Emergency Assistance Welcomes Relief

May 15, 2009

EA logoThe wise actor knows that preparation is a key ingredient not only to success, but to survival as well. At no time is this more evident than the present!

Unfortunately, many actors have been hit hard financially, committed to a profession that offers no guarantees. Opportunities to supplement income are few in the face of economic recession, and the once-flourishing careers of some hard-working actors offer nothing in the way of financial security, through no fault of the actor.

Nor is the SAG Foundation itself immune to money woes. While the SAG Foundation is a separate organization from SAG, donations to the Foundation from major production companies are fewer as studios stand at odds with the Guild.

Still, the Foundation strives to stay as useful as possible to the actors who need our help, even while receiving an average of fifty requests for Emergency Assistance a day.  One such actor in need is Geri Jewell, who’d made a name for herself on the 1980s hit sitcom Facts of Life and had a regular role on HBO’s Deadwood. Geri fell victim to dire straits after the latter ended, and a $3,500 Emergency Assistance grant from the SAG Foundation proved to be, in her words, a lifesaver.

“It paid for my auto insurance, car payment, medical bills, telephone line and rent for that month,” said Jewell, 52. “It allowed me to take a breath and restructure in order to move to a less-expensive place. It was a godsend. When this turns around, hopefully I can turn it around for another actor.”

The past fiscal year saw several compassionate grants awarded to applicants facing dire straits due to a multitude of reasons. Circumstances brought on by age, health issues, addiction, death in the family, the writers’ strike and the current mortgage crisis have affected many. Fortunately, one grant is sometimes all that is needed to restore an actor’s pursuit of a happy, healthy livelihood.

Now more than ever, your contributions to the SAG Foundation are providing relief to actors and their loved ones. We hope you’ll continue giving to our cause, remembering that your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law while offering hope to those who need it. We also ask that you please share about the SAG Foundation with others, helping us further establish our identity as a non-profit organization.

Thank you for your support!