Celebrity Charity

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Putting their money where their mouths are! In addition to walking the red carpet and living the glamorous life, these celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Lauren Conrad, and Matt Damon, are working hard to make the world a better place. Read up on their charities!

Liam Payne

The former One Direction member volunteered at one of Trussell Trust’s food banks in the U.K. during the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. “Recently I made a personal, long-term commitment to support the Trussell Trust and their vital work supplying meals to those in need all over the U.K.,” he tweeted at the time. “It was humbling to get involved in my local food bank yesterday, and to meet some of the incredibly passionate people like Carla, Dorothea and Helena who are working tirelessly during these incredibly tough times.” 

Payne added, “I’m glad to be playing my small part as we work towards a future in which nobody needs a food bank.”

Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Michael Che

In the wake of his grandmother’s coronavirus death, the Saturday Night Live star said he will pay the rent of NYC tenants who lived within his late relative’s building. “It’s crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many New Yorkers can’t offer much help by myself,” he wrote via Instagram. “But in the spirit of my late grandmother, I’m paying one month’s rent for all 160 apartments in NYCHA building she lived in.”

Che continued, “I know that’s just a drop in the bucket. So I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing AT THE VERY LEAST.”

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The couple are making a $112,000 contribution to Feeding Britain, a hunger charity dedicated to providing good quality food to children and families in need, from profits they earned from the BBC broadcast of their May 2018 wedding.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge

In an effort to help with the Australia bushfires, the Fleabag star revealed that she will auction off her plunging, sequined Ralph & Russo suit to raise money for the relief. “We made a plan with Ralph & Russo, who are Italian designers, who created this incredible couture suit, which is the most amazing thing I have ever worn,” the English actress told Us Weekly and other reporters during the 77th Golden Globe Awards press room in January 2020. “We are going to auction it, and the money we raise from it is going to relief to Australia. It’s a beautiful idea for the team. So I’m really excited to be part of that.”

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Seth Rogen

The Long Shot star made an appearance on The Price Is Right in December 2019 to help raise awareness and funds for his charity with wife Lauren Miller Rogen, Hilarity for Charity, which aims to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. During his time on the CBS show, he raised a whopping $69,000 for the pair’s charity. Seth and Lauren, who wed in 2011, founded their organization in 2012 after the actress’ mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cardi B

The “Rodeo” rapper loaded up her sleigh — or Target cart, as the case may be — with thousands of dollars of presents for kids in need in December 2019, according to TMZ. The site reported that Cardi B spent about $5,000 on toys, games, dolls, car sets and other gifts at the Miami-area Target and loaded the haul into a moving van with the help of her staffers.

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Ellie Goulding

Ahead of the Christmas holiday in December 2019, the “Anything Could Happen” singer chose to spend her time giving back to those suffering from homelessness in London. She volunteered with Crisis, a charitable organization that provides aid to homeless people in the U.K. During her visit, she wore an all-black ensemble and a nametag that read “Ellie G” as she handed out beverages. She last opened up about her work with Crisis in December 2018, when she tweeted about how it’s “always such a pleasure to work with all the other volunteers and staff” involved with the charity. She regarded Crisis as a “warm [and] safe environment for people to come in off the street and have some food, a chat or just some warmth.”

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Kit Harington

The outspoken advocate for Mencap, a charity for people with a learning disability, made a large contribution to the organization in June 2019 after Game of Thrones fans started a fundraiser in his honor as he sought treatment for personal struggles. “To those of you who set this page up in my name and to those of you who contributed and left messages, please accept my deepest and most heartfelt thank you,” the actor wrote along with his nearly $10,000 contribution at the time. “This donations page lifted my heart and brought tears to my eyes, what a beautiful gift to receive…how generous of all of you. Mencap is truly a wonderful charity and the money given here will go to the most incredible cause. With love and respect from beyond the wall…Kit x.”

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James Holzhauer

The former Jeopardy! contestant, who took home on a win on the show for 32 straight days from April to June 2019, donated $1,109.14 (a nod to his daughter’s November 9, 2014 birthday) to his hometown of Naperville’s Pancreatic Cancer Walk in June 2019. The gift was made in honor of host Alex Trebek, who revealed that he had been diagnosed with the disease in March.

 

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Patricia Heaton

When Heaton wanted to get involved with a charity, the actress tells Us she looked for one with “high impact, long term commitment to communities.” And she knew she had found it when in Zambia, a waitress noticed her World Vision shirt and told her it was that very charity that made it possible for her to go to school. It was the moment the star of The Middle says she realized just how great the impact of this Christian organization, which fights childhood poverty, truly is. “Jesus said, ‘Love God with your whole being, and love your neighbor as yourself,’” Heaton tells Us. “World Vision is the perfect embodiment of that command. [The charity] reaches across religions and cultures to help people in need.”

