Celebrities are truly blessed for they have love, adulation, accolades and means. And there are celebrities who believe in paying it forward and passing this blessing onto others and are known to be associated with many charities of their choosing. While some support causes like homelessness, animal rights, women’s rights and more, others concentrate on charities that support and eradicate hunger, mental illness, eating disorders etc. What is probably common in all such celebrities is that they truly believe that “no one has ever become poor by giving”.
Here is our list of the 8 celebrities who turned philanthropists:
- Ellen DeGeneres – The queen of talk shows, stand-up comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres is not only known for her hilarious antics on screen but also her benevolence off-screen. A self-confessed animal lover, the 60 year old celebrity is known for her love for animals and has been associated with many social causes. Ellen, a vegan, was named PETA’s “Woman of the Year” in 2009. In 2011, the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, named her special envoy for global AIDS awareness. DeGeneres has also raised funds for chronic stress and stress-related disorders.
- Oprah Winfrey –A champion for educational causes, actress and author Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to philanthropy. By the year 2012 Winfrey had already donated $400 million to educational causes and more than 400 scholarships to the More house College in Atlanta, Georgia. The first recipient of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, Oprah also donated $12 million in 2013 to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In 1998 Winfrey created Oprah’s Angel Network that has been supporting charitable endeavours and providing grants to non-profit organizations globally.
- Taylor Swift –The 28 year old Country Music star has proved time and again that age is again but a number if you genuinely want to make the world a better place. The crooner was named “The Most Charitable Celebrity” in 2012 and 2013 and with enough good reason. Already recognized by Do Something Awards and the Tennessee Disaster Services, Swift has also been the recipients of The Big Help Award and the Ripple of Hope Award. 2008 saw Taylor donating $100,000 in aid of the victims of the Iowa flood and she also contributed to the Louisiana flood relief fund and the Dolly Parton fire fund in 2016.
- Angelina Jolie –Often misconstrued by the media, the multiple award-winning actress Angelina Jolie has probably surpassed many celebrities in her quest to reach out to the people of a lesser God. Having been appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, Jolie has worked extensively with several charities supporting the cause of refugees in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Cambodia. She also met Afghan refugees in Pakistan and donated $1 million to the international United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) emergency appeal. In 2012 she was appointed the Special Envoy to High Commissioner Antonio Guterres. Jolie is also known for her extensive travels to war-ravaged regions and has worked with internally displaced people in more than 30 countries.
- Emma Watson –The fresh-faced Hermione Granger of the famed Harry Potter franchise is more than a pretty face. A Brown University alum, Emma was chosen as the UN Women Goodwill ambassador in 2014. Watson has extensively promoted girls’ education and has even travelled to Bangladesh and Zambia to further the cause. Her address at the UN Headquarters in New York promoting the HeForShe campaign, advocating gender equality, launched her into the league of philanthropic celebs.
- Leonardo DiCaprio – A known environmental activist, the cause closest to Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio’s heart is climate change or global warming. Having established his own charity The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, in 1998, Leo is devoted in protecting the world’s endangered species of animals like wild tigers in Nepal and gorillas in Central Africa. Apart from protecting endangered animals, Leo is also devoted to spreading the cause of environmental awareness with a strong focus on global warming, preserving the planet’s biodiversity and furthering the use of renewable energy.
- Bono – U2 frontman Paul David Hewson, who is better known to us as Bono is often quoted as the “face of fusion philanthropy”. The 57 year old Dubliner is dubbed so for his ability to collaborate with media organizations, religious leaders and politicians alike. Having been the recipient of multiple awards for his philanthropic efforts, Bono has recorded many songs whose proceeds have been donated to further various charitable causes.
- Beyoncé – Queen Bey as she is often referred to for her music, Beyoncé is also the queen of philanthropy. The 36 year old singer and actress founded the Survivor Foundation with fellow Destiny’s Child band member Kelly Rowland in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. The Survivor Foundation has since been involved in relief efforts in association with other charities around Houston, Texas. Her continued efforts to help and support people through various charities earned her the title of the Most Charitable Celebrity of 2016.
These celebrities prove that where there is a will to help people around us, there is a way. A life of luxury is a by-product of any celebrity’s life. But some do choose to bring about a change in somebody else’s life through their generosity.