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Charitable Celebrities Are Quietly Saving The World

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Having millions of dollars certainly comes with charitable opportunities. You get to live a comfortable lifestyle, you can travel, and never have to worry about medical costs. If you’re a celebrity, you get the added benefit of fame and admiration from millions of people.

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But not all celebrities are just takers. We can reveal that some of your favorite celebrities are also some of the most charitable. Let’s take a look at all the things these folks do to give back to society. 

Elton John

When you’re Elton John, money is never a problem. Well, thankfully he has decided to give a lot of his money away to help with charitable organizations. According to the Sunday Times Giving List, John donates much of his money towards fighting HIV/AIDS. 

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Elton John even founded his own foundation that has spent 24 years fighting against the disease. Over his life, the singer has given millions of dollars and countless hours to promoting the eradication of the disease. 

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J.K. Rowling

This Harry Potter author has given so much money away that she subsequently fell off the Forbes billionaire list as a result. In total, Rowling has given away 160 million, roughly 16% of her fortune, to charitable causes.

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Today, J.K. Rowling often takes to Twitter to talk about the work that other people should do to also support the same causes she does. She has described her charity as ‘giving intelligently’ since she has admitted she has more than she needs.

George Michael

The world didn’t know how philanthropic George Michael was until his untimely death in 2016. The Wham! singer frequently donated to Childline, an organization helping children deal with trauma.

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Michael used to donate anonymously and knowledge of his charity became known after he died. He would often donate ONLY on the condition that no one knew what he was doing. It is expected that he gave ‘millions’ to Childline, as well as more than $21k to a random person who needed IVF treatment. 

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Portia de Rossi

De Rossi, the famous wife of Ellen, is just as philanthropic as her partner. In 2018, de Rossi appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and gifted Ellen with the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.

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The new fund, set up in her wife’s name, set out to preserve wildlife conservation and protect the environment. Currently, Portia de Rossi is in Rwanda helping endangered gorillas find homes and comfort across the country. De Rossi is taking a break from acting to work on philanthropic efforts.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie created the Jolie-Pitt Foundation with her former husband, Brad Pitt, back in 2006. Its primary aim was to assist in humanitarian aid around the world. In light of this, Angelina Jolie was actually appointed Special Convoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2012.

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Today, she is considered one of the most charitable and caring people in Hollywood. She continues to fight for refugee rights for countless people around the world. It is unclear how much money she has given away.

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Colin Kaepernick

You might remember Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem to protest oppression and racism. Outside of global PR stunts, the sports star does actually donate his money to charities that help fight police brutality and racial injustice.

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Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to organizations that worked in oppressed communities. With the help of some of his celebrity friends, he completed his pledge in January 2018. Today, he continues to kneel at the American flag for his cause. 

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres? More like Ellen The Generous. Fans of the sitcom star and chat show host are aware of her generosity, but most don’t know how far it can actually go. For example, her famous ‘Oscar Selfie’ raised more than $3 million – half of which she personally donated. 

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DeGeneres has often donated to places like St. Jude’s Hospital and The Humane Society. In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama for her charity efforts. 

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Nicki Minaj

Random acts of charity often follow Nicki Minaj when she isn’t touring the world. In 2017, she publicly pledged on Twitter to help pay off the student loans of her Twitter followers. Aside from that, the singer has also been sending money to villages in India.

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Writing on Instagram, the star confirmed her charity efforts to her fans. “This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud,” she said. Thanks to her contributions, the villages now have reading programs, computer centers, and improved infrastructure. 

John Legend

Legend by name, legend by reputation. It turns out that this EGOT performer is more than just a huge talent in Hollywood. After reading The End of Poverty by Earth Institute, the singer is dedicated to helping people in Ghana and other suffering countries. 

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Later, John Legend would go on to establish the Show Me Campaign, which aims to provide equal education to every child. Recently, he paid off a $5,000 student lunch debt for 99 different schools in Seattle. 

