Now that Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump are in a feud and war of words, it’s time to look at what they really do in the public forum.
Trump called Rosie “an animal” has hurled other epithets at her in the last day since O’Donnell baited him on “The View.” Trump’s sympathy level has since fallen.
But between these two prominent New Yorkers, I wondered: now that it’s Christmas time, who’s more charitable? Donald the self-proclaimed billionaire, or Rosie the talk show host and comic?
The answer: Rosie, as it turns out. Her For All the Kids Foundation gave away $1.9 million in 2004-2005 to children’s charities all over the United States. This is pretty remarkable, and something I didn’t know about it until I looked it up. The foundation benefits groups that help at risk kids, and even put a big chunk of change toward rebuilding a Head Start center in New York.
Rosie also has a second charity, called Rosie’s Broadway Kids. Last year she earmarked $375,000 for arts education in New York City public schools.
Trump is no slouch by any means when it comes to giving. But according to federal tax records and guidestar.org, his donations are substantially less than O’Donnell’s. In 2003-2004, his Donald J. Trump Foundation gave away $725,000 to a host of charities. While O’Donnell’s charities focus on her personal passion, children, Trump is more generic in his selections. The biggest winner was the United Way of New York City, with $250,000. His second favorite choices were the Police Athletic League and Damon Runyon Cancer Research, each with $100,000.
But O’Donnell, who supposedly has a much smaller net worth than Trump, is the winner. Maybe what they should do now is call a Christmas truce, and each write a check to the other’s foundation. That would be in the true holiday spirit. And if they’re looking for more places to send their tax-free dollars, may I suggest: Literacy Partners of New York; MusiCares Foundation; and Neediest Kids of Washington, DC (www.neediestkids.org). They need the money more than the lawyers who would have to work on a needless lawsuit!