Mention a celebrity’s name and you’ll instantly think of a movie, song, invention or a scandal. Perhaps anything but their contributions to charity. Fortunately, giving back is becoming more and more the norm. Here are 5 generous celebrities who used their success to make a difference in the world:
Kicking off our list of generous celebrities is Mel Gibson. Despite his troubles, he has donated tens of millions over the past decade. His contributions have helped less fortunate children get treatment. They’ve helped Mexico rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Stan. Oh, and they’ve also helped FARES (The Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies) fund its Mirador basin rainforest initiative. Gibson also founded the A.P. Reilly Foundation – and he put up a cool $6.8 million to support Holy Family Church. Yep. He’s a pretty good egg.
The creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones has given over $4.3 million to help children find opportunities and achieve their dreams. He has two organisations under his name: the Lucas Film Foundation and The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Heart. Of. Gold.
Sir Elton John
The music legend supports not one, but over 50 charities. What a show off. But seriously, his donations help fight against HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, natural disasters, cancer, homelessness, and more. He founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in the early ’90s – and now hosts an annual ball at his home where hundreds of guests dance and raise money for the cause. EJAF has since generated over $200 million to fund programmes across the world. Since 2004, the singer has held the title of the most generous person in music, eager to donate millions out of pocket to any charity that catches his eye. What a star.
Jami Gertz and Antony Ressler
Know these two? Best known for her roles in ’80s films such as Sixteen Candles and The Lost Boys, Jami Gertz and her husband Antony Ressler donated a record-breaking $10.5 million to the Ressler Gertz Foundation. Grants from the foundation support initiatives including art, medicine, and secondary education.
We couldn’t leave J.K. off the list. The mastermind behind all things Hogwarts made history when she became the first female billionaire author. Yep, the girl done good. She astonished the public again by donating over $160 million out of her own pocket to various causes, reverting herself to millionaire status. Rowling states that those with a surplus of wealth have a moral obligation “to do wise things with it and give intelligently.” Her philosophy no doubt stems from her own journey from homelessness to success. Most of her generosity went toward organizations that provide single parents in need with education and employment resources. To top it all off, Rowling established the charity Lumos, a name which her readers will no doubt recognise. This charity helps disadvantaged youths across Eastern Europe.
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