Oh, celebrities, we’ve seen some that do great things for the environment, some who do great things for the animals, and now, we’re taking a look at some who do great things for our fellow humans. Whether it be direct action, financial contribution, or in most cases, a combination of the two, these celebrities are using their star power for good.
There are a few celebrities that could have appeared on all three lists, and that’s great! We tried here to bring you some new faces, along with some well known humanitarians. Of course, we don’t ever want to forget our local and grassroots humanitarian advocates, so a big thank you to everyone out there working on a positive cause they believe in!
Now, let’s get to our daily dose of celebrity gossip with the list below, but instead of giving you one of those what-did-I-just-read-for-the-past-ten-minutes moments, this post of 10 celebrities doing good for humanity will leave you feeling good and hopefully put a smile on your face, too.
1. Oprah Winfrey
How you know her: The ultimate talk show host and television mogul (she’s got her own channel!). Everyone knows Oprah.
What she’s doing for humanity: Right from the start, Oprah used her show to draw attention to different issues and causes in our world. Now, she operates the “The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program,” which gives scholarships to students determined to use their education to give back to their communities in the United States and abroad. Through the Angel Network, she has awarded hundreds of grants to organizations that support the education and empowerment of women, children, and families in the United States and around the world. She has also provided significant funding for The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which is an academy for young women who have done service in their communities and have an ability to create positive and enduring change.
2. Jim Carrey
How you know him: Probably best known for his roles in “Dumb and Dumber” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”
What he’s doing for humanity: In 2005, Jim Carrey started the Better U Foundation, which addresses global food security by supporting the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). SRI is a sustainable agricultural methodology which significantly increases rice productivity, allowing farmers to go to market with their rice and earn a better living for their families.
3. Charlize Theron
How you know her: The South African actress came onto the scene with her role in “Mighty Joe Young” in 1988 and later received multiple award nominations for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos in “Monster.”
What she’s doing for humanity: She founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project to help keep African youth safe from AIDS. The organization accomplishes this task by supporting community-based organizations that are the experts in the social and structural relationships of their communities. The organization empowers them through grant giving, networking, and spotlighting their work.
4. Bill and Melinda Gates
Okay, so this is sort of a two for one, but they are pretty great!
How you know them: The chairman of Microsoft and a power player in the field of philanthropy, Bill and Melinda make quite a team.
What they’re doing for humanity: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is well known for its work improving the lives and health of people in developing countries and in the United States. The organization’s YouTube channel provides great individual stories of success as well as educational tools.
5. Demi Moore
How you know here: A breakout star in the 1990 movie “Ghost,” she has acclaimed roles in “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “About Last Night.”
What she’s doing for humanity: In 2005, she and then husband Ashton Kutcher started the Demi and Ashton Foundation, now renamed Thorn Digital Defenders of Children, that aims to fight the exploitation of children. The organization “partner[s] across the tech industry, government and NGOs and leverage technology to combat predatory behavior, rescue victims, and protect vulnerable children.”
How you know him: As the lead singer of rock band U2, and from his signature glasses!
What he’s doing for humanity: He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, so he’s definitely doing some great work. This includes:
- Band-Aid – You know the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time.” Proceeds benefited relief efforts for the famine in Ethiopia. The 1984 single was among the music industry’s first and most memorable collective philanthropic efforts.
- ONE – A campaign and advocacy organization of 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa because the facts show extreme poverty has already been cut in half and can be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if we act with urgency now.
- Product (RED) - A revolutionary campaign created to help provide a sustainable flow of money from the private sector to fight AIDS. The organization partners with companies like Apple and Starbucks to release (RED) products to contribute to the cause.
7. Christina Applegate
How you know her: As a child actress, she played Kelly Bundy on “Married…With Children” and lately has gained exposure for her role as Veronica Corningstone in “Anchorman.”
What she’s doing for humanity: After her own breast cancer diagnosis, she founded Right Action for Women, an organization dedicated to educating women about their breast cancer risk and providing assistance for those in need.
8. Sean Penn
How you know him: He got his start as a child on “Little House on the Prairie” and grew up to star in numerous movies. He is a two-time Academy Award winner for his roles in “Mystic River” (2003) and “Milk” (2008).
What he’s doing for humanity: He’s an outspoken political activist who has now made headlines for helping to begin the J/P Haitian Relief organization to save lives and build homes for those who had their lives uprooting by the 2012 Haiti earthquake. Check out his work in his own word in part one and two of his Huffington Post article, “Mountain of Snakes.”
9. Nicole Kidman
How you know her: The Australian-born actress is perhaps best known for her roles in “Moulin Rouge” and “The Hours.”
What she’s doing for humanity: She is the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and travels the world raising awareness on the infringement of women’s human rights, with a particular focus on putting a spotlight on violence against women. In October of 2013, she was awarded an honor for her work in advancing women’s rights by Variety magazine.
10. Kerry Washington
How you know her: She’s the award nominated lead actress of the hit tv show, “Scandal.”
What she’s doing for humanity: She is an active member of Americans for the Arts, President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities, and V-DAY. In 2007, Washington gathered a team for the Lee National Denim Day, supporting the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Green Monsters: Did we miss your favorite do-good celebrity? Let us know with a comment below to spread the love!