With celebrity comes great responsibility. Constantly in the spotlight, people look to them to be role models. Some make missteps. Hey, we’re all human, right? But many use their celebrity for good and provide excellent examples for giving to charity, or setting up their own. Here are a few examples of celebrities using their status and fortune to make a difference.
Possibly one of the original celebrity philanthropists to formalize his giving nature, the late Paul Newman led the way for other celebrities to follow. In 1980 Newman came up with the idea of giving away homemade salad dressing to his friends, who eventually came back asking for more. Finally, in 1982 Newman’s Own Foundation was launched with the selling of the salad dressing. That year he made nearly $400 thousand after taxes and royalties, giving all profits away. Newman’s own has expanded to selling pasta sauce, lemonade, popcorn, salsa, wine and more. Posthumously, the foundation continues and has donated over $295 million to a variety of charities.
When these superstar celebs got hitched they created a mega philanthropic powerhouse. Angelina Jolie is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency and has traveled the world to support the cause. Brad Pitt is a big supporter of Bono’s One campaign and also chairs the Global Green project, which seeks to construct environmentally friendly buildings.
Even the younger stars are jumping on board with giving back. When Nashville was hit with massive floods Taylor Swift was quick to act and she donated $100 thousand to the local Red Cross. She had previously donated merchandise sales from an event to the Red Cross and donated a pink pickup truck to a camp for youth with serious medical conditions. Swift continues to set a good example of giving for the next generation to emulate.