They say that celebrities are ‘just like us,’ but the truth is, there are two very big differences: They have more money than many of us could even dream of and an international stage where they can voice their opinions.
While many famous actors and musicians prefer to keep their personal lives private, others choose to use their fame to shed light on a cause they care deeply about. And the world is a better place for it.
Below we’ve rounded up some Good Samaritan celebs and the organizations that inspire them.
1. Angelina Jolie
"I have never understood why people are lucky enough to be born with the chances I had and why across the world there is a woman just like me with the same abilities, same desires, same work ethics and love for her family who would most likely make better films and better speeches, only she sits in a refugee camp and she has no voice." ✌🌍😶
Angelina has made a career in the entertainment industry, but after traveling to Cambodia for a film, she became interested in humanitarian and refugee issues. Recently, she’s taken a step back from acting to devote most of her time to supporting various causes like UNICEF and working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Together with her ex Brad Pitt, they started the Jolie-Pitt Foundation which works to support child refugees and various environmental conservation efforts.
Queen Bey is one of the highest paid musicians in the industry, but she doesn’t let her celebrity go to her head — never forgetting to give back. She established the Survivor Foundation which helped rehome victims of Hurricane Katrina and her Bey Good Foundation benefits local charities worldwide (from Haiti to Nepal). She’s also worked long and hard to fight for gender equality both at home and abroad.
3. Miley Cyrus
As the youngest celebrity on this list, it’s no wonder Miley uses her stable of young fans to rally support for various causes. As her nonprofit Happy Hippie Foundation states, “We believe in the power of young people to change the world.”
One hundred percent of the donations made to the organization go towards helping homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, and other young people in conflict zones.
We can't help but DANCE, because IT'S ALMOST TIME! 🕺🏾💃🏾 One of our favorite things to do in #Malawi is dance with the kids. We can't wait to see the performances at the opening ceremony. Watch our IG Stories to see some of their amazing moves from inside #MercyJamesCentre! #dance #grandopening #raisingmalawi
Madonna has devoted her life to the children of Malawi, a country in Africa. Not only did she adopt numerous kids and bring them into her world, but she also established Raising Malawi in 2006.
Since then, the organization has worked to support orphaned and vulnerable children in the country. Through health and education initiatives, the foundation has helped to open schools and children’s hospitals in the hurting nation.
5. Charlize Theron
Charlize grew up in a small town in South Africa and saw firsthand what HIV and AIDS did to her home country. In 2007, she founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project which works to educate South African and Sub-Saharan Africa’s youth about ways to prevent the disease. By partnering with other local, community-based organizations, Charlize’s project gets the word out through grassroots programs.
6. George Clooney
Though Not On Our Watch was started by a roster of big names like Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, George Clooney is at the heart of it. The organization works to shed light on forgotten international crises. From the genocide in Sudan to the human rights crisis in Burma, George uses his spare time off the silver screen to promote these causes and works to enforce consequences for those who are guilty of these great injustices.
7. Emma Watson
I had the most amazing day in Malawi today. Thank you President Mutharika for being a #HeForShe Impact Champion and for making gender equality a priority in your Government! Thank you to all the traditional leaders who are implementing President Mutharika's policies – especially Chief Kachindamoto (she’s in the photo with me, she’s formidable and has been nicknamed “The Terminator”!). She gave me such a warm welcome today. She has implemented the annulment of so many child marriages and restored the futures of these girls. With the help and collaboration of her local chiefs, mothers’ groups and religious leaders she has managed to annul almost 1500 child marriages, sending the girls back to school. President Mutharika has committed to make child marriage a thing of the past in Malawi within the next five years. It was amazing to be on the ground with @UNWomen and Chief Kachindamoto to witness their work! My @tomenyc white shirt is made from organic cotton and is part of their 'White Shirt Project’ campaign. The project was conceived in 2014 to raise funds and awareness for the Freedom for All charity, which is fighting human trafficking and modern day slavery. The silk skirt is by @zady. Zady partnered with @cocccon_prakesh, founded in 2012 by Chandra Prakash Jha, a fashion designer who wanted to help his community through fairer wages and a safer, more sustainable process. Instead of using toxic pesticides on the plants that the silkworm caterpillars eat, the farmers protect the trees by covering them with mosquito nets to protect the leaves from harmful birds and insects. Then the silk is brought to New York where expert sewers in New York’s famed Garment District create each piece. Sandals by @nisoloshoes. The sandals were made by a team of expert shoemakers in Trujillo, Peru in a factory owned and operated by Nisolo that celebrates fair trade wages, safe working conditions, healthcare for all employees, and financial literacy & wellness training. All fashion info verified by @ecoage
Emma’s charity work for gender equality was put on the map during her rousing speech at a U.N. summit on the issue. HeForShe hopes to achieve global gender equality and, as the name suggests, Emma knows that this will not happen without the support of everyone. The organization organizes global campaigns, education initiatives, and encourages individual actions to reach their goal.
These celebrities truly are using their impactful voices to influence millions to do good.
Share these incredible organizations and the stars behind them today!