5 Best Celebrity Charities

Many celebrities are putting their stardom to good use by participating in philanthropic endeavors to increase awareness and support for a variety of charities. A celebrity’s role can include positions as spokespersons, board members, and some have even chosen to found their own charitable causes. Each charity will vary on how they put contributions to use–getting familiar with their practices, commitment, and accountability is the first step to determining which charity to support. Here are 5 best celebrity charities to take notice of.

Make it Right Foundation

In 2007, Brad Pitt founded the Make It Right Foundation, after visiting New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. He was disturbed by the lack of rebuilding that was taking place in this very historic city with a large population of working class people. He worried these neighborhoods would never be restored. Pitt’s commitment to rebuilding one of the hardest hit parts of the city was a success and his organization continues to make good progress by involving communities across the U.S. in the design process to build, innovate, and rethink the neighborhood in order to meet the needs of the community, all while inspiring hope and offering higher standards of livability.

Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation

Tony and Elaine La Russa founded Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in 1991 to serve as a way to address the needs of animals facing the clock at public shelters. They strive to connect animals with loving homes and to enrich the lives of people through meaningful companionship. Their organization not only provides abandoned and homeless animals with homes, they also aid lonely people in need of connections to help enhance their lives. ARF recognizes the unique and special bond that can be made between humans and animals. These bonds can lead to healthier and longer lives for both animal and human.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Besides Al Gore, there might not be a better advocate for the environment than Leonardo DiCaprio. He talks actively with world leaders to enact change. He’s made documentaries devoted to the cause and even dedicated his speech, after winning the Oscar for Best Actor, to the issue that’s so near and dear to his heart. Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t just jump on the climate change bandwagon. He created The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 with the mission to save and preserve the last of Earth’s wild spaces. He’s always cared about the environment and strives for a better world. DiCaprio has turned over all of his social media including Twitter and his own personal website to the cause for his foundation. Focusing on the key elements of protecting biodiversity, ocean conservation, wildlife conservation, and climate change–the foundation is making a true difference. Their grants have given over 30 million dollars to causes like releasing native species back into their native habitats and programs to end poaching and illegal animal sales. Leonardo DiCaprio truly cares and his foundation proves it.

Not On Our Watch

Founded by the powerhouse group of George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon–Not On Our Watch is dedicated to ending atrocities around the globe. Not On Our Watch continues their commitment to human rights advocacy. They call upon powerful voices to help strengthen their message to develop campaigns that bring global awareness to international crises requiring immediate attention. They have a unique ability to reach mass media and global policy-makers which have made them highly effective in enacting change around the world. Humanitarianism at its finest, they work to address the root of the cause to end conflicts regardless of their complexity.

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Parkinson’s is a debilitating illness that impacts not only the lives of those affected but their loved ones as well. Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease since 1991 and shared it with his adoring fans in 1998. He met with a lot of others that had the disease and listened to their stories. In 2000, he created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He didn’t stop there–traveling to Congress to achieve funding for research into the disease and lobbying for stem cell research. Retiring from acting allowed him to focus all of his efforts on finding a cure. Today, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is the single largest funder for Parkinson’s disease drug research and development. The work of his foundation is changing lives dramatically. The research that’s been done has enabled Michael J. Fox himself to find a drug “cocktail” that allows him to live a functional life including a return to acting in 2012.

A lot of celebrities donate generous amounts to charity but a few go above and beyond by creating their own foundations and organizations. Today’s celebrities are fighting for causes that they believe in not just with their dollars but with their actions. The individuals on our list of the 5 Best Celebrity Charities all represent the best of Hollywood. The world is crazy right now and these special people are trying to make it a better place for everyone. They wield tremendous influence and use it for good. These celebrities should be commended for their hard work and dedication to their passions. They spend a tremendous amount of time building their outreach and put it to good work that is appreciated by a great many.

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