Sean Astin Continuing Mother Patty Duke’s Activism With Charity Initiative
Actor Sean Astin has launched a new mental health fundraising initiative in a bid to continue his mother Patty Duke’s charity work following her death.
The Oscar-winning The Miracle Worker star passed away on Tuesday morning, and The Goonies actor has paid tribute to his beloved mom in a sweet post on Facebook.
In the statement, he begins, “I love you mom,” before sharing a few words from his family.
“This morning, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch and the exquisite artist, humanitarian, and champion for mental health, Anna PATTY DUKE Pearce, closed her eyes, quieted her pain and ascended to a beautiful place,” reads the post. “We celebrate the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life.”
Astin then revealed his new mission, adding, “Her work endures…” followed by a link to his Crowdrise campaign page for The Patty Duke Mental Health Project.
On the crowdfunding site, Astin continues to honor his mother’s work as a lifelong activist, remembering her as a “deeply committed and tireless WARRIOR” as she fought for equal rights and helped to raise awareness about AIDS and mental illness, particularly after going public with her own battle with manic depression in her 1987 autobiography Call Me Anna.
Her memoir was turned into a TV movie in 1990, and her follow-up book, A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depression Illness, was released in 1992.
“Her greatest achievement was confronting her mental illness and making her story public,” Astin writes on Crowdrise. “She crossed the Nation speaking and campaigning and lobbying for mental health. My mom took her place as a mental health advocate in the greatest tradition of noble leadership.”
He goes on to reveal his new initiative was something he had discussed with Duke during her final days, and he is hoping to use the publicly-donated funds to “fuel a multi-level approach to achieving results for those suffering with mental illness and their families and communities.”
He adds, “Public awareness campaigns, lobbying efforts, and supporting a multitude of mental health programs big and small will be organized, prioritized and vigorously pursued.”
“The funds raised here will establish the Patty Duke Mental Health Initiative. The legal expenses, the formation of a board of directors, the establishing of a location, the hiring of an experienced executive director to manage professional fundraising, initial staffing and all of the costs associated with launching an endeavor of this sort.”
Concluding his post, he writes, “Thank you for your love and support. On behalf of my mother, her husband, her children and grandchildren, her family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, supporters, partners and her adoring fans, I give a great big hug and much much love!!!”
As WENN went to press, the Crowdrise page had already raised $1,900 within an hour of going live.