17 celebrities who give back
Stars from Taylor Swift to Ian Somerhalder to Angelina Jolie have taken time out of their busy schedules to do good, lending their star power to a variety of important causes. In the spirit of being selfless and putting others first, check out these 17 celebs who've given back.
The Grammy winner took time to pay fans visits in the hospital, as she did in the photos above from July 2013 at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Swift has performed for ill children at various hospitals across the country and donated funds to those in need. In 2020, the singer also contributed money to fans for coronavirus struggles, as well as to the Nashville tornado relief fund.
In 2022, John Cena granted his 650th wish as a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, becoming the first celebrity to reach such a milestone. The wrestler has been granting wishes for children battling various illnesses since 2002, spending time with kids and offering them a moment of fun during a tough situation. "I'll drop everything," he said in 2015, at the time of his 500th wish. "If I can offer a fantastic experience, I'll be first in line to do my part."
The singer founded her own charity, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, in honor of her late nephew. She's also done work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (shown above).
As of September 2015, the singer had fulfilled more than 250 wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Shown above with wish recipient Grace Kesablak, Bieber has visited many young fans spending time in the hospital.
One of the most famous celebrity philanthropists, Winfrey took her efforts to the people with Starbucks' 2014 introduction of Oprah Chai. The tea raised funds for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls (shown above), which supports the education of young women and community growth. Check out her foundation website for her other projects.
A longtime philanthropist, Demi Lovato traveled to Kenya in 2013 to work with Free the Children and Me to We. They spent time with women in the area in a push for economic empowerment. Lovato also advocates for mental wellness, as they started the Mental Health Fund, which donated to the Crisis Text Line and counseling for those who were psychologically affected by the global pandemic.
The NFL star pays weekly visits to Seattle Children's Hospital. "Sunday is game day for me, but my best day is Tuesday when I visit Seattle Children's," he said in a 2015 release. "All the amazing opportunities I've had on the field can't compare to helping kids whose lives are on the line."
An outspoken supporter of animals and the environment, the Vampire Diaries actor launched the Ian Somerhalder Foundation in 2010. As promoted in the photo above, Somerhalder is working to open the ISF Animal Sanctuary with the mission of "creating a safe haven for all the outcast animals that have been neglected, mistreated, and, ultimately, misunderstood." In 2021, ISF donated a $1 million grant to the Jane Goodall Institute to aid its "programs to protect the natural world we share and improve the wellbeing of people, other animals, and essential ecosystems around the world."
The Euphoria star prioritized her work with children, taking time to visit elementary schools, making donations of school supplies, and teaming up with UNICEF in 2014 to raise money through the organization's Trick-or-Treat campaign.
After years of work across the globe, Angelina Jolie is perhaps just as famous for her charitable efforts as she is for her film career. The Oscar winner has made extensive donations to various humanitarian causes, served as an UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, paid visits to at-risk communities — such as the Ja Mai Kaung Baptist refugee camp (shown above), where she spent time in July 2015 — and used her first-ever Instagram post in 2021 to raise awareness on Afghan refugees and displacement, encouraging others to help.
Often with her husband Dwyane Wade by her side, Union does charity work both nationally and in her local community. The Bring It On star has worked with the Susan G. Komen foundation, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund's Women Are Watching campaign, the Miami Rescue Mission for the annual Heat Thanksgiving Celebration, Amazon to fulfill the lists of charities for the Christmas season, and Ford to donate a car to Harvest Homes, which aids homeless pregnant women and their children.
The U2 singer is famous for his charity work, even earning a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. He regularly works with (Red) and the ONE Campaign, which he cofounded, among dozens of other organizations.
Sandra Bullock is active in disaster relief efforts, working across the world to help those struggling. She donated $1 million to the American Red Cross following the tragic 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, lent a hand to New Orleans after 2005's Hurricane Katrina — including the opening of the Warren Easton Charter High School Health Clinic, shown above — donated $500,000 to help California Wildfire relief in 2018, and contributed funds to Central Texas Food Bank after its 2021 snowstorm.
The founder of Yellow, Pharrell Williams focuses much of his charity work on children and education. He teamed up with UNIQLO (as shown above) for a 2014 fundraising event, has dropped in on schools from time to time to advocate for learning and positivity, and created YELLOWHAB, "an immersive educational environment that sparks imagination and orbits the child with an ecosystem approach."
Chris Pratt makes time to visit ailing children on a regular basis, including a 2015 trip to Louisiana's Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital (shown above). The actor works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and March of Dimes, among other organizations. In 2021, Pratt and Greater Good Charities donated around $650,000 to help fight food insecurity caused by the global pandemic.
John Legend kicked off the Show Me Campaign in 2007 in the hopes of giving "every child access to a quality education." As shown in the photo above, the musician read books at a public school in Washington, D.C., and has donated thousands of dollars to related causes.
Jackie Chan served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for years. Shown above visiting kids in Yangon, Myanmar as a part of the program, the actor has also donated a large portion of his earnings to charity.