Want to see Lady Gaga live? You’re not alone. Several of her upcoming shows for her extended North American Monster Ball Tour are already sold out.
Your best bet at snagging a ticket (and a VIP one to boot )…besides having to spend the rest of your savings this year?
Late last year, you may have caught our story of how Lady Gaga teamed up with Virgin Mobile USA on her 2009 Monster Ball Tour to fight youth homelessness — “Lady Gaga goes gaga over Virgin Mobile USA’s efforts to fight youth homelessness.”
To recap: Gaga fans, who volunteered eight hours of their time to a Virgin Mobile USA-designated homeless youth organization, received premium VIP tickets in a select number of cities.
Thanks the campaign’s great success — over 30,000 hours of community service was generated on top of $80,000 in donations to cause — Virgin recently announced that they will be extending the program to cover her upcoming Monster Ball 30-city extended tour.
“It’s such a tragic thing that’s happening on the streets that 2 million kids experience homelessness. The great thing about this program is that we definitely raised awareness of the plight of homeless youth,” says Dan Shulman, Virgin Mobile CEO. “And it was not just those that got the Free I.P. tickets that became more aware of the issue. Lady Gaga really got into the spirit of the program. She helped create a PSA that ran before each show, asking her ‘little monsters’ to text to donate and even offered to match these donations up to $25,000. Thanks to her passion for the cause, we were able to spread this message to all.”
To learn more about the upcoming Monster Ball Free I.P. program, click here.
But wait. This story is not over yet.
Virgin’s commitment to ending youth homelessness can be found elsewhere. The company is planning another Virgin Mobile FreeFest at the Merriweather Post Pavillion in Baltimore this May where 90% of their tickets will be free to those who volunteer. Further details can be found on the program can be found on their Facebook page here.
“But why stop a good thing?” asks Shulman, explaining how their commitment goes further.
Following their plan to extend the Free I.P. program from music to other forms of entertainment, Virgin Mobile has partnered with tennis star Melanie Oudin, who garnered quite a fan following and was named Newcomer of the Year by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour for her impressive performances at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.
“We’re quite excited by this new partnership with Melanie, ” says Shulman. “We plan to enable some lucky fans to get free tickets to this year’s US Open in exchange f0r volunteering.”
Virgin has donated some $3 million of marketing and direct investment support to local homeless agencies and has generated an additional $500,000 in donations over the years. Thanks to their commitment to the cause, Shulman accepted the Private Sector Achievement Award from the National Alliance to End Homelessness last Thursday in Washington, D.C.
“Every year, we pause to acknowledge the leaders in the field,” says Nan Roman, president of the Alliance, in a news release. “This year, we have the opportunity to honor four luminaries – people taking bold new steps, facing the hardest challenges, advancing the best solutions.”
So what did inspire all of these bold new steps from Virgin?
“I sometimes think about all of the ad dollars that are spent out there and what good we could do if we just took some of it and put it towards this issue. This issue also really resonates with our young demographic,” says Shulman. “As, I like to say, ‘It’s not just philanthropy; it’s good business.'”
Good business, indeed.
Want to connect further with this issue? Read about country music star Jimmy Wayne’s “Meet Me Halfway” trek across the U.S. to end youth homeless here.
To keep up with the latest in philanthropy, follow Kindness on Twitter @USATKindness.