Charitable celebs have been brought to the forefront of the media in the past two weeks because of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which so far has raised over $50 million for the disease. Many celebrities have made videos to spread awareness and have opened up their check books. But what about the many generous celebs you had no idea were giving to a variety of organizations all along? There are many charitable celebs that we all know about. For example, it’s common knowledge that Elton John raises a great deal of money for AIDS through his namesake organization. We all know that Angelina Jolie is an ambassador for the UN and regularly goes on missions to help children. But what about those celebs whose efforts perhaps aren’t leaked everywhere in the press? Here are ten celebs you had no idea were charitable. While some of these names aren’t surprising, many will be, especially those with less than stellar reputations. But perhaps the worse the reputation, the more charitable the person. Read on and see…
10. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber is better known for making headlines, rather than making music these days. Between getting arrested, fighting with neighbors, hooking up with a laundry list of girls and just general douchebaggery, it’s surprising he has time to be charitable, but he does. In 2013, he became the first recording artist to grant over 200 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2014, he received the “Champ of Charity” award at the Young Hollywood awards. When accepting the award, he brought his date, Grace Kesablak, a 10 year old battling cancer, up on stage (and on the red carpet) with him. He even gave her his trophy!
9. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is known for being a former child-star gone bad, and as the inventor of twerking. She might appear to be a bad girl, but Miley has a very good heart. Cyrus supports over 39 charities including, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, MusicCares, Save the Music Foundation, Art of Elysium and many others. In December 2013, Cyrus tweeted a picture of herself out in the snow, with her shirt lifted up, but not to be provocative. She did it to support the indie documentary, Free The Nipple. The documentary questions the American media’s double standard when it comes to the female body, which is often censored versus violence, which tends to be less censored. Miley wasn’t afraid to use her body and her influence to stand up for this important social cause.
8. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen is one of the misunderstood stars in Hollywood. Most recently, Sheen did the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, but dumped $10k of cash over his head instead of ice. He also helped start a foundation for children with cancer, after meeting the father of a little girl who was ill. He has worked with a number of charities including Aid for AIDS, Chrysalis, the Race to Erase MS and The Organization for Bipolar Affective Disorder, among many others. Last holiday season, Sheen donated $10k to fight epilepsy and $25k to help victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.
7. Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt has had quite a charitable week. His ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video was one of the funniest and most memorable. Pratt also took a trip to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, dressed as his character from the Marvel flick, Guardians of The Galaxy to meet with some of the area’s sickest children. Reports say he was there for three hours. He even spent extra time with one child who loves Legos and recognized Chris’ voice from the movie. They spent ten minutes re-enacting scenes from the film. So, we all know Pratt is a good actor and has a hot body, but now we all know he has an even better heart.
6. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is known for her beautiful voice and not so beautiful relationships, but did you know she was also incredibly charitable? For her 24th birthday, she donated $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony, which has been having financial difficulties. She also gave her time, headlining an event for Centrepoint, which is an organization that benefits young homeless people. She also works with a number of organizations, including Clothes Off Our Back, UNICEF, Up 2 Cancer and many others. In fact, she was rated the most charitable celeb by ‘Do Something’, which is an organization she proudly supports. Most recently, she participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
5. Dave Navarro
While he tries to come off as a cool rock star, Ink Master host and Jane’s Addiction Guitarist, Dave Navarro is just as good, as he appears to be bad. Most recently, he raised over $24,000 for Operation Smile, which is an organization that provides free surgeries to children with cleft palate and other facial deformities. $24,000 will provide approximately 100 children with free surgeries, making them smile a whole lot brighter. Navarro has also worked with pediatric AIDS charities, domestic violence awareness charities and PETA, as well as MusiCares and many others.
4. Paul Walker
You might not know it, but the late Paul Walker was one of the most charitable and giving celebrities. It was revealed after his death that many years ago, he secretly bought an engagement right for a military serviceman who couldn’t afford his fiancée’s dream ring. Keeping his efforts a secret was important to Walker, who in 2011, when a tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, went to there to help out, not only with his checkbook, but also performed manual labor. Walker also donated to the Haiti relief effort and Reach Out Worldwide, among many other organizations. Walker probably performed many acts of generosity we might never know about.
3. Ian Somerholder
Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries, and numerous films and television shows, is a name you never hear associated with charity, but he is so charitable, he even has his own organization called The Ian Somerhalder Foundation. The mission statement of his charity is “to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.” In other words, they help the planet and its creatures. One of the organization’s most recent projects is trying to open up an animal sanctuary for misunderstood, neglected and mistreated animals.
2. Demi Lovato
Actress, singer and X-Factor Judge, Demi Lovato is a caring celebrity who really gives back with her heart. In 2013, she founded the Demi Lovato Charity Boutique. Through E-Bay, Lovato sells clothing, purses, jewelry, sunglasses and signed memorabilia, and donates the money to Free The Children, which is an organization that “empowers youth to be agents of change.” Lovato also isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and spent her birthday last year doing service work in Kenya. She also works to spread awareness of and has advocated for mental illness and eating disorders, because she’s openly struggled with these issues herself.
1. Russell Brand
Get Him To The Greek star and stand up comedian, Russell Brand is one of the most charitable celebrities, giving his cash and his time to others who are less fortunate than him. There are endless stories of Brand taking homeless people from LA’s skid row out to dinner, and taking them to 12-Step meetings for drug and alcohol addiction. A former drug addict and alcoholic himself, Brand is open about his addiction and most recently helped open a rehab center called Freehab. The center helps homeless youth suffering from drug addiction. As the name implies, the program is free. Actor Danny Trejo is also involved with the organization.