COURTESY OF WORLD VISION

Wendi McLendon-Covey

The Goldbergs star calls getting involved with WriteGirl “a happy accident.” After she had to miss the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, she was free to act in the organization’s annual showcase of sketches and monologues written by young girls. “I couldn’t believe how amazing it was,” she tells Us. “I wish I’d had this when I was a teenager.” Now, she says, “I donate to them as much as I can I would love to volunteer more with them…I do that show almost every spring and I try and get volunteers for them.”

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Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peña

After tragedy struck Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 many brave students turned grief into action. For Garrity and Peña, that meant penning a song, “Shine,” in memory of their fallen classmates. Proceeds from the song benefit the Shine MSD Fund for the victims and their families. The girls will perform the ballad when they are honored at the Television Industry Advocacy Awards on September 15, 2018.


Mädchen Amick

When her son Sylvester was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 19 as a college student in 2011, the Riverdale star and her family turned to the National Alliance on Mental Illness as “a resource,” she tells Us. By 2014, Amick, 47, became an advocate, supporting the charity in return. “I always look forward to any NAMI event,” she notes. “The supportive community is a must in the recovery of those living with mental illness and the loved ones who support them.”

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Abigail Disney

She’s a filmmaker who documents women in war-ravaged nations, so the mission of Search for Common Ground resonated with Disney. “I love how they teach that violence is never OK,” the great-niece of Walt Disney tells Us of the peace-building charity. “They create dialogue on the ground and [work] with local com- munities in war-torn areas.” For a better future, she says, “we have to choose to believe peace is possible, people are lovable and we can make a different world.”

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Sela Ward

After many Christmases spent bringing gifts to a homeless shelter in her native Mississippi, Ward and her husband, Howard Sherman, were inspired to start their own facility for kids by two boys who’d been separated from their siblings in the foster-care system. “I couldn’t bear these two brothers being ripped apart,” recalls the FBI star, “That’s how Hope Village was born. Our mandate [is] to keep siblings together.” The best part of her work, she says: “Watching children feel safe enough to thrive.”


Bill Prady

When Prady and Chuck Lorre created The Big Bang Theory, they had no idea the show would become “a vehicle to promote science and science education,” Prady tells Us. As the hit inspired kids to pursue careers requiring costly educations, Lorre enlisted the help of Prady and the show’s cast to launch The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment at UCLA in 2015.

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Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex founded Sentebale in 2006 with Prince Seeiso. The foundation supports the well-being and mental health of children and young people who have been affected by HIV in the African cities of Lesotho and Botswana.

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Gigi Hadid

The model embarked on a 2018 trip to a refugee camp in Bangladesh where she lent a hand to help on behalf of UNICEF — the United Nations Children’s Fund — which helps support and give assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

Courtesy Gigi Hadid/Instagram

Serena and Venus Williams

The professional tennis players teamed up for a violence prevention foundation in their hometown of Compton in Los Angeles.

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Jennifer Hudson

In the wake of her mother, brother, and nephew’s brutal murders in October 2008, Jennifer Hudson started the Julian D. King Gift Foundation with her sister Julia Hudson to “provide stability, support, and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds.” She accepted the Favorite Humanitarian Award at the 2014 People’s Choice Awards for her work with the organization.

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Pharrell Williams

Making the world happy! The Voice coach sold his now-iconic Vivienne Westwood hat that he wore to the 2014 Grammys at an auction. The kicker? Arby’s bought the accessory for $44,100 after many compared it to their logo. The money went to From One Hand to AnOTHER, Williams’ charity for at-risk youths.

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Victoria Beckham

How Posh! To help support the mothers2mothers charity, which strives to eliminate the transmission of HIV and AIDS between mothers and their unborn children, Beckham sold 600 pieces from her personal wardrobe in August 2014. “These clothes have been on some incredible journeys – I’ve had so much fun in them, and I want to share that and give other people the chance to have a piece of what I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to have,” she told British mag Grazia UK at the time.

Courtesy of Victoria Beckham

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union

The newlywed couple served up some Thanksgiving goodness to those less fortunate at the 23rd Annual HEAT Thanksgiving Celebration in November 2014. The pair helped distribute frozen turkeys, canned goods, and side items to around 600 underprivileged families and hot meals were served to over 450 residents of the Miami Rescue Mission.

