All too often in Hollywood we hear about the controversy, gossip and dark sides of celebrities. However, plenty of our favorite stars do good deeds under the radar on a daily basis.
It’s our duty here at Good Celebrity to bring those positives to light and showcase celebrities doing good. Here are 16 philanthropic celebs and their respective charities in honor of World Humanitarian Day.
Sadly, this is one shining star whose light will never fully be realized. Before her tragic death in June, the former “The Voice” star stopped by our headquarters in December 2015 and shared her inspirational journey to stardom with us.
His success as an actor and director turned him into a global star and his love life made him the subject of tabloid fodder, but Affleck’s greatest impact on the world is through his philanthropy.
In 2009, the Oscar-winner founded the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), a charity which invests in and works with the people of eastern Congo.
The “Harry Potter” author doesn’t just write about children, she helps them too.
Rowling is the founder and life president for Lumos, a charitable organization dedicated to helping the eight million children living in institutions throughout the world.
As a former “Good Day L.A.” entertainment reporter, Dorothy Lucey, specialized in the lighter side of news. However, like J.K. Rowling, her passion lies in helping children around the world.
Jolie’s passion for helping others is so well known that she’s arguably more recognizable for her humanitarian work than she is her acting career.
In addition to being a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Oscar-winner has worked with countless charities dedicated to helping children and women throughout the world.
She and her husband, Brad Pitt, also started the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which works with local governments to implement projects that build healthy and vibrant communities.
Like Jolie, the U2 frontman is known equally as a humanitarian as he is an entertainer. The list of charities supported by Bono could be a separate in and of itself, but his dedication to ending HIV/AIDS in developing countries through charities such as Keep a Child Alive specifically stands out.
Attorney and civil litigator Tanya Acker serves as one of three judges on the popular syndicated program “Hot Bench,” but when she’s not in the courtroom there’s a good chance she’s working with the Boy Scouts of America.
Acker serves as legal advisor and program participant to the Western County Council of the BSA. She often brings the troop visit the Battleship Iowa Museum in the Los Angeles Harbor, a landmark for which she serves on its Board of Trustees.
“This ship embodies a lot of American history and a lot of what’s great about this country. It’s a living reminder of that,” Acker told Good Celebrity in June 2016.
The Iowa is an interactive naval museum operated by the nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center (PBC).
Acker is not the only “Hot Bench” judge keen on giving back.
Through the organization New Directions for Youth, criminal defense attorney and judge Larry Bakman works with Los Angeles youths to live violence-free lives and avoid the lure of gangs.
“If we don’t save them at this point in time from the dangers of gangs, the dangers of drug abuse, the dangers of physical or sexual abuse, then we’re lost,” Bakman told Good Celebrity in April 2016.
Oscar-winner Clooney is a prime example of a celebrity who puts his money where his mouth is.
The multi-talented star works tirelessly to help the people of African countries, with his contributions and visits to the war-torn area of Darfur, Sudan specifically worth noting.
Clooney was named a UN messenger of peace in 2008 and co-founded The Sentry, an initiative of the organization Not On Our Watch, which lends support to broader accountability measures and provides leverage to peace efforts aimed at ending Africa’s deadliest conflicts.
A native of South Africa, Oscar-winner Theron founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project in 2007.
The goal of the charitable organization is to reduce and ultimately stop HIV/AIDS in Africa specifically among the younger population.
“It really has just become meeting with young people of this country and really understanding the needs and really give them the environment where they felt safe to throw this big dark cloud of what HIV and AIDS was out the window and to maybe turn the light on to the realities of living in this country,” Theron said in a video on the organization’s website.
The massive wealth obtained by former queen of daytime TV is no secret, nor are the charitable outlets on which she donates a good portion of it.
Most notable among her many humanitarian efforts is her Leadership Academy for Girls located just south of Johannesburg in South Africa, which provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls of impoverished backgrounds.
The Colombian-born singer-songwriter gives much of her time and money the ONE Campaign.
A campaigning and advocacy organization, ONE, aims to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases around the world, specifically in Africa. Shakira also works with Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF among many other charities.
Don’t let her in-ring persona fool you, Danielle Moinet is nothing like her arrogant and self-absorbed alter ego, Summer Rae.
As Good Celebrity learned in an exclusive interview, Moinet is actively involved in her sister’s North Carolina-based nonprofit DTM Foundation. The organization helps families take care of terminally ill children.
In addition to DTM, Moinet also supports the WWE’s anti-bullying campaign, Be a Star, and does work with the Special Olympics and U.S. Military.
Hong Kong’s legendary martial artist/actor is more than just a hero on-screen.
Chan was recently ranked second on the list of top charitable Chinese celebrities by China Philanthropist magazine. He’s a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, campaigned for conservation, against animal abuse and continually donates to disaster relief funds including $3 million for the victims of the Tianjin chemical explosion in 2015.
He also founded the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, which offers the youth of Hong Kong scholarships.
The career of young “Fresh Off the Boat” star Luna Blaise is only beginning but the teenager is already putting her starpower to good use.
Blaise recently spoke to Good Celebrity about her PSA work for Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental organization which aims to improve at-risk water supplies around the world.
“I found out what they are doing for the environment, and I thought, wow,” she said. “This is everything I love. This is what I want to be talking about. What I want to get out there.”
Blaise is also an advocate for breast cancer awareness after she lost her aunt to the disease.
“She was so young,” Blaise said. “People that are young need to know that breast cancer is not an old person disease now. Clearly, because a lot of young people are getting it,” she added.
In a prime example of turning an ugly situation into something positive, Amber Heard used the settlement she received from her divorce to Johnny Depp to help those whose voices are often silent.
Heard is donating all $7 million of her settlement to two charities. Half will go to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to prevent violence against a women and the other half will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
In a statement, the actor said she hopes the money can “help those less able to defend themselves.”
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