The Black Eyed Peas' apl.de.ap is using the holiday season to give back. Last week he launched the Charity Dreams auction benefiting education in his native Philippines, where he serves as an educational ambassador.
With the "We Can Be Anything" event that kicked off at CharityDreams.com and lasts through 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, apl.de.ap is getting the word out and trying to help raise money and awareness for the cause.
Every bid will allow users to buy virtual books, pencils, chairs, desks and other supplies, and help build virtual classrooms in an effort to combine gaming, social networking and philanthropy. Each time a bidder finishes a virtual classroom, an actual classroom will be named for that bidder once construction is completed on the new schools.
"Building virtual classrooms was the brainchild of Charity Dreams. So many people play games online, it's a huge business — and so harnessing the power of the Charity Dreams community to help build classrooms just made a lot of sense," Apl told MTV News in an email. "Every time a bidder finishes building a classroom, the actual classroom will be named after them when it's built!"
While the students will get classrooms and school supplies, the lucky winning bidder will get a private jet flight out to Los Angeles to spend time in the studio with Apl creating a custom track in his or her honor. The BEP rapper will also cut a custom disc of the session and serve as the DJ at the winner's birthday party, where he will spin the song for the top-prize recipient and 50 of his or her friends.
The winning bidder will also get a 2012 collector's edition Ferrari, $250,000 in cash and a trip to Las Vegas with 10 friends to spend New Year's Eve with Fergie while staying in the "Real World" penthouse suite.
"I hope to build 10,000 classrooms in two years," apl.de.ap said, adding that he hopes to raise "as much as possible!!"
The initial fee to place a charity bid is 99 cents. Organizers expect the final package to go for no more than a few hundred dollars thanks to a system in which each bid increases the top price by just a fraction of a penny. Each bid will also entitle users to an app, music download or playlist curated by Apl and featuring an exclusive song or the chance to have Apl follow you on Twitter.