OnlyOnAOL: Lauren Miller-Rogen dishes on fun philanthropy Hilarity for Charity
Looking for a way to do some good this holiday season? Probably one of the most fun ways to give back is with Hilarity for Charity, an organization started by the ultimate funny man himself, Seth Rogen, and Lauren Miller-Rogen, an actress, writer and Seth Rogen's wife. HFC seeks to raise awareness among millennial generations about Alzheimer's Disease, and it does so with humor -- think a variety show where the theme is 'James Franco's Bar Mitzvah.' We wanted to learn more about such a cool program, so we called up Lauren Miller-Rogen to get the scoop.
HFC is something Miller-Rogen is particularly passionate about because of how it has directly affected her own life. "Unfortunately Alzheimer's has been a part of my life as long as I can remember," she said. Her grandfather passed from the disease when she was 12 and her grandmother passed away from dementia when she was 18. As if that weren't enough, "When I was 25 and my mom was only 55, she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's," she said.
At first, Miller-Rogen let it get to her: "I spent the first five years of my mom's diagnosis feeling very depressed and angry and alone and powerless, and then a dear friend came to me and said we should to a variety show to benefit the disease."
The first variety show was a huge success, largely because of Seth's involvement and his millennial fanbase. "Young people who saw my husband, who normally talks about marijuana, talking about Alzheimer's became interested in doing something and helping people," Miller-Rogen said. Not only does the variety show raise money for the cause, but the organization has also provided 24,700 hours of care through their partnership with Home Instead Senior Care.
The show has continued to grow, and James Franco's Bar Mitzvah this past October raised $2.5 million. Despite that Alzheimer's is a disease that skews older, HFC has created a reason for young people to care -- especially because it's so much fun!
"It's just a massive party," Miller-Rogen said of the annual event. "There are lots of classy Alzheimer's events -- we are not one of those."
Want to be part of the festivities? You can watch HFC's variety show online anytime on go90, you can volunteer to sit with Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes or you could donate to Alzheimer's research foundations.
"The best way to do charity is to think about what you can do," Miller-Rogen said. "Don't think, 'Oh, I'm not rich so I can't enter that contest.' Can you afford five dollars? Because that helps. Can you not afford a single dollar but can you write a letter to a senator? That helps. Can you sit with someone at a nursing home and hold their hands? That's free and that helps."
Another way to get involved is with HFC's Holiday Auction, which is live now through December 21! Click here to check it out. HFC also has a grant program, which is accepting applications until December 31!
If the holidays aren't the time to do something selfless, when is the time? Hilarity for Charity could be the perfect way for you to give back -- use a little laughter to tackle something like Alzheimer's, which really "sucks," as Seth Rogen would say.
More in holiday:
Olivia Wilde on giving back and being beautiful
Carol Burnett's unique take on holiday gift giving
A look backstage at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular