Celebrities have money at their fingertips and more than most of us could ever imagine having in our lifetime. However, rather than squander and waste their fortunes, many celebrities are actually very generous when it comes to giving away money to those in need. Several have set up charities to raise money for causes close to their hearts and have raised millions in the process. Celebrities have the advantage of being very influential and are role models to generations of fans and so can be quite powerful when it comes to encouraging the public to give to charity. Here are our top ten celebrity charity fundraisers and why we think they deserve to be highlighted.
10 Bono of U2
Ever since Bono become a public figure, a well known musician and more importantly, a millionaire, he has been doing everything he can for charity. He was most notably, one of the main players in the original Live Aid concert, along with Bob Geldof and has been involved with charities such as Amnesty International and World Vision.
9 Katie Piper
Katie Piper is a rare example of a celebrity who actually became famous due to her disability. Following a horrific acid attack on her by an ex boyfriend, Katie was left disfigured and blind in one eye. Rather than being bitter, Katie set about raising awareness about domestic violence, living a life with burns and scars and helping people with similar injuries to herself. So far the charity has raised millions to help victims with scar management, rehabilitation and clinical care.
8 Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson is so generous that he has so far given just shy of $7 million to charity. His main charity is the A. P. Reilly foundation which he founded to give support to a local church. He doesn’t limit his generosity to just one charity however and has been known to give large handouts to many different organisations.
7 George Lucas
The famous director George Lucas, like many celebrities, has his own charity, several in fact and all focus on different areas of humanitarian work. Lucas has personally put in around $5 million to his charities and considers his charity work as important as his directing and producing.
6 Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof is probably one of the most famous charitable celebrities and has been organising many music events for over forty years. He has personally given millions to charity, has several of his own and most recently, organised Live 8 in 2005, to follow on from the famous Live Aid in 1985.
5 Meryl Streep
Hollywood actress Meryl Streep has given over $2 million to her own charity over the last few years. The Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts gives money to other charities which have included Oxfam America and Partners in Health.
4 Sam Simon
The Simpsons co-creator runs the Sam Simon foundation which trains stray dogs to help people with disabilities. These dogs would otherwise be euthanised but can become loyal and loving companions with the right training. It is completely self funded by the writer and has many success stories.
3 Gisele Bunchen
The Victoria Secret’s model is not just a pretty face and has actually donated over $1,500,000 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Although she is worth over $50 million, donating that amount of money is not to be sniffed at.
2 Taylor Swift
Although she is only just into her twenties, Taylor Swift knows the importance of supporting good causes and has donated a staggering $2 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame. However, she has donated to over twenty charities in the last few years making her one of the most charitable celebrities of late.
1 The Beckham's
Although, not widely reported, the Beckham’s have given over £1 million to charity since 2005. They have their own charity, the Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust which provides wheelchairs to children along with hefty donations to many others including NSPCC and UNICEF. Recently, David Beckham offered to give all his wages to a children’s charity that in itself speaks volumes about charitable this celebrity couple is.
Author: Jenny Beswick and the team at Cancer Research worked together to produce this article for you. Though you may not hear of it often, there are many good things happening in the world around us. Jobs in charity work are growing and you can spread awareness today just like these celebrities.