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Emma Watson

The former Harry Potter star has grown into more than just another Hollywood actress. According to reports, the star has donated more than $1.4 million to anti-sexual harassment campaigns, such as the UK Justice and Equality Fund. 

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Watson was eventually named as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, as well as a member of the HeForShe campaign. Today, Watson still appears in a few films every so often but is dedicated to continuing her philanthropic efforts. She can next be seen in Little Women

Rihanna

This S&M singer may not sing like she’s a charitable person, but her actions speak much louder than her words. Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program. It supports Caribbean countries and young people who seek education in the US. 

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In fact, Harvard awarded Rihanna the Humanitarian of the Year Award for her continued efforts for educations. Outside of recording and touring, we can rely on Rihanna to help improve access to education for millions of people.

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Meryl Streep

As a member of the Silver Mountain Foundation of the Arts, actress Meryl Streep has decided to forgo her salary and instead donate it to worthy causes around the world.

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To date, Streep has donated her $1 million salary to organizations like New York’s Meals on Wheels, National Women’s Museum, Oxfam America, Vassar Colege, and the Coalition for the Homeless. It turns out that the actress makes more than enough money from her acting gigs, so she decides to give the rest of it to those in need. 

Laverne Cox

This Orange is the New Black star is proudly involved in the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. These aim to “prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within LGBTQ communities.”

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Cox, who is Transgender, has become a staunch voice in Hollywood as someone who stands up for the rights and protections of LGBTQ people around the world. In 2015, Cox raised more than $1.5 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS – one of the country’s most famous AIDS organizations.

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Mark Ruffalo

This Marvel star is a famous environmentalist and often talks about the need for green living. In the past, he has supported campaigns such as The Solutions Project, which aims to encourage 100% clean energy for everyone on Earth. 

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In 2014, Ruffalo earned The Humanitarian Award for his work with Water Defense at the BAFTA LA Britannia Awards. It is expected the Hulk star will be taking a break from appearing the MCU in recent years, opening up his schedule for more charitable efforts. 

Oprah Winfrey

Of course, we all know by now how philanthropic Oprah is. The former talk show host is literally a billionaire so she definitely has a few bucks to spare every now and then. After Hurricane Katrina, Oprah donated $10 million of her own money to help with relief efforts. 

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In 2007 alone, Oprah allegedly spent more than $50 million on education, women’s rights, and health care. The self-made star shares her fortune with those less fortunate – saving thousands of lives each year.

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Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand has an estimated $390 million fortune, which means she has more than enough money to play with. In 1986, she opened a private charity foundation that helps to preserve the environment, improve voter education, and protect civil rights. 

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Outside of her charitable work in the foundation, Streisand has also raised more than $20 million for Cedars Sinai and its cardiovascular program. Today, it has been renamed to the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center. Half the money raised was personally given by her.

Chance The Rapper

Chance the Rapper is lucky enough to have the chance to give away much of the money he earns as a rapper. In fact, he’s even been named one of the most influential people in the world because of it. On Do Something’s annual ‘Celebs Gone Good’ list, Chance is comfortably sitting at the top.

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As far as we know, Chance launched the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund, as well as raising $3.2 million for Chicago public schools. 

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George and Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney is an acclaimed human rights lawyer who has saved the lives of many through her work and career. However, it was when she partnered with husband George did the two enter the philanthropic efforts. 

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Together, they founded the Clooney Foundation For Justice where they “fight for the rights of individuals unfairly targeted by oppressive governments through the courts.” Recently, they donated $500,000 to support March For Our Lives, which aims to prevent gun violence in the United States. 

Rosario Dawson

You might recognize Rosario Dawson from the Marvel shows on Netflix. Her charitable efforts go back all the way to 2004 when she founded an organization dedicated to improving Latinx participation in politics. 

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Now that she is more prominent in her career, Dawson has used it to her advantage and helped found Voto Latino. In 2016, it helped more than 100,000 Latinos register to vote in the 2016 election. She also co-founded an ethical fashion startup called Studio 189. 

