Clay appeared on CNN's special Larry King: How You Can Help tonight via satellite from Raleigh appealing to Americans to donate to organizations like the American Red Cross and Oxfan International in the wake of the recent category 5 hurricane that battered the United States Gulf Coast.
He shared his experiences working as a UNICEF ambassador, comparing the devastation in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to the damage he say in Indonisia after it was hit by a killer tsunami in in December 2004.
As CNN headed into a commercial-break, they showed pictures from the past week to the tune of I Will Carry You.
Transcript courtesy CNN
Joining us from Raleigh, North Carolina, is my buddy, Clay Aiken. Clay, of
course, the multi-platinum recording artist, the 2003 "American Idol" runner-up.
He was raised in North Carolina.
And you work with UNICEF a lot. UNICEF
does[n't] work internally, do they?
CLAY AIKEN, SINGER: No, actually
UNICEF, Larry, is an organization that has a mandate to work outside of the U.S.
They work with governments in developing nations, and they do work on projects
and governments with developed nations as well when they're asked by the
governments. So, they're not necessarily focused in the United States.
KING: So, what are you doing with regard to this tragedy?
Well, you know, I think what's interesting, and obviously I'm like most
Americans have been glued to the television for the last few days taking a look
at the damage and really feeling somewhat helpless, because I'm not able to be
there and help out and to be involved in the clean-up and the rescue process.
But one of the things that's really struck me while I've been watching TV is the
similarities, and it's hard to draw a comparison obviously, between this and the
But I was in Banda Aceh and [Meulaboh], Indonesia, in March of
this year. And it's amazing to look at some of the images on TV this week and
see some very similar sights that I saw in Indonesia.
But I guess the
thing that has struck me the most [or] did strike me the most in March when I
was in Indonesia was the amount of hope and resilience and just the attitude of
recovery and rebuilding that was in Indonesia in March. And I think that a thing
that really is resonating with me is the possibility of that here, because the
American people were without a doubt the most generous they've ever been when it
came to the tsunami. And it's amazing. The American spirit is really amazing.
And knowing that that type of help from the American people helped rebuild areas
like Indonesia and Sri Lanka and Thailand, and is going to be able to do that
here as long as people step up and support in whatever way they can. Obviously,
monetarily is the most important right now.
KING: [Are] you [giving]
AIKEN: Absolutely. You know, I think it's something that I
wish I had the time to do, but monetarily really is the way that people --
that's needed right now. Obviously [we] have to trust those organizations, like
the Red Cross. Oxfam is an organization that works outside of the U.S., similar
to UNICEF, but it's working inside the -- is mandated to work inside America as
well. Oxfamamerica.org, you can go to for that.
But those organizations
are the ones that we really have to trust to be able to do the work. I've seen
the work that UNICEF does elsewhere. And I know that other organizations that
work in the United States are able to do that same type of amazing work that
UNICEF does, yet do it here.
And so, I think the best thing to do
outside of sending -- instead of sending, you know, nonperishable food and
clothes right now, we have to be able to trust these people with our money...
AIKEN: ... and donate to that cause that way.
KING: Thank you, Clay Aiken, as always.
AIKEN: Thank you very
[closes out this portion with stills of disaster w/IWCY
played over the images]