I was reading a story the other day that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is going to help rebuild animal shelters across the US. Some people are claiming it is a way for her to rebuild her image after "Iggy gate.". For those that aren't into celebrity gossip (hey, we all have our guilty pleasures), "Iggy gate" is when Ellen gave her dog to her hairdresser because the dog wasn't a good fit for her household. This action broke the contract Ellen signed with the adoption agency, and the adoption agency took the dog back.
The whole story made me think: Is it a terrible thing if other people/animals benefit from someone who is just trying to build some good PR around themselves? In this case many animals are going to have better homes and lives because Ellen and her partner, Richard Thompson, are building new homes for them.
What about all the people that help out the community through various acts, which go unnoticed by the general public? Since we are all covered in snow in Boston, what about the people that go help shovel out an elderly or disabled person's driveway/sidewalk, or in Casey's post, help her out with her car? I am sure they get a hearty thank you from the individual they are assisting, but besides kudos in our blog, there is no media attention surrounding the good deeds they do.
So I ask: Is it okay to help out the community, even if it is only to gain some positive press? Or should we start giving more attention to the thoughtful acts of individuals whose acts go in general, unnoticed by the general public?