David Alvarez/Miami HEAT

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield

Working the paparazzi to their advantage! The costars and real-life couple held up hand-written cards for the cameras in June 2014. “We were eating and saw a group of guys with cameras outside. And so we thought, let’s try this again. We don’t need the attention, but these wonderful organizations do,” Stone’s card read. “www.youthmentoring.org, www.autismspeaks.org, (and don’t forget) www.wwo.org, www.gildasclubnyc.org,” Garfield’s card added, “Here’s to the stuff that matters. Have a great day!”

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Emily VanCamp and Josh Bowman

The Revenge costars and real-life couple teamed up for a PSA for the World Wildlife Fund’s “Hands Off My Parts” initiative. “Wildlife crime is now the most urgent and immediate threat to these beloved animals, and they can’t survive high levels of poaching much longer,” VanCamp said.


Michael J. Fox

The actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, hosted a star-packed benefit in November 2013 called “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s.” Fox performed with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and tons of other celebs helped raise $5.5 million to Parkinson’s research.

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Pippa Middleton

The bootylicious Brit completed a 3,000-mile charity bicycle race across America in June 2014 with her brother James Middleton. After she finished, Kate Middleton’s sister auctioned off her bike on eBay, adding to the £20,000 she raised for the British Heart Foundation during her ride. “The challenge of riding across the Rockies, coping with the heat of the Arizona desert and climbing over 170,000 vertical feet in the six days was incredibly tough, but every inch of the 3,000 mile race was worth it, to help the BHF fight heart disease,” she said at the time.

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Ian Somerhalder

The noted animal lover found his match in girlfriend Nikki Reed. The couple has adopted a horse together and cares for a series of rescue animals. In August 2014, he posed with a pair of llamas at Heifer International’s Beyond Hunger: A Place at the Table Gala to help end world hunger.

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Angelina Jolie

It’s safe to bet that the mother of six has headlined more humanitarian efforts than she has acting credits. “I came into this business young and worried about my own experiences, my own pain. And it was only when I began to travel and look at life beyond my home that I understood my responsibility to others,” she said in her acceptance speed for the Humanitarian Award in November 2013.

 

 

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Ben Affleck

Jennifer Garner’s hubby works tirelessly on behalf of the Eastern Congo Initiative, which he founded in 2009 to help women and children affected by sexual violence and rape. In May 2013, the ECI partnered with TOMS shoes for a special line. “Getting involved in something, helping others, improving the fabric of the universe – I believe if you do that, even just a little bit, I think you’ll find your life gets better, too,” Affleck said at the time.



Lauren Conrad

After traveling to markets around the world, LC and her friend Hannah Skvarla founded The Little Market, an organization that works with female artisans across the globe to “combat poverty, empower communities, and create social justice.” “My bestie Hannah and I have been traveling all over the world to find local female artisans in the communities we’ve visited to sell their handmade products through our online store,” The Hills star wrote on her blog in October 2013.

Courtesy of Lauren Conrad

Giuliana Rancic

To mark her son Duke’s first birthday in August 2013, Rancic asked guests at his cowboy-themed bash to donate gifts to Baby2Baby instead of the guest of honor. “It just felt like the right thing to do,” she told Us of giving to the charity that provides baby gear and clothing to families in need. “When Duke was born, I got all these things for him — we didn’t even use 50 percent of it. One day, [I can tell Duke], ‘you were doing charity work when you were just one year old.’ It’s nice to start instilling that in your kids at an early age.”

Mike Windle/Getty Images for Huggies

Brittany Snow

Pitch Perfect‘s Snow started Love Is Louder, a web community and organization that hosts outreach events nationwide, in 2010 along with The Jed Foundation and MTV to combat bullying, discrimination and depression. “I was bullied in school by a girl who made my life miserable . . . and I feel like every single person I know has a story like that in some way, whether it was in the workplace or school or by a parent or even just the voices inside your head that tell you you’re not good enough,” Snow tells Us. “Love is Louder has really helped people realize that this is not a game anymore. These are people’s lives.”

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Holly Robinson Peete

Actress Peete supports Children Mending Hearts, a charity that facilitates arts education programs for disadvantaged kids. “I’m in my 40s and can’t remember any class where there wasn’t art. We didn’t do it just to finger-paint — it develops your brain,” says Peete. “My daughter is lucky to go to schools where there is a lot of art implemented, but the children that are missing out on those programs are missing out on an important part of their development. We have to change that.”