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Ariana Grande

After 22 people were killed at one of her concerts in Manchester, UK, Ariana Grande hosted a benefit to raise money. The concert, which was called One Love Manchester, raised money for those affected by the terror attack.

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Overall, the concert raised around $3 million over the three-hour show. Outside of that, the singer has often donated to charities and important causes that mean a lot to her. We can expect a lot more philanthropic behavior from this young star in the future.

Miley Cyrus

Over her career, Miley Cyrus has publicly supported at least 43 different charities and foundations. As well as often providing support, she has also founded the Happy Hippy Foundation. The organization aims to “rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, and other vulnerable populations.”

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Her most recent act of kindness was covering the first six months rent for one of her mentees from The Voice. The home was a two-bedroom apartment and she also covered the security deposit.

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Dolly Parton

She might be one of the biggest country music stars on the planet, but she is also a huge charity giver to children around the world. Parton started the Imagination Library Program, which mails free books to children under the age of five.

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Last year, the 100 millionth book was donated to the Library of Congress as a recognition for her efforts. To date, books have been shipped to the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia – enriching millions of young lives every year.

Matt Damon

He’s known as a Hollywood star in the Bourne series, but Matt Damon is also charitable off the film set. For years, he has aimed to provide fresh and clean water to areas affected by extreme poverty. In 2009, he co-founded Water.org.

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Water.org merged with the H20 Africa Foundation and together, they wish to eliminate poverty. So far, their efforts have spread to more than 13 countries including Uganda, Indonesia, and Brazil. It is estimated that 17 million have been helped by his organizations.

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JJ Watt

This NFL player might not be known around the world as a philanthropist, but his actions tell a different story. In 2017, JJ Watt has helped raise more than $37 million to help the recovery process from damaged caused by Hurricane Harvey.

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As well as specific causes, he also donates to organizations like Feeding America, Americares, and Save the Children. In the years to come, it is expected that he will help raise many more millions for children and families around the world. 

Kesha

After a quick break, Kesha returned to music in 2017 with a vengeance. Her third studio album made waves around the world and she immediately put her fortune to good use. After fighting an acrimonious sexual assault case, she is dedicated to providing help to those in need.

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Kesha has supported organizations such as Dress for Success, It Gets Better Project, Amnesty International, and PETA. She will continue her charitable causes particularly now that she is back in the spotlight. 

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Annie Lennox 

According to Look To The Stars, singer Annie Lennox is associated with more than 40 charities and 30 causes. These include Children In Need, Make Trade Fair, Comic Relief, Save the Children, and Education Africa.

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Quite the jump from the 1980s singer we knew and loved during her time in the Eurythmics. Through her work with countless celebrities and charities, it is expected that her help has contributed to millions of dollars of additional aid for those in need.

Bono

There’s a reason why they call it working pro-bono! U2 frontman Bono is considered one of the most charitable celebrities out there. The 58-year-old has been dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty around the world and is often seen working hard alongside world leaders. 

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Bono often supports causes relating to AIDS, animal rights, abuse, slavery and human trafficking, and gender equality. In 2016, he was voted ‘Woman of the Year’ due to his commitment to gender equality. It is unclear exactly why.

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Lady Gaga

This 32-year-old singer and performer has made no secret of her philanthropy and charitable efforts. Across her career, she has worked with 77 charities that support more than 30 different causes. She has personally worked to raise millions of dollars through her participation. 

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Today, Lady Gaga can be seen working with organizations like City of Hope, Red Cross, Oxfam, Musicares, and Street Teens. The singer is expected to continue her charitable efforts for years to come to help those around the world.

Richard Branson

The Virgin founder is preparing to give literally billions of his dollars away in order to help save the world. Branson promised that $3 billion, or all expected profits from his travel firms over 10 years, will go towards fighting climate change. 

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Since he was 17, Richard Branson has been dedicated to charity work and improving the world. In 2007, he founded The Elders – a small group of leaders who try to solve the world’s problems with no financial or political incentives.

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Ricky Gervais

This British funnyman has been a loud supporter of animal rights and charities over the years. In 2006 and 2007, the comedian donated all of the profits from his standup shows to MacMillian Cancer support, totally roughly $1.3 million. 

