This story falls into the "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" catagory:
Last week, Virgin Mobile and the National Network For Youth embarked on a web campaign to raise clothing donations for homeless youth. Yawn, right? So to ratchet up support for the benefit, they encouraged the young and altruistic to post strip tease videos on their website. The more views on their stripping posts, the more donations of new clothes theyd provide. The website name says it all: Strip2Clothe.com (go ahead, I'll wait).
Their slogan is just as catchy: "Take off yours, we donate ours."
Not surprisingly, a firestorm ensued, most notably by some of the charities under the NN4Y umbrella.
"Strip2Clothe" has sparked outrage among NN4Y's own members. Some groups say they were never consulted about the concept and are appalled by the idea of young people stripping as a means to get clothes for other young people. The organizations' names have since been taken off the site.
"It was a shock to everybody," said Trudee Able-Peterson, coordinator of outreach services at StreetWorks, a Twin Cities collaborative of outreach programs. "This is the message we send kids? That my granddaughter, who's 17, should strip to provide clothes for other kids?"
Rebecca Lentz, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, called it "distasteful and inappropriate and exploitative. We never authorized this nor were we ever approached to be involved."
At first glance, the concept seems a little edgy and innovative. But then you start thinking about all those homeless youth that are on the street because of sexual abuse. While full nudity is prohibited, there is no limit on ages. Hmmm ... on second thought, maybe having young people strip on the web for all sorts of pedophiles is not such a good idea.
The Star-Tribune reports the folks at Virgin Mobile and NN4Y are re-evaluating the concept, too. But they haven't ended the campaign.
So, what do you think? Were the folks at Virgin (oh!) thinking outside the box, or are they a bunch of pervs?