Generous Celebrities

Recently when I was under the hairdryer, I was reading a magazine (Hello Canada, I think) and came across a few pages highlighting celebrities who generously give their time to charities and helping the needy worldwide and at home.  I wanted to highlight some of these celebrities and the charities they are involved in.


Scarlett Johansson

This actress with the classic ’40s look has been the ambassador of Oxfam International since 2004.  She also supports USA Harvest.  This organization is all about the food.  They are food raisers.   They move food from people who have too much to those who have too little.


Angelina Jolie

Apart from being one of the most highly paid actresses and the partner of one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men, this oscar winner is known as promoting humanitarian causes as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.  This is a role she does not take lightly.  Recently she presented a humanitarian award in Geneva.  She and Brad Pitt donated $340,000 to Somalia.  The mother-of-six visited agencies, bringing aid to Libyans in Tripoli and Misrata.

Angelina was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva on August 27, 2001.  “We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. I honestly want to help. I don’t believe I feel differently from other people. I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us.”

Jolie has received wide recognition for her humanitarian work. In 2003, she was the first recipient of the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations CorrespondentsAssociation, and in 2005, she was awarded the Global Humanitarian Award by the UNA-USA.  On July 31, 2005, King Norodom Sihamoni awarded Jolie Cambodian citizenship for her conservation work in the country. In 2007, Jolie received the Freedom Award by the International Rescue Committee.

Angelina and Brad also formed the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation which is committed to environmental security, creating peace and stability in all communities by planning and implementing interventions that prevent negative environmental changes. Working with impoverished rural villagers and local governments to alleviate food insecurities and increase access to basic primary healthcare and education, they are implementing projects that build healthy and vibrant communities.


Demi Moore

The former star of General Hospital who established her career in St. Elmo’s fire and became one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses following success in movies such as Ghost,   A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal is also noted for DNA Foundation which she and her soon to be ex-husband founded.  The foundation was born out of the conviction that freedom is a basic human right.

Demi travelled to South Asia to film Nepal’s Stolen Children.  The fight to end child sex trafficking hits especially close to home for the mother of three daughters.



The former queen of daytime and one of America’s most admired icons of television has donated more than 300 million dollars to various charities.  She has been repeatedly ranked as the most philanthropic celebrity.  In 1987 Oprah established the Oprah Winfrey Foundation aimed to “support the inspiration, empowerment and education of women, children, and families around the world.”  As a victim of sexual abuse, Oprah initiated a campaign for a national database of child abusers in 1991 and in December 1993, President Bill Clinton signed “Oprah’s Bill,” which became the National Child Protection Act, an act establishing a national registry of convicted child abusers. 

In 2000, The Angel Network, a non-profit, volunteer served, public charity was founded.  Oprah served as president and chairperson.  The charity’s public goal was to “inspire people and make a difference in the lives of others”. It granted awards such as the Use your Life Awards, Kids can Free the Children and various scholarships to individuals and organizations. The Angel Network also operated projects in under-served communities that provide educational initiatives as well as assist people in fulfilling basic human needs and regaining dignity.  They provided grants to charities trying to combat various problems affecting developing countries (i.e. poverty, homelessness, child neglect, disease). Among its affiliates were the Crisis Fund, a funding arm for The Threshold Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The charity stopped accepting donations in May 2010 and was later dissolved.

Before she was inspired to establish the Oprah Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, Oprah  travelled to South Africa in 2004 to bring attention to the plight of young children affected by poverty and AIDS. During the 21-day trip, Winfrey and her crew visited schools and orphanages in poverty-stricken areas, and distributed Christmas presents to 50,000 children, with dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys, and school supplies. Throughout the show, Winfrey appealed to viewers to donate money to Oprah’s Angel Network for poor and AIDS-affected children in Africa. From that show alone, viewers around the world donated over $7,000,000.  Oprah invested $40 million and some of her time in the academy which is in Henley on Klip south of Johannesburg, South Africa.  The academy set on over 22 acres of land, complete with state-of-the-art classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre and beauty salon opened its doors in January 2007.  The academy drew some criticism from those who considered it to be elitist and unnecessarily luxurious.  However,  Nelson Mandela praised Oprah for overcoming her own disadvantaged youth to become a benefactor for others.