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Justin Bieber

When Bieber embarked on his 46-date Believe concert tour in September 2012, the pop superstar raised funds for Pencils of Promise by donating $1 from each ticket sold to the organization, which helps build schools and increase educational opportunities in the developing world.

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Jennifer Aniston

In an effort to raise awareness for September’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in 2012, the Just Go With It actress joined Jon Hamm and Betty White to perform a cover of the Beatles’ iconic 1968 single “Hey Jude.” Encouraging donations to help “make it better” for kids fighting cancer, Aniston and her music video costars assisted St. Jude in finding cures to save children from around the world.

In October 2017, Aniston also donated $1 million to hurricane relief efforts. The Friends actress split the funds between the Ricky Martin Foundation to aid Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, with the other half going to the American Red Cross after other storms severely damaged various areas in the country.

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Sophia Bush

The Partners actress (and pal Leslie Bibb) was all smiles at the Opening Ceremony for the 28th Annual AIDS WALK LA benefiting AIDS project in Los Angeles.

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Will & Jada Pinkett Smith

By asking friends and fans to donate money to charity:water instead of giving them birthday presents, the Smiths were able to provide more than 400 Ethiopians with clean drinking water. The duo even traveled to Ethiopia in July 2012 to see their dollars at work. “Our trip…was an incredibly eye-opening and authentic experience,” Will told Us.

Charity:Water

Mariska Hargitay

“When I started on [Law & Order: SVU], people asked me how I dealt with all the horrible subject matter. I deal with it by doing something about it,” she says. Her Joyful Heart foundation — launched in 2004 — supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

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Kim Kardashian

When her marriage to Kris Humpries crumbled after just 72 days in 2011, Kardashian decided to donate twice the value of her gifts — $200,000 — to the Dream Foundation, a “wish-granting organization” for adults with life-threatening illnesses.

 

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Prince William and Kate Middleton

Instead of asking their wedding guests to buy them fine china or stock their wine collection, the couple requested that donations be made to the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund. According to the Palace, approximately $1.7 million was raised through their generosity, with the money earmarked for 19 charities of Will and Kate’s choosing.

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Eva Longoria

“My old sister Elizabeth is mentally disabled. She is my hero,” Longoria tells Us of her motivation to begin Eva’s Heroes, an after-school program for special needs children in San Antonio, Texas.

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Shawn Johnson

“Bringing awareness to women’s and children’s cancers is very important to me,” the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast tells Us of supporting Cancer.net, a resource for patients and families caring for someone affected by the disease. “I hope I encourage patients and families to never give up.”

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Arsenio Hall

“I can’t wait to deliver this $250,000 check to my friend “Erv” for The Magic Johnson Foundation. It’s a dream to be able to support the important work they do on a daily basis and I am humbled to be able to contribute to their ongoing mission,” Hall, who took part in Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2012 in memory of his cousin who passed away from AIDS shortly before he signed on to do the show. Beating Clay Aiken for Trump’s top prize, Hall was able to earmark all funds he raised directly for the basketball star’s pet cause.

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Carey Mulligan

The actress’ custom-made Prada halter dress was listed on eBay on behalf of Oxfam America after she attended the 2012 Met Ball in New York City. One hundred percent of the auction’s proceeds — the winning bid was $2,950 — went to the international relief organization aimed at eradicating poverty, hunger and injustice.

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AnnaLynne McCord

“We’re at a critical point in the fight against AIDS and we need to act now,” 90210’s McCord says, pledging to support ONE’s efforts to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV, increase the number of people on HIV treatments to 15 million annually and reduce new HIV infections. “ONE’s goals are ambitious, but they are absolutely achievable if we all do our part.”

 

ONE

Gisele Bundchen

The supermodel visited Kenya in January 2012 as part of her duty as a United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador. “When I went to Africa I discovered that elephants are one of the smartest and most complex mammals on earth. If we don’t protect them, they can be extinguished,” Bundchen later said.

Gisele Bundchen

Olivia Munn

Magic Mike‘s sexy star stripped down to appear on an anti-fur billboard in Los Angeles in early 2012. “As a proud person of Chinese descent, it broke my heart to learn just how terribly animals suffer and die on Chinese fur farms and that there are no penalties for this abuse,” Munn explains. Munn’s ad follows that of Khloe Kardashian, Taraji P. Henson and Elisabetta Canalis, who have also participated in PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign.

 

PETA

Matt Damon

Matt Damon and Gary White co-founded non-profit Water.org, an organization pioneering innovative solutions to provide people across the world with access to safe water and sanitation. “I’m dedicated to raising global consciousness about the magnitude of this challenge and the solutions,” says Damon. “I have four girls of my own and I want them be proud of the impact I’m making in the world.”


