By Peter J. Smith

NEW YORK, July 17, 2008 ( - US mobile phone provider Virgin Mobile has come up with a novel idea to help the homeless and has asked the youth of America to help by filming themselves "taking it off" and posting their strip-teases online for charity. This way the company says it will donate one article of clothing for every five viewers of each strip video posted on its website.

Virgin Mobile’s donation drive is called "Strip2Clothe" and has adopted the slogan, "You take yours off, we donate ours." The 30-something strip-teases that have been uploaded so far show young men and women dancing provocatively while pulling off layers, with some stripping down to their undergarments.

The "Strip2Clothe" website today lists over 80,300 donations, meaning Virgin’s amateur strip show has attracted over 401,500 views and counting.

"The truth is someone out there needs clothes more than you do. And the logic is pretty simple: take ‘the shirt off your back’ so we can put clothing on theirs," Virgin says on its website.

Virgin attests that they have people screening every strip video for approval, but asks would-be strippers for no cursing or full nudity: "Think bathing suit, not birthday suit." The company says, "viral video has never had such an awesome cause."

The "Strip2Clothe" drive has horrified parents, charities, and youth and family organizations with some saying that the campaign amounts to a gross exploitation of young people via the internet.

Virgin Mobile, however, has refused thus far to back down.

The drive enraged many of the 150 organizations serving the homeless that are affiliated with the National Network for Youth (NN4Y), which said they were neither consulted nor informed beforehand by the NN4Y. The NN4Y cut their ties with Virgin’s campaign earlier this week

"We applaud their decision to disassociate themselves from the campaign," said Rebecca Lentz, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, which runs a shelter in Minneapolis for young people ages 16 to 21, according to the Star Tribune. "The campaign ... exploits sex to help a population that is frequently exploited by sex to meet their basic needs of food and shelter."

To contact the chairman of Virgin Mobile USA

To contact Virgin Mobile Public Relations Department