Celebrity charities come in all shapes and sizes, mostly extra huge (if that is even a size). Heading into the holiday season we like to reflect on all the goodness in this world – especially the unmatched acts of kindness celebrities do.
Although celebrities often get called out for being hopelessly human at times, they are also the most generous on the planet when it comes to giving.
So many A-listers came from humble beginnings and they remember this, revisiting their hometowns, grade schools, and mentors giving so much back, and making so many places in this world so much better for so many. The stars really shine with these top celebrity charities.
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most profound celebrity philanthropists, always at the top when it comes to giving.
There’s so much out there about how celebrities spend millions on things like homes it’s easy to forget they also do that with charitable causes.
Oprah spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her maternal grandmother, who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks.
“Self-made” is an understatement for this multi-billionaire, who has given away over $400 million to educational causes and Oprah’s Angel Network, supported by the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.
This was established to encourage people around the world to make a difference in the lives of others. Oprah reminds us year after year that famous philanthropists don’t have to come from wealthy families, she takes celebrity charities to the next level.
It seems as though actor Leonardo DiCaprio is out there fighting the good fight for our earthly preservation each and every day – yet he still finds time to give us award-winning performances in film. He’s even a serious art collector. There’s some multitasking for you.
At the top of his list of causes is climate change and global warming, along with protecting the world’s endangered species of animals like wild tigers in Nepal and gorillas in Central Africa.
If you’ve been to an African lodge to witness the beauty of these majestic animals up close, you’ll know how important this fight is.
Before the Flood, presented by National Geographic, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand.
One of our fave celebrity charities is The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, in 1998, was founded with the mission of protecting the world’s last wild places.
LDF implements solutions that help restore balance to threatened ecosystems, ensuring the long-term health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants.
Leo’s become the mega-phone for Mother Earth, raising at least $61 million for more than 65 climate-change, biodiversity, and conservation programs.
Angelina has now become equally known for her humanitarian work as her acting and directing.
She’s now doing extensive traveling as an envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2005 Angelina donated funding to found the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children.
The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, formed with Brad Pitt, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to various human rights organizations, as well as supporting health, education, conservation, and sustainable development efforts.
The foundation has also funded the creation of more than ten schools in Cambodia, Kenya, and Afghanistan, as well as efforts to provide medical supplies to underserved nations.
Using her talent and fame, she has exponentially brought awareness and massive donations to these worthy causes.
The pop superstar has established herself as a top charitable celebrity whose generosity reaches a variety of causes.
Aside from pledging $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for an education center, if there’s a storm brewing and headed your way, you’ll most likely find Taylor nearby with a helping hand.
Taylor regularly contributes to relief and recovery efforts for survivors of natural disasters, giving around $1.2 million to charities helping people affected by floods in Louisiana.
She’s previously donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help survivors of a tornado in western Alabama and victims of a flood in Iowa.
Taylor has been a force to be reckoned with when it comes to helping others, and as they say in tornado alley, Taylor’s got your back and this is a great example of celebrity charities with heart.
Sir Elton John has seen many of his close friends die from HIV/AIDS over the years, and in 1992 established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).
EJAF has raised over $125 million to support programs in 55 countries around the globe through prevention and education, elimination of prejudice and discrimination, and providing services to people living with the disease. That’s what we call serious star power, but he doesn’t stop there.
The Rocket Man also gives large amounts of his personal wealth to charity. In 2004 he donated over $43 million to organizations around the world, making him the most generous person in music for that year, and years after.
In 2008 he donated 120 motorcycles to the African nation of Lesotho, to be used by doctors and nurses to visit patients in remote areas, and in 1997 he raised $40 million for charity through sales of Candle In The Wind, the single released following the death of Princess Diana.
George Michael – Celebrity Charities We Never Knew
We’re giving a shoutout to George Michael because only at his death were we able to learn that he anonymously donated millions to charity.
George gave millions to Childline, a free, private, and confidential service where counselors are there to talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, they’re here for you online, on the phone, anytime.
The founder of the children’s charity, Childline, told the Press Association that Michael donated millions to the organization and was determined to keep it quiet.
Michael has helped countless children as a result of his donations to Childline, the charity’s founder and president Esther Rantzen said.
“For years now he has been the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline, but he was determined not to make his generosity public. Over the years he gave us millions and helped 100s of 1,000s of children.”
Our celebrities touch so many lives in positive ways, sometimes by the masses and sometimes one at a time – like the Jonas Brothers surprising a sick girl at Penn State Hospital before a concert. If we had to put a dollar amount on this one, We’d say priceless.