American Morning

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December 22nd, 2009
06:52 AM ET

Madonna – Wednesday on American Morning

Editor's Note: In an American Morning original series, “Big Stars, Big Giving,” Alina Cho looks at celebrity philanthropy and how these big stars can make a big impact. Through one-on-one interviews with Elton John, Ben Stiller, Madonna, Martha Stewart and Richard Branson, she shares what causes have become their passion, and how you can get involved. In part three, Alina sits down with Madonna in a rare one-on-one. Wednesday, 6-9 a.m. ET – only on CNN.

To learn more about the organizations these stars have created to make a difference,

and how you can get involved, visit Impact Your World.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Lore

    Hey, JP if you think all Americans are ignorant (I'm assuming you are also) then why don't you go to Malawi and have a nice vacation.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  2. GMP

    I believe what Madonna has done is admirable to a degree in that she is helping others who are not as fortunate as herself, however pulling these children from their homeland and seeing herself as some sort of savior as a result leave a bad taste in my mouth. I believe she views these children as her pets and that she's been allowed to manipulate desperate people into allowing her to avoid the rules of adoption and take these children because of her status. I feel for the kids and what's to come as a result of her so-called fame. I happen to be half Malawian but am American by birth and still have family there that have been touched by AIDS. I will grant her this she has shed light on a country that has been forgotten for too long but, I think she should also put her money into US orphanages for unwanted children as well.

    December 24, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  3. LBW

    When you give that much money to another country, very little actually makes it to the people. The government heads keep most of the money and don't even thank you. We have poverty in our country, why not help the country that made you big?

    December 24, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  4. kat

    I have to agree with couple of others. All the celebraties go overseas to help others, but what about in their country where they were raised. So much unemployment,because jobs being done overseas. What about Michigan where Madonna is from. Why can't they help the hundreds of autoworkers out of a job whose children will not have presents this year. What about all the school closings going on around our country. What about the saying: "We need to help ourselves before we can help some one else." Please all the celebraties, what about adopting a child in US. This country has gotten so out of whack about helping other countries, what about ourselves. I know sounds selfish, but take a look around. There is no respect for others anymore.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  5. cordy

    Why does people always think that third world country kids need proper schooling or health care? It's not like once they done with school, they are going to put that knowledge to work.

    It's good to give back and all, but why don't all those who make their money where they come from give back to their community.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  6. JP

    To all these ignorant Americans (is there any other kind really?) slamming Madonna because she has not adopted an AMERICAN child, I ask you this. What have YOU done for those children? Yeah, nothing right? Bunch of hypocrites.

    December 23, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  7. Louise

    I am saddened by how self-centered so many of these comments are–"what about helping the US first?" "What about American kids?" Madonna does and has supported many charities in the US and abroad since the early 80s and will continue to do so. Even so, can some of you at least stop and think that although there are impoverished children in the US who are struggling, they at least have guaranteed K-12 education and food, shelter, and other opportunities are available via social services & the taxes we pay to fund such programs (especially by someone who gets millions deducted like Madonna). I'm not saying things are great in the US, but children in Malawi are in dire situations: they have nothing and are dying of starvation, disease, murder, and extreme conditions. There are only approximately 13-14m people in the whole country and 1-2 million of them are orphans (half are AIDS orphans), more than 1m are living with AIDS. There's an AIDS epidemic and the country is the 2nd poorest in the world (the US is one of the richest). The life expectancy there has decreased to around 40! Please keep that in mind before spewing those kinds of comments.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  8. !hype 2010

    I like the fact that Madonna is not above looking unknowledgeable. She really does seem to want to help and make people aware. She is I'm sure overloaded by people who want her help but at least she has taken the time over the last few years to see what she can do by someone who made a connection. We all know she has a big ego – but it seems even more so when something captivates her she has even the bigger heart. Keep rising awareness Madonna – this may be a bigger legacy in the long run than your music which I've always loved. Keep giving back for it is true – you have been given SO ENTIRELY much. Thank you for being!

    December 23, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  9. AF Blue

    How bout these celebrities focus on the children within the United States that are homeless or in temporary homes that could be adopted instead of pouring ridiculous amounts of money into foreign countries children. Don't get me wrong it's a great gesture, but it shouldn't be about publicity, it's should be about the children.

    December 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  10. Buffalo Grove Resident

    Hey Madonna! How about adopting abandonded American kids orphaned by HIV, or by the war zones in our cities?
    I guess it gives you less publicity than adopting someone from Africa. What a bunch of ...

    December 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  11. DD

    Why can't she help American Children? Is she anti American?

    December 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
    • Matt

      She is not anti-American by helping few African kids; kids in America have much more opportunities than those unfortunate kids in Africa. That is the type of questions that make many to feel Americans are stupid and lack knowledge about other countries.

      December 23, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  12. Rob Lisenby

    Apparently orphans in America are a ton more advantaged then kids in obscure African nations therefore are not worthy of the maternal powers of Angelina Jolie and Madonna.

    It must be awesome to have enough money to flash at government officials and away you go with a kid over there while over here there is too much red tape determining if people are going to be good loving parents.

