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Friday, November 9, 2018

7 Philanthropic Celebs Who Set a Great Example

Some of Hollywood’s most notable names have taken it upon themselves to share the wealth--literally. 

It’s no surprise that a number of celebrities have used their respective platforms to advocate for charities and causes that they feel passionate about in order to not only help fund different movements, but also help create awareness on how others can help. While we may not have millions of dollars to donate to certain organizations, we can still get involved in our own way by taking action and diving into our own philanthropic research.

To get started, here are 7 celebrity philanthropists who are taking initiative when it comes to charitable causes.

Oprah Winfrey: As one of the most affluent stars, Oprah has made it a point to dedicate her time, money and energy into numerous charities and organizations, including the National Child Protection Act, which established a national database of convicted child abusers and went on to be known as the "Oprah Bill.” She has donated millions of dollars over the years to various charities--Mississippi Animal Rescue, Project Cuddle and Free the Children to name a few--but most of her money tends to go to three organizations near and dear to her heart: The Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation.

John Legend: The celebrity activist took it upon himself to make a chance by establishing the Show Me Campaign, which "seeks to give every child access to a quality education," and also partnered with Millennium Promise Alliance to serve African villages in need, along with putting together FREEAMERICA, a multi-year culture campaign that aims to transform America's criminal justice system.

JK Rowling: Rowling paved a way for authors when she made Forbes’ billionaire list, however, the admirable star dropped off the list after donating an estimated $160 million in charitable donations. The Harry Potter writer supports a number of causes through her charitable trust, Volant, and is also the founder and president of the international children’s non-profit organization Lumos, which works to end the institutionalization of children globally and ensure all children grow up in a safe and caring environment. "You have a moral responsibility when you've been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently," Rowling said.

Beyonce: Queen B continues to set an example for fans everywhere. From the Survivor Foundation that she co-founded with best friend and former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, to the many donations made through her Beygood Foundation, for causes like relief efforts around the world and toy giveaways for children in need over the holidays, the singer wastes no time in lending a hand (or some stacks). She also recently announced her Formation Scholars program which is geared towards encouraging and supporting young and creative women. 

Chance the Rapper interacts with students during
computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia
Academy in Chicago. (Source: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)

Chance the Rapper: The Grammy winner has become a staple for change in his hometown of Chicago. He launched the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund to support arts in the public school system, and previously co-founded SocialWorks, a charity foundation devoted to empowering the youth that has raised over $2 million for Chicago Public Schools. His efforts clearly don’t go unnoticed, as he was also awarded BET’s 2017 Humanitarian Award by none other than Michelle Obama.

Angelina Jolie: This A-lister definitely has the means to donate large amounts of money to causes she’s passionate about, but Jolie has become one celeb that is about the action. Aside from creating the Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2006, which aids humanitarian efforts around the globe, the actress was appointed Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2012.

Emma Watson discussing the He for She Movement
at a UN conference. (Source: Borgen Magazine)
Emma Watson: The U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador and member of the HeForShe campaign has always been very vocal about her charitable efforts. In fact, she donated approximately $1.4 million to the anti-sexual harassment campaign, UK Justice and Equality Fund this year alone. "All of us are responsible for creating change, whatever industry you work in. We're asking everyone to help create a world we can be proud of—one that is safe, just and equal. Please join us and donate to the new Justice and Equality Fund, which will support frontline organizations that are working to end a culture where harassment and abuse are commonplace," she penned in an open letter. "Together we can spread our message, support the strong people of all genders who are taking such personal risks and make sure that this is one of those watershed moments in history where things never go back to the way they were before. This is the moment we stand together and say. #TIMESUP."

Written by out friend Bruna Nessif. Bruna Nessif, an advocate for personal development & a self-proclaimed hopeful romantic, is the author of Let That Shit Go: A Journey to Forgiveness, Healing & Understanding Love and founder of the website The Problem With Dating, a multimedia platform that provides entertaining yet thoughtful pieces about love, dating, self-reflection & spiritual growth. As a Lebanese woman, Bruna also feels strongly about addressing societal and psychological effects that occur for immigrants and their families. Her written work has been featured on multiple publications, including E! News, Playboy, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Bravo. She is currently enrolled in the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching to become a certified and accredited life coach for high conscious living in hopes of helping women tap into their full potential.

Please note: Many of the organizations listed in this article are not currently rated by Charity Navigator because they do not meet our criteria to be evaluated at this time. This is not either an endorsement or condemnation of their activities or operating behaviors. As always, Charity Navigator strongly encourages donors to do their research before making a gift. Please see our tips for evaluating an unrated charity here.

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