The Real Housewives is a reality franchise that I have loved a little too much over the years. One of my favorite “real housewives” is Bethenny Frankel, from the Real Housewives of New York City. She has always had a distinct personality, and I admire her authenticity, along with her entrepreneurial skills.
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Bethenny is different from the other “real housewives,” and maybe a lot of other celebrities as well. While it’s actually quite common for these wealthy women to support charities, it’s rare to see them get so involved in the way that Bethenny Frankel has. Last month, hurricane season started to hit the U.S. in a devastating way. It became apparent that there were issues of getting resources, as well as getting resources to the people in need of them. Bethenny, like many of us, wanted to help, and she used her charity B Strong initiative to make an impact. She noticed, in Puerto Rico specifically, that there were problems with getting resources to people. Some of the people Bethenny talked to were indifferent about this situation, but she felt that she had to help. Since then, B Strong has partnered with the Delivering Good organization. Two weeks ago, she reported that the organization was able to send 40 planes to Puerto Rico, filled with supplies, and that they would also be used to transport those who needed medical attention. Bethenny has also traveled to both Mexico and Puerto Rico to help directly. The money has been raised by everyday Americans, other celebrities, companies, and charities. Frankel told People Magazine that “it is a forgotten island. People have been living on their roofs for 13 days. It is like nothing I have ever seen.”
Since the hurricanes, Frankel has raised over $300,000 for Houston and $150,00 for Mexico, and it is projected that she is on track to raise over $1 million in donations for Puerto Rico. Bethenny has been using Twitter to gather people and to make connections. As she told People Magazine, “without Twitter, this never would have happened. Twitter users literally saved babies’ lives by connecting me to pediatric hospitals, allowing me to transport patients home.”
I am still amazed at the progress she has been able to make via Twitter. Social media is as good or bad as we make it, and Bethenny chose to use it to spread good in the world. I am also proud of her for not turning a blind eye to those in need. She knew she had, and could gather, the financial means to help, and he used her career knowledge to set up the logistics. I think that’s the biggest lesson to learn from this; we all have specific skills and talents that we can use to help other people. As Maya Angelou said, “it can be better and it must be better, but it is up to us.”
Olivia Pandora Stokes is 21 and entering her senior year as a business administration major, with a marketing concentration. She has a love of words, Netflix, and reading.She takes her coffee strong (Harvard scientists insist it's healthy for you) and her feminism intersectional. In the future Olivia Pandora plans write more and use business to create a positive impact in the world.