Pastor Joel Osteen's niece, Olivia Osteen, and Jake Short, star of the Disney comedy hit show "A.N.T. Farm," are promoting a nationwide charity aimed at fighting hunger in schools through a public service announcement filmed at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
The PSA spot is to promote "Blessings in a Backpack," an initiative through which volunteers donate their time each Friday putting food in backpacks of underprivileged children heading home for the weekend – in many cases their homes are without food, and some of the children have no home at all.
Produced by Gregory James Blount from a Delray Beach, Fla.-based entertainment company, Sound Tree Entertainment, the spot shows Jake and Olivia's efforts packing backpacks and detailing how others can help.
"Jake and Olivia actually support their own schools," Blount, who has wide-ranging experience in the entertainment industry, says in a statement. "Jake supports the Village Academy with me in Delray Beach, Florida, where he visited the school last year."
Olivia supports the Janowski Elementary School in Houston. "Because I've had the opportunity to travel to Africa many times, I've met a lot of people who are hungry, even malnourished," she is quoted as saying. "And through 'Blessings in a Backpack,' I've met kids who for different reasons need help with weekend meals. It's easy to think hunger only affects certain countries, but the truth is, there are hungry people living in America and your own city."
"The entertainment industry is a tough business and I think it's wonderful when you have young talent who understand the importance of giving back while they're climbing the ladder of success," says Blount. "Jake and Olivia understand this and are making a difference."
Meanwhile, Pastor Osteen will host "Night of Hope" at Marlins Stadium in Miami, Fla., on Saturday.
"We pray not only will attendees find uplifting hope and unity in the message they hear that evening and throughout the week with the Generation Hope Project, but that visitors will enjoy the many cultural tastes and sounds of Miami," Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said of the event.
Osteen reaches millions of viewers around the world through his television ministry, and has held more than 100 "Night of Hope" events across the United States since 2004.