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Gervais has also contributed to PETA videos urging support of a boycott for animal fur and clothing. He also donates regularly to organizations like Dorset Wildlife Trust, Prostate Cancer UK, and Teenage Cancer Trust. Gervais often speaks out against animal cruelty. 

Mel Gibson

Everyone’s favorite Hollywood bad boy is actually one of the most charitable actors out there. Over his long career, he has donated more than $10 million to help renovate children’s hospitals. When Hurricane Stan hit Mexico, he donated an additional $1 million to Mexico to help with its humanitarian efforts.

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As a practicing Catholic, he has given more than $15 million to the Holy Family Catholic Church. While he may have gone through a quiet period after admitting his aggressive anti-Semitism, it appears he is repenting for it quite heavily!

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Jerry Seinfeld

He may have played a sociopath on television, but this sitcom star is actually rather compassionate. The comedian has given more than $1.7 million to Jewish charities, education, and children’s healthcare.

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In terms of specific organizations, Jerry Seinfeld is associated with the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital, Autism Speaks, National Parks Conservation Association, and Stand Up For A Cure. Just goes to show that you should not judge someone based on the character they play on the television! 

Matthew McConaughey

Alright, alright, alright. You’ll know him as the Oscar-winning actor in movies like Dallas Buyers Club and Interstellar – but that’s just the surface. It turns out that Matthew McConaughey established the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation which has so far raised more than $1.5 million. 

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The actor also gives to communities in Central Texas and Los Angeles. After his performance as an AIDS-ridden cowboy in Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey has made an extra effort to support those with AIDS and Cancer.

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Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock might be one of the most famous Hollywood celebrities, but she is also one of the most charitable. It is reported that Bullock donated a total of $1 million to Doctors Without Borders, on behalf of the Haiti Relief efforts.

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On top of that, CNN has reported that the Speed star provided another $1 million in aid to Japan following one of its devastating earthquakes. Whenever there is a natural emergency, you can count on this actress to send her support.  

Larry The Cable Guy

Larry The Cable Guy often appears as part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, where he and his family have helped raise more than $6 million via their Git-R-Done Foundation. The primary purpose of the foundation is to provide low-income families with financial assistance.

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According to reports from 2011, it is only one of the several charities Larry The Cable Guy has founded with his wife, Cara. It is estimated that thousands of families have benefitted from their help.

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Alec Baldwin

Everyone’s favorite angry and aggressive comedy star has a habit of repenting for his poor parenting by donating to charities. In 2011, Baldwin made a $1 million donation to the New York Philharmonic, as well as $500,000 to the Roundabout Theater Company. 

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Whether you like him or not, the violent SNL star serves as a member on the board, so we will probably see more of him in comedy in the next few years due to his contributions to performing arts. 

Amy Schumer

She might steal her jokes from other comedians, but Amy Schumer does give her own money to those in need. She has been a vocal supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and has helped raised hundreds of thousands of dollars via her Trainwreck Comedy Tour.

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The comedian is known to push boundaries and will do anything to help raise money for those in need. While offering the ‘worst lap dance ever’, Schumer has proved she doesn’t mind laughing at herself to help people. 

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George Lucas

The force has been strong with this one. George Lucas is an acclaimed writer, producer, and creator of one of the most popular franchises in the world. Through his Lucas Film Foundation, he has awarded more than $4 million to aspiring filmmakers through grants. 

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Outside of his film grants, George Lucas also donates his time. He often mentors young people and speaks about filmmaking and philanthropy. Some media outlets have reported that he is looking to donate some of his own land for housing projects.

Beyonce

Beyonce is one of the most famous, yet elusive, people in the world. She is known to be private in her approach to social media and how she lives her life. One thing that we do know about her is how charitable she is. 

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She co-founded the Survivor Foundation with former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland. Beyonce also makes various donations through her Beygood Foundation. One of the major issues it tackles is helping misfortunate children get presents at Christmastime. 


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