Michael Kelly (House of Cards, Netflix)
Thanks Mom & Dad Fund
When Michael Kelly accepts his Advocacy Award, the first people he says he’ll thank are his parents. After all, he’s being honored for his work with the Thanks Mom & Dad Fund
, founded by his mom, Maureen Kelly.
TMDF raises funds and makes grants to agencies and programs supporting seniors with services like home-delivered meals, adult daycare, rides to the doctor’s office and more.
“It is our duty as younger people to take care of those who took care of us,” Kelly says. “They got us where we are. A mom, dad, grandparent, mentor—whoever it might be—they were key in who we became.”
It’s kinder and gentler than anything you’d hear from Kelly’s character on the Netflix drama House of Cards
, where he plays cold, calculating Doug Stamper, right-hand man to power-hungry President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey).
This year, Kelly and others from the fund visited Stamper territory. They met with members of Congress and secured reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, enacted in 1965, which provides support for seniors in our country.
“It’s surreal for me that in D.C., Doug Stamper’s a rock star,” says Kelly, who is often stopped for photos in the nation’s Capitol.
But Kelly will take a million selfies with Hill staffers if it raises awareness of the dire need for senior care our nation faces.
“By 2050, the population of older Americans is expected to double,” says Kelly. “We don’t have adequate services or support.”
To meet that need, Kelly—currently filming Season 5 of House of Cards
—is working to expand the Thanks Mom & Dad Fund. “It’s going to take a big endowment, but we’re getting there.”