Last week, Look To The Stars brought you news about an online auction that features one-of-a-kind collectible elephant models signed by celebrities to be auctioned for a number of charities. Family Health International, a nonprofit public health and development organization working to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people, announced today that Taylor Swift, Jonas Brothers, Hugh Jackman, Heidi Klum and Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi have signed the custom ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT models on behalf of the organization.

These unique and collectible models will be auctioned on eBay [Oct. 5–15, 2009] at Proceeds of the auction of these elephants will benefit Family Health International’s programs that provide basic needs for some of the 12 million African children orphaned by AIDS, including healthcare, food and nutrition, clean water, shelter, clothing, education, psychosocial support, and protection.

“Family Health International is deeply grateful to these celebrities for lending their names to help address one of the world’s most serious problems. Their support raises awareness of the crisis and brings real help to children orphaned by AIDS in Africa—not just help to survive but to thrive,” said Al Siemens, CEO of Family Health International.

Catherine Thompson, Family Health International/Zambia country director, said “Children’s basic needs go far beyond prevention, care, and treatment of HIV and AIDS. They need access to food, shelter, basic education, and protection from abuse. With so many older orphans raising their younger siblings, income generating activities can help them break out of the poverty cycle, keep what’s left of their families together, and ensure a healthier and more secure future.” Thompson added, “This requires close collaboration with government, local communities, and people living with HIV and AIDS to establish sustainable locally owned programs of high quality.”

PROJECT ZAMBI, a program conceived by a passionate group of Hasbro employees, is a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness of the estimated 12 million children who have been orphaned as a result of the AIDS epidemic in Africa and supporting the community-based organizations that care for them. To help bring PROJECT ZAMBI to life, Hasbro has introduced ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT, a special edition FURREAL FRIENDS animatronic plush toy. Hasbro has committed to donate 50 percent of the net profits —a minimum of $500,000 (in U.S. dollars) to the PROJECT ZAMBI Fund, part of the Hasbro Children’s Fund, beginning in 2009, and hopes to expand this global campaign to include additional Hasbro products and brands in the years to come. As a leader in the global response to HIV/AIDS, and because of its integrated approach to delivering public health programs based on scientific research, Family Health International was selected as a beneficiary for the PROJECT ZAMBI initiative.

Siemens said, “The work of Hasbro, the Hasbro Children’s Fund, and other partner organizations is critical to alleviating the untold suffering of children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Through our efforts, and the support of caring donors like those who participate in the PROJECT ZAMBI Celebrity Auction, we can offer these children hope and life-saving treatments that keep parents alive and healthy to prevent more children from being orphaned.”

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