Friday, January 15, 2010

Humanitarian Work and Formula One

I have not posted much this week as my thoughts are in Haiti after the massive earthquake. As death numbers pile up and the aid trickles in and the Haitian people fight, I thought of high profile people that give money and resources in these sorts of situations. Then, the next logical though for me was thinking about F1 drivers and their charitable giving. I am sure there are a lot of drivers that give to charity or support worthy causes that go unreported or unnoticed. So, I wanted to point out some examples of drivers really doing some public things worth noting.

After the April 2009 earthquake in Italy, F1 drivers agreed to participate actively in charity events organized by 'Abruzzo nel cuore' and to donate memorabilia to be auctioned for the Abruzzo region and that fellow Italians Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella were leaders in this effort. In 2005, Trulli appeared in a UN World Food Program public service announcement designed to indicate the speed at which malnourished children are dying around the world and was quite active with this in 2004.

In January 2005, after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in December 2004, Michael Schumacher donated 10 million dollars to the victims. He actually donated quite bit in his time as it is believed he has donated some 50+ million dollars.

Fernando Alonso is an ambassador for UNICEF. UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. Also, the late Ayrton Senna started an organization bearing his name, the Ayrton Senna Foundation, a charity working for the human development of Brazilian children and youth. His charity has saved millions of children from sliding into the destruction of drugs, crime and life on the streets.

Some examples, but I am sure there are many others. Feel free to share comments of other examples of F1 charitable giving.

1 comment:

ChiliN said...

Interesting post.

The Wings of Life-logos on the Red Bull cars and the Faces for Charity-campaign immediately spring to mind when thinking about charity and F1. Also Williams started a charitable foundation in Angola some time ago. Then there seem to be more or less constant charity auctions and events during F1 weekends.

When it comes to drivers' charity, some examples that I can remember include Felipe Massa's charitable karting event in Brazil, Mark Webber's participation in the multi-sport charity event (where he broke his leg), Kimi Räikkönen's work with the SOS Children's Villages-organization and Heikki Kovalainen's annual charitable karting event in his hometown. Then there is Jenson Button who supports the Make-a-Wish foundation and has participated in a charity triathlon event, and I am sure that there are many more examples.

I also remember the people "around" F1 - Ecclestone, Mosley, etc. - doing something for charitable causes; donations, charity events, etc.