Eva Mendes

The actress has worked with the Step Up Women’s Network, a group dedicated to empowering teen girls from underserved communities. “I loved spending time with the young women from Step Up and their moms,” Mendes tells Us. “I have so much respect for what they do — it’s amazing what women can accomplish when we support one another.”

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Bethenny Frankel

 

The SkinnyGirl creator chartered planes for victims, raised millions of dollars and donated countless relief supplies through her B Strong Foundation since Hurricane Maria rocked Puerto Rico in September 2017. “I just did one thing and it turned into a hundred things,” Frankel told Us Weekly exclusively on November 9. “It’s like a single thing you do and you see it makes a difference and it’s contagious and a lot of people are helping you and you’re just connecting and how can you not continue to help because you can’t unsee what you’ve seen.”

Patrick Ecclesine/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Beyoncé

The “Formation” singer launched BeyGOOD Houston in 2017 to raise money to help Hurricane Harvey victims. The superstar also visited her hometown of Houston to speak with residents and handed out food and supplies along with her daughter Blue Ivy. She also released the remix to “Mi Gente” by J. Balvin and Willy William in September 2017 and announced that all proceeds from the song would benefit Hurricane Maria relief efforts. “I am donating my proceeds from this song to hurricane relief charities for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the other affected Caribbean islands,” she wrote on Instagram about the track.

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Chance the Rapper

He’s in love with his city! The musician has been focusing on helping the community in his hometown of Chicago, with a focus on education and the school system. The “No Problem” rapper cofounded the SocialWorks foundation to help empower the youth and has raised more than $2 million for Chicago Public School System. In August 2017 he donated $1 million of his own money to the cause. He also launched the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund to support arts in public schools.

Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images

Ricky Martin

The “She Bangs” singer worked tirelessly to help those affected by Hurricane Maria in his native island of Puerto Rico in September 2017. “I don’t sleep, I’m in creative mode trying to see how we can bring love and hope to my people in Puerto Rico,” Martin, who raised for than $4 million for the cause, told Us Weekly in October 2017. “We are alive. Even though we lost everything, we didn’t lose hope, we are smiling, and we’re fighting for what needs to happen for Puerto Rico to be back to what it was.” He also previously teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help after the tsunami in Thailand in 2005 and after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

 

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Kristen Bell

The Veronica Mars alum stayed behind in Florida during Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and used that time to help those around her prepare for the storm, providing them with food and supplies. She also used her talents to lift the evacuees’ spirits by singing for senior citizens and performing for a group of families at a shelter in Orlando. She also helped her Frozen costar Josh Gad’s family make it to safety. The actor revealed on Instagram that Bell had gotten his relatives a room at her hotel to keep them safe during the hurricane. 

 

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Jennifer Garner

The Love, Simon actress has been a trustee and ambassador for Save the Children since 2014, advocating for children living in poverty. “These children don’t vote, they don’t make political contributions; neither do their parents,” she stated while testifying before Congress about child poverty in March 2017. “Somebody has to tell their story above all the noise. Poverty is silent, but I can’t be.” 

 

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Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

The couple donated $200,000 to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund on behalf of the gymnasts who had been abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. The Lip Sync Battle cohost also volunteered to pay McKayla Maroney’s potential fine for speaking out against Nassar after previously having signed an NDA agreement. The “Surefire” singer donated $5,000 to a GoFundMe campaign in May 2017 to cover the school-lunch debt for students at a Seattle school. In December 2014, when protesters took to the streets of New York City over the death of Eric Garner after an NYPD officer put the man in a chokehold, the duo hired food trucks to feed those who were marching. 

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Jennifer Lopez

The actress along with boyfriend Alex Rodriguez helped raised $26 million dollars for Puerto Rico hurricane relief in October 2017. The pair put together the star-studded One Voice: Somos Live! concert to help collect the funds. The singer also donated $1 million of her own money to relief efforts after she was unable to contact her extended family who live on the island. Lopez and the former Yankees player headed to the island in January 2018 to help those in need.

Evans Vestal Ward /NBCUniversal/One Voice: Somos Live!/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick

The NFL player kicked off a major social movement in 2016 when he started protesting by sitting out during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality. The athlete sparked a movement among other football players and professional athletes to take a knee as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played before games. Kaepernick also donated $1 million to charitable organizations, including United We Dream, Coalition for the Homeless and Meals on Wheels. The football player funded the Know Your Rights Camp for youth to raise awareness on higher education, self-empowerment, and to help them learn how to properly interact with law enforcement.

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