their neighbors in whatever way they could. Common acts of comradery included sharing generators, working at food banks, collecting canned food, sharing a residence with individuals that lost their own, etc. New Jerseyans really seemed to reach beyond themselves in an effort to help their neighbors.
Restore the Shore is a new organization that has also made an effort to help the people of New Jersey. They created a line of sweaters and tee shirts and all of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross to help Hurricane Sandy Victims. Restore the Shore has made themselves known through MTV advertisements, Facebook posts, and even benefit concerts.
Although most of the groups that tried to help hurricane survivors were very helpful and did this out of the kindness of their hearts, not every group seemed to have this same motivation. Stores such as American Apparel, Loews, and H&M have all advertised sales and discounts for Hurricane Sandy victims. Also, celebrities like Lady Gaga, Snooki, and Chelsea Handler have all made donations to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. These are all big names in the world of consumerism and big business and this has left many people wondering what their motives were in helping hurricane victims. In the cynical world we live in today, one does question if celebrities and companies help natural disaster victims out of the kindness of their hearts or to create a benevolent facade to attract fans and buyers in the future.
So I ask you…
Do you feel corporations create donations/customer sales out of purely corporate social responsibility?
Do you feel that celebrities should privately donate to show the truly kind intentions of their donations?
Even if deceptive PR is used while companies or individuals help hurricane victims, is this really such a bad thing?