Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

Highlights

Open
AARP Real Possibilities

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

AARP Auto Buying Program

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

Inspire Awards 2006 Honorees

Jane Kaczmarek, Actress and Philanthropist

Beautiful clothes—like money and silicone—are abundant in Hollywood. That's what actress Jane Kaczmarek realized back in 2002, post-9/11, when stars attending the Emmy Awards were asked to wear business attire instead of designer duds. Kaczmarek, 50, who had been nominated for her role as the angst-ridden suburban mom in Fox's Malcolm in the Middle, figured that rather than wasting the fancy clothes, celebrities might want to donate them for auction online, with the proceeds benefiting children. Now in its fourth year, the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, which Kaczmarek founded with her husband, actor Bradley Whitford (The West Wing), has raised more than $500,000 for Cure Autism Now and the Children's Defense Fund, among other organizations. Three years ago Jennifer Aniston's vintage Dior fetched $50,000, which went to immunize 50,000 children in Sudan. It's these kinds of results that drive Kaczmarek to tirelessly pick up the phone and ask, plead, and push for contributions. Raised in a middle-class Polish American family in the Midwest, Kaczmarek still abhors waste, counts her blessings—which include three healthy children—and believes in a Hollywood-style noblesse oblige. "Celebrity is a kind of currency that we can spend or squander, and I think we have a responsibility to spend it," she says. "My heart spills over knowing that an evening gown that no one will wear again is giving a child a real reason to smile."

 

*The name of this award was originally the Impact Award. In 2008, the awards were renamed as the Inspire Awards.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Downloadable mobile app from AARP® Roadside Assistance from Allstate.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.