The bad tongues will say that it is easy to be generous when you earn so much. However, these charitable celebrities, through their rather substantial donations, help to fight against the evils that affect human beings and thus contribute to changing the world. Their charitable donations are often seen as a way to enhance their image, or even to improve their image. We may criticize, but the money is still put to good use. More than financial donations, some of them practice what we call self-giving. Thus, more than their money, these stars give their precious time to charity through charity events.
We are genuinely encouraged by these celebrities’ actions toward making the world a good place and we need to share them with you.
We all know this talented actor who looks eternally young and is known for leading a very modest lifestyle. He has played such strong characters as Neo in The Matrix, Kevin Lomax in The Devil’s Associate, John Wick in the film of the same name, and other equally interesting characters. We rarely hear about the good works of this discreet actor, but in one of his interviews, Keanu Reeves talked about his foundation that funds children’s hospitals and cancer research.
His foundation has already existed for several years, but Keanu Reeves does not try to advertise his charity work. He mentioned it only once in an interview in 2009. According to his statements, this private foundation has been in operation for six years, its main purpose being to financially help children’s hospitals, as well as research to find different cures for cancer.
And when asked why he never talked about his foundation, and why he didn’t put his name on it, Keanu Reeves said, “I don’t like to put my name anywhere, I let the foundation do what it needs to do.” Perhaps the reason the actor has dedicated his charity work to helping children with cancer is that in the 1990s, one of his sisters, Kim, suffered from leukemia. After a long battle with the disease, the young girl finally showed signs of remission.
“Money is the last thing on my mind, with what I already have, I could live for centuries to come.”
Leonardo DiCaprio loves the planet and he makes it known! In Hollywood, Leonardo is one of the most fervent activists in favor of ecology. Since 1998 his foundation has already given $80 million to more than 20 environmental projects. The actor has been involved in the fight against global warming and preserving biodiversity. In 2007, he produced the documentary “The 11th Hour” in which he warned the population of the risks of disasters if nothing is done to improve the ecology.
The actor took advantage of his long-awaited Oscar win to give an inspiring speech on the urgency of the climate issue, saying that we must not “take our planet for granted”.
The actress was seen in the film Twister (1996), in the series ER, where she played the role of Dr. Nina Pomerantz, and in Ally McBeal, where she played the girlfriend of John Cage. Jami Gertz is also a successful businesswoman. She is the co-founder of Ares Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with more than $40 billion in assets that recently expressed interest in buying the Dodgers team.
Jami Gertz has made a significant contribution of $10,569,002 to the Ressler-Gertz Foundation. The foundation focuses on educational institutions, with a particular emphasis on scholarships and financial aid for students.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé
Hollywood’s most famous couple has their hearts in the right place. Jay-Z sometimes performs “free” concerts with proceeds going to charity. He also supports the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as part of an equal opportunity policy. Beyoncé, for her part, has created the Survivor Foundation, which helps victims of disasters, supports AIDS patients and the homeless. She has funded a $5 million housing project to house 43 families in her hometown of Houston.
In 2013, the director of Star Wars and Indiana Jones bequeathed $4,250,000 to the George Lucas Educational Foundation, whose mission is to inspire young people and encourage them to become responsible citizens. The George Lucas Educational Foundation serves children up to the age of 12 and aims to improve their learning process by implementing innovative strategies, preparing children to manage their future education, career, and adult life. After selling his company Lucasfilm to Disney for just over 4 billion dollars, he has just made it clear that he will donate a large part of the money to charity.
Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most charitable celebrities (or specifically athletes). He was crowned “the most generous sportsman on the planet” in 2016. The famous footballer indeed multiplies donations for various causes. Amid the pandemic, CR7 donated three intensive care units to Portuguese hospitals to the tune of one million euros. In these difficult times, in addition to agreeing to halve his salary, he also asked his teammates to donate 50% of their Euro 2020 qualification bonuses. He had already donated his 2017 Champions League victory bonus to the victims of the Manchester bombing. He regularly helps children, makes blood donations, supports war-torn countries…
With nearly 90 million fans following her on Twitter, Lady Gaga is an undisputed beast of the star system. She is also very generous and concerned about her fellow man: she has created her association, the Born This Way Foundation, to which she has bequeathed a starting capital of 1.2 million dollars. Founded in 2011, the foundation aims to promote “a more tolerant society, where differences are valued and individuality is celebrated.”
The American actress claims loudly that she wants to help people in need, she is known to be very committed to humanitarian issues. She records nearly 60 field missions as an Ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Angelina insists on paying all the expenses related to her missions herself. In 2006, she even founded an association to fight against AIDS and poverty with her husband at the time: Brad Pitt. In 2018, she also donated £ 1 million to fight against violence against women.
The former NBA champion is one of the most generous athletes in the world. In the past, he donated 7 million dollars to build clinics in the city of Charlotte; his wish was to “help the thousands of people in North Carolina with limited access to health care”. He is also very committed to culture: as such, he has already given $5 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. In general, he is committed to many humanitarian causes: in the same year, he gave nearly $9 million to various charities in the city of Chicago.
Matthew McConaughey donated $1,537,292 to his charity, the Just Keep Living Foundation, which supports education and community schools. Its mission is to empower young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to take charge of their future and make “healthy” life choices. It provides public schools with sports facilities. It also provides extracurricular activities in which young people improve their physical and mental health, combining sports and well-being.
The actor caused quite a controversy when he went to the other side of the camera, to become a director. Through The Passion of the Christ, he had shown a very particular vision (essentially anti-Semitic) of his fervent Christian faith. Since then, the American actor-director has become more involved in religion. He built a church on the heights of Malibu, for the modest sum of 37 million dollars. The so-called Holy Family Church has also just received a donation of 9.6 million dollars from Mel. This private church would now weigh more than 68 million dollars.
Barbara Streisand bequeathed 1,555,500 dollars to her association, the Barbara Streisand Foundation. Created in 1986, this foundation has already given more than 25 million dollars to 800 associations from different backgrounds. The work supports mainly charities focused on Justice and Health. Among the causes supported are the Natural Resources Defense Council, which deals with the environment, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, which defends human rights in the United States, and the Institute for America’s Future, which promotes progressive socio-economic policies in the United States.
American actor and director Ben Affleck has recently taken up charity work. He first joined then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak at The Child Survival Call to Action charity event. He then founded his organization, the Eastern Congo Initiative, the first U.S. organization to focus solely on the people of the Congo. The foundation develops local strategies to equip people with the tools for socio-economic development.
Last year, actress Meryl Streep and her husband, Donald Gummer, left $2 million to the charity they founded, the Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts. The foundation then donated $1,225,000 to the prestigious arts university, Vassar College (New York), $100,000 to Oxfam America, and $100,000 to Partners in Health, a medical research center.
It is impossible to talk about humanitarianism without mentioning Oprah Winfrey. Indeed, the famous TV presenter donates a large part of her fortune to charities: and this is counted in hundreds of millions of dollars! For example, in 2005, she donated nearly $10 million to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007 alone, she donated nearly $50.2 million to education, health, women’s and children’s charities.
Charitable celebrities are not always actors, athletes or musicians. Also tech titans have their place on this list, the Facebook founder and his wife Priscilla Chan are among the largest donors in the United States according to Forbes magazine. In 2017, they reportedly gave nearly $400 million to charity. Both fight for education, science, and criminal justice.
The Serbian-born tennis player is a man with a big heart. He opened a restaurant to feed the homeless in Serbia for free. On this subject, he says: “Money is not a problem for me. I have earned enough money to feed the whole of Serbia. I think they deserve it, after all the support they have given me.”