The life of a celebrity may seem like a merry-go-round of parties, red carpet events and luxury home and vacations. Many celebrities though, use their fame, influence and star power to raise funds and awareness for charitable organizations and foundations around the world. Some celebrities, like Michael J. Fox lend their support and celebrity weight to campaigns that are incredibly personal to them. The actor became the driving force behind the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research after he was diagnosed with the disease in 1991.
3 Celebs Making a Difference
Angelina Jolie is one of the most recognizable and famous women in the world and she uses her fame and wealth to support a number of foundations and charities. In 2001, she became the goodwill ambassador and Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and in 2003 she formed the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, headquartered in Cambodia. In 2008 she partnered with Microsoft to form the Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and as of 2008 is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Oprah Winfrey is a media leader, television and film star and power fundraiser for charity. Winfrey personally donates millions each year to support her foundations and other charitable organizations around the world. To date she has donated over $400 million to educational charities in the US and abroad, including the building of a prestigious school in South Africa, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Oprah’s Angel Network has raised nearly $100 million for different organizations around the world.
Bono, lead singer of U2 is a vocal champion of human rights and outspoken on the subject of poverty and hunger. He uses his star power to support over 40 charities including Amnesty International, Red Cross, Zero Hunger and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is the founder of ONE campaign in 2004, which brought together 11 humanitarian and aid organizations to fight poverty and hunger in the poorest countries in the world.
There are thousands of charities around the world, but it is increasingly difficult to get people’s attention without a celebrity voice to make the vision and message of your charity stand out in the crowd. Celebrities use their time, energy and their fame to donate far more than just a dollar amount to help charities raise money.