17 Philanthropic Celebrities
What goes around comes back around. Just ask Justin Timberlake who sang, “What goes around, goes around, goes around!” And what goes up must come down, according to the song “Karma” by Alicia Keys. These celebrities know that what you put out into the universe will come back to you in different ways. Don’t just donate for the tax write-off! Do it for a cause that you care about and you will have done a genuinely good thing. Read on to find out who giving to philanthropic causes like a modern day Peter Pan, except for the robbing the rich part.
Taylor Swift has a blank space baby, and she’ll write your name on the check if you happen to be a charity that she is donating to! Swift announced that she was donating all of her proceeds from “Welcome to New York” to New York City Public Schools. Wait a minute, Taylor, did this song get as much buzz as “Blank Space” or “Shake It Off?” NY Daily News reported that city officials were still thrilled by the news. Congrats, New York!
Facebook made Mark Zuckerberg a rich man. But the money didn’t go to his head. He and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $25 million to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to fight Ebola. Chalk that one up to another good thing that Facebook did! Remember when it was just Farmville and memes? He has also donated to the Zuckerberg Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and The Breakthrough Prize in Life Science. Zuckerberg is the 14th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.
Go Fifty! It’s your charity. We gonna sip Bacardi like it’s your charity! The rapper 50 Cent started the G-Unity Foundation to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on improving the quality of life for low-income and underserved communities. The board of directors includes Fiddy, rapper Tony Yayo, and rapper Lloyd Banks. Even when he has beef with Floyd Mayweather, 50 thinks about charity. He challenged Mayweather to read Harry Potter for an ALS charity!
Sting, also known as Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, has dedicated a lot of his time and money to MusicCares, In Harmony Sistema England, Musicians on Call, and the Society of Singers. The Society of Singers was the first organization founded to focus on the needs of singers who were unable to access benefits and services when faced with emergencies or life. They offer free counseling, case management, referrals and financial grants through their website.
Alec Baldwin provides grants to charities like the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the New York Philharmonic. Baldwin also hosted the “Big Game, Big Give Event” auction for the Giving Back fund, which uses the power of celebrities to benefit a charitable cause. According to NY Mag, there was a cake at the event that a waiter said had been sitting out for days. Bad cake, but a good cause!
Geoffrey Rush has been a UNICEF ambassador for 15 years. He has raised awareness for the Pakistan floods of 2010, famine in East Africa and UNICEF’s Silent Emergencies. Rush won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1996 for the movie “Shine.” He also played Captain Hector Barbossa in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and its three sequels. He’s a pirate with a heart of gold.
She’s the mother monster with the Poker Face that charmed the world. Lady Gaga formed the Born This Way Foundation in 2011 to foster a more accepting society and create a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world. Their Twitter seems to be updated recently as well, showing tweens with shirts saying, “Brave, empowered, kind.” The world awaits her pending acoustic album.
If you liked it, then you should have put your name on it! And they did! The singer Barbra Streisand raised $20 million for a cardiovascular program at Cedars-Sinai. They named a center after her! The Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center plays a leading role in identifying female-pattern heart disease, developing new diagnostic tools, and advancing specialized care for women. First, she had a Duck Sauce song named after her and now this. It’s all coming around full circle.
In 2013, Beckham donated his football pay packet to a local children’s charity. It equaled about $5 million that he got from playing with the French club Paris St Germain. Beckham always loves helping kids and his peers in the industry thought it was a brilliant thing to do. He has also taken part in UNICEF and the Save the Children campaign. Beckham retired and played his last game in May 2013.
People aren’t the only ones who need help. Animals deserve charity too. Take the manatees, for example. Jimmy Buffett likes manatees so much that he founded the Save the Manatee organization. As of 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing whether manatees should be reclassified as a “threatened” species since the manatees could be recovering from being endangered. Currently, the Save the Manatee Club has 40,000 members.
Dogs, golf, and a football player collide every year in a way you least expect. Eli Manning regularly attends an event for Guiding Eyes, a charity for the blind that works as a seeing-eye dog school. The charity involves a golf tournament where he golfs while blindfolded. “This is my eighth year, and each year you hear more and more stories about the great work Guiding Eyes does and all the lives it affects and changes for the better,” said Manning.
Kendrick Lamar raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross and donated proceeds from tours to Habitat For Humanity. In 2011, he headlined a charity concert that benefited Project RISHI, which was for Rural India Social and Health Improvement. He also helped provide permanent housing and support for women fighting homelessness through the Downtown Women’s Center. That’s quite a diverse set of charities. This is how a superstar gets remembered well. Good kid, mad charity.
Chuck Norris is tough but is he charitable? He believes in keeping kids off of the streets by cultivating strength, self-confidence, and perseverance through martial arts. His foundation, called Kickstart Kids, operates in over 50 middle schools in the Houston, Dallas, Galveston, Austin/Pflugerville, Navasota, Bryan/College Station, Linden, and Alvin areas of Texas. It’s kind of like a Chuck Norris academy for all of the tweens and teens! What’s not to love?
In a galaxy close to us, George Lucas helped finance a University of Chicago arts building. He and his wife Mellody Hobson donated $25 million to the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. They named the building after the African-American director of the 1971 movie “Shaft.” Hobson said, “It was important to us that the University of Chicago campus have a building named for an African American, given the diverse community in which it sits.”
Tony Hawk doesn’t just have a bunch of video games named after him, he has created a bunch of skate parks across America too! He holds an annual Stand Up For Skateparks event which is a family-friendly action-sports carnival with games, food, and auctions. “With more than 500 skateparks in all 50 states receiving funding from the Tony Hawk Foundation, and more than 2,000 projects benefiting from our technical assistance program, we’re as busy and as needed as ever,” said Hawk.
Can you feel the charity tonight? It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best. In 2014, the Elton John Aids Foundation distributed more than $6.8 million in funding to different organizations. “The Elton John AIDS Foundation is committed to confronting HIV/AIDS where it exists. We recognize that the health needs and rights of LGBTQ people are critical components to ending HIV in the United States,” said John.
You can hear the Southern accent in Matthew McConaughey’s charity. It’s called the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation and it encourages high school teenagers to lead healthy and empowered lives. While filming “Dazed and Confused,” Matthew was struggling with the death of his father and he was inspired by the phrase, “Just keep living.” It’s all about giving back as a part of life, helping others, and being a good neighbor.