Oprah supports women’s education around the world and funds a scholarship program for U.S. students who give back to their communities. 


Reese Witherspoon

This academy award winner is Avon’s first global ambassador since 2007.  She toured 16 cities from Alanta, Georgia to Moscow this year to raise awareness of domestic violence.   On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Honorary Chairperson for the Avon Foundation for Women,put on her walking shoes and participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the Breast Cancer Global Conference in New York City. 

Reese is actively involved in children’s and women’s advocacy organizations. She is a long-time supporter of Save the Children, an organization that helps children around the world through education, health care and emergency aid. She also serves on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, a child advocacy and research group. In 2006, Witherspoon was among a group of actresses who went to New Orleans, Louisiana in a CDF project to bring to light the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims. In this trip, she helped open the city’s first Freedom School, as she met and talked with the children. Witherspoon later called this an experience that she would never forget.


Sandra Bullock


One of this popular actress’s passion projects is a New Orleans  high school affected by hurricane Katrina.  Her donations have been used to rebuild and fund scholarship programs.  Thanks to her, the school had a 100 percent graduation rate in 2011.  Sandra likes to keep her charitable work quiet.  She doesn’t want to be seen as the kind of person who does things for pubicity.  She handles her charitable work the way Jesus said it should be handled–she doesn’t let her right hand know what the left hand is doing (Matthew 6:2-4).  She doesn’t do it to be seen by others so that she could be praised for it. 

Five years after Katrina, Sandra returned to New Orleans, to open a $700,000 health clinic at a local high school. Sandra has been a public supporter of the American Red Cross, having donated $1 million to the organization at least four times. Her first public donation of that amount was to the Red Cross’s Liberty Disaster Relief Fund. Three years later, she sent money in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis. In 2010, she donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti following the Haiti earthquake, and again donated the same amount following the 2011 Japan Earthquake.  Along with other stars, Bullock did a PSA urging people to sign a petition for clean-up efforts of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Victoria Beckham

This an English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman, formerly known as Posh spice and now married to hunky David Beckham spends alot of her time on causes that she is passionate about.  She is the co-founder of the Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust which assists children and people with special needs worldwide.

The mother of four is known for her charity work.  She created a charm for Cancer Research UK’s“Charms for Charity” campaign. She helped raise $185,500 for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) by auctioning off two tickets to the World Cup party on eBay.  She was entered into NSPCC’s Hall of Fame in 2004.  She was one of the recipients of Love Our Children USA’s “Mothers Who Make A Difference” awards in 2009.

Victoria supports these charities:
She took her eldest son, Brooklyn to Clay County, in the U.S. state of Kentucky help Save the Children.  They spent 10 days with with impoverished children.  Victoria hopes that her son will follow in his parents’ footsteps.  ‘I’m pleased Brooklyn is learning that by helping and joining other children he can play a role in making his generation the greatest yet.’
Jennifer Aniston
This former “Friends” star is dedicated to raising awareness and money for breast cancer research.  She is a proud member of the Warriors in Pink.  She is a director with Five, a film following five people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She recently designed a “Reach for the Moon” t-shirt, and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the shirt will go toward finding a cure for breast cancer.  Jennifer has also donated her time and talent to filming spots for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, sharing the screen with one or more of the St. Jude kids.  One mother who saw one of Jennifer’s spots rushed her daughter to St. Jude’s for treatment because she exhibited the same symptoms as a child suffering from brain cancer.  That spot saved her daughter’s life.  The mother wrote Jennifer a letter, thanking her for guiding her to St. Jude.


Elizabeth Hurley

The English actress and model is the tireless ambassador for Estee Lauder’s Pink Ribbon Collection which raises money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  It is a cause that is very close to her heart.  It is a deeply personal cause for her.  She lost her grandmother and five friends, all under 40 and mothers to breast cancer.  She has also helped raise funds for End Hunger Network,ARK children’s charity, and the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre.


Eva Longoria

The “Desparate Housewives” star is the founder of Eva’s Heroes, a charity which helps teens and young adults with developmental disabilities.  She is the national spokesperson for PADRES Contra El Cancer (Parents Against Cancer), an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for latino children stricken with the disease.

Notes to Women salute these generous women who dedicate their time and talents to make a difference in the lives of so many. 




One response to “Generous Celebrities

  1. Pingback: breast cancer volunteer

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