The recent death of beloved comedian Robin Williams has inspired many tributes, but it also provided another opportunity for the infamous Westboro Baptist Church to get some attention. One organization came up with a genius move to offset the hate: It started a fund-raiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
A few hours after news of Williams’ death broke on Aug. 11, WBC announced a plan to picket his funeral. (Presumably, the anti-LGBT church takes issue with the actor’s roles as the cross-dressing Mrs. Doubtfire and a gay man in The Birdcage.) The nonprofit Planting Peace, whose mission is to spread peace around the world, soon started raising funds for St. Jude in honor of Williams.
“In keeping with our philosophy of addressing acts of hate and intolerance with compassion and love,” reads Planting Peace’s fund-raising page, “we are inviting the public to show their respect and support of a man who spent his life making others smile, who was always there for others in their time of need, and who supported the greater good through works of service and charity…. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital [is] a cause Mr. Williams passionately and publicly supported.”
Indeed, the comedian began appearing in commercials for the hospital in 2004. According to St. Jude, Williams never charged a fee for participating in events or promotions.
“His humor brought bright smiles and laughter to our patients,” the hospital said in a statement.
Williams’ 25-year-old daughter, Zelda, raised $9,000 for the hospital in less than a day after his death. In a separate effort, Planting Peace on Monday set a $30,000 goal to benefit St. Jude. As of today, it has received more than $40,000 and counting.
This isn’t the first time Planting Peace has challenged WBC. Last year it bought a house directly across from the church, painted it in rainbow colors, and named it the Equality House. The center is the headquarters of the Florida-based nonprofit’s activists in Kansas.
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Original article from TakePart
- Society & Culture
- Westboro Baptist Church
- St. Jude