    December 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  13. Augusuts

    Too bad celebrities could care less about the suffering of children in our own country. In Chicago children starve in the cold without food and are shot at by the gangs when they walk to school. It is irritating, they must have a very low opinion of poor kids in America.

    December 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  14. Scott Martin-Oldfield

    Madonna herself candidly admits she knew nothing about Malawi or where it was in Africa, and neither did I when I viewed this article. Perhaps a graphic showing its location would be helpful to others?

    December 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
    • Matt

      Get the African map online and look for Malawi; it is that simple. Wow.

      December 23, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  15. Kimbiqua

    I think it's fantastic what she's doing. I only wish I had the means to make such a large, lasting impact. I admire you Madonna, and thank you for giving so much of what you have, both in money, and as a Mom, helping those who need. Your impact could be felt for generations. Kudos.

    December 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  16. Penina Scullion

    Brent, I met Elden this year at the Philly LiveSTRONG Challenge, just a couple of weeks after his Susan passed away. What an incredibly nice guy.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Jimbo98867

    Gotta love it how these "celebrities" will do anything to get publicity for 3rd world countries, but not lift a finger for the starving, abused, and neglected children in the good old USA.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  18. Joe

    Madonna is doing a great job for Africa, such as the country of Malawi, not for Africans. Maybe she have the sense of becoming someone, besides her celebrity profile, or maybe she is using her celebrity status and money over the poor people of Africa. I wonder if she ever going to leave her fortune to the same kids that are making her their savior.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  19. Lucy

    I think it's amazing that Madonna has done all that she has done for these children. Thank you Madonna!

    For the rest of the folks – everyone should contribute somehow and do some type of volunteer work, at minimal a few times a year. We would live in such a better world if we all did this. Seriously.

    As for Madonna's organization, and all organizations that help children – everyone should donate at least $1. If we all gave $1, we could make a world of difference.

    Again, kudos to this amazing woman, artist and humanitarian, Madonna!

    December 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  20. FZ

    Hilarious. Madonna's contribution is essentially PR, and CNN treats it as if these are real news items. Corporate INFOtainment people.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  21. Kris

    I love Madonna and have been a fan for so many years. I think motherhood has changed her and for being 51, she looks fabulous and hasn't let anything slow her down. I think what she's doing is great. But I'd wish she'd connect with her fans more, besides doing concerts. I think she should auction off a dinner with her on Ebay for charity or something,,, that would be awesome!!

    December 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  22. Brady

    I wonder if Madonna realizes that there a lot of AMERICAN children that live in squalor and go without everyday? I am not saying that what she does should go without notice. However, Madonna's charity should begin where she makes her money, AT HOME.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  23. Wondering

    Its great that the celebrities are doing phenomenal charity .. its a good cause. I have always wondered – why don't they look at what is buring in their own backyard before venturing onto the neighbors yard? In USA there are so many underprivileged children; there are so many hungry children and there are so many children deprived of love .. why not do something substantial for these children too?

    December 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  24. Jerry

    I wish all the people who dog Madonna for everything she does would read this and watch her documentary. They would then see what a wonderful person she is. I love a line from one of her songs. "Hand fits giving, so do it!. That's what the gospel said to do."
    All of your fans love you Madonna...we know what a special person you are. As my mother always tells me...all that really matters in the end is what God thinks. I know He thinks you are wonderful too.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  25. Melissa Thering

    I don't understand why all these celebrities are raising money for other countries. There are millions Americans who need help...homeless, poverty, foreclosures, lack of health insurance and more. Think of our children here in the United States. Many schools lack funding to give appropriate educations. Yes, many third world countries need help, but we need to begin with our children. We want to raise them with a good education, food and healthcare. With that said, they will become adults who have learned the meaning of "pay it forward". Third world countries would not be neglected by our future leaders.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  26. Mike S

    Agreed, Celebrities have money and access to the media. The everyday person that raises money like Eldon did is a cause for celebration.

    December 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  27. nancy

    This is for Madonna ~~

    Gee, too bad there aren't any AMERICAN children that need adopting and a better life.

    December 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  28. James

    It's always been clear that Madonna is overtly ambitous to the point where it becomes ridiculous, but I've always found it puzzling that she gets so much flack. It's nothing new that she's using her money for something positive, which she has actually been doing for decades. Most celebrities younger than her lack the intelligence to achieve what she has done...

    December 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  29. Brent Kauth

    I saw your special on Ben Stiller this morning (and have been following his back and forth with livestrong for a few weeks). Much more impressive is what Eldon Nelson did at http://www.fatcyclist com. He managed to raise more than $135,000 in a matter of days by making an appeal on his blog. It’s a compelling story of how an everyday person (who happened to have lost his wife to cancer this year) can start something big, and deserves to be spotlighted alongside your celebrity profiles

    “Together, we raised more than $135,000 for LiveStrong and World Bicycle Relief. In just a few days. And believe me, I never lose sight of the fact that it’s all of you who are doing this incredibly generous thing — for LiveStrong, for World Bicycle Relief, and for me.” Eldon Nelson

    December 22, 2009 at 10:11 am |