When you think of celebrities, you envision the glitz, the glamour, the red carpets and everything fabulous but they’re not always about the designer clothes. Some A-listers use their fame and wealth to give back to society and the environment. We gotta give some love to a selfless celeb who cares about societal and environmental issues. Here are 7 A-list celebs who started foundations and charities that you may not have heard of!
1. Lady Gaga: Born This Way Foundation
“I’m beautiful in my own way cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track, baby I was born this way.” Lady Gaga has always been an advocate for living as your true authentic self and being unapologetically you. So it was no surprise when she created a foundation to empower youths suffering with mental health. Despite the stigma around mental illnesses, Lady Gaga started this foundation to fund resources and communities for teens battling these mental illnesses. After suffering her own battles, Gaga has grown from them and uses her influence to help others in need.
2. Emma Watson: HeforShe
Besides being known for her iconic role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson has since displayed her philanthropic passion by starting her inspiring movement ‘HeforShe’. Being a proud feminist, Emma started this movement to address the issues of gender equality. The movement focuses on inviting men to support gender equality as it is not just a women’s fight but a human’s rights issue. Besides establishing this campaign, Watson was also appointed the UN Women Goodwill ambassador where she continued to advocate gender equality. Go girl power!
3. Leonardo DiCaprio: The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
If you were to google Leonardo DiCaprio, his list of occupations consists of actor, film producer and environmentalist. Not only is he an Oscar winner, this talented actor is a dedicated advocate for environmental issues. At just 24-years-old (ohmygod young Leo was such a heart throb), he established a non-profit organisation to promote environmental awareness, focusing on global warming, preserving biodiversity and supporting renewable energy. Not just a gorgeous face but also a compassionate soul – where’s the sign-up list for future wife?
4. Matt Damon: Water.org
This Bourne star has changed over 21 million lives ever since he started his foundation that helps disadvantaged communities create clean water. Multiple countries from Ethiopia to India have benefited from this cause by receiving access to safe water and sanitation, which have led to improvements in education, economy and healthcare. I guess you could say Matt Damon was ~bourne~ to create change.
5. Emilia Clarke: SameYou
You may know her as the strong and fierce Mother of Dragons but Emilia Clarke’s personal life hasn’t been the smoothest. Just as she started Game of Thrones in 2011, Emilia suffered a brain aneurysm so severe she couldn’t remember her own name at one point. Her rocky journey has led her to start the ‘SameYou’ foundation, which helps young people who have experienced brain injury and stroke with their neurorehabilitation. Just newly launched in 2019, Emilia hopes to improve clinical research as well as implement policy changes.
6. Miley Cyrus: Happy Hippie
Miley Cyrus may embody a wacky and wild gal, but the singer definitely has a huge heart. With just a scroll through her Instagram page, you’ll see how much Miley loves animals, cares for the environment and fights for social change, which makes the establishment of her ‘Happy Hippie’ foundation come as no surprise. The Happy Hippie foundation supports and provides resources for young homeless people, LGBTQ+ youths and other disadvantaged communities. She definitely came in like a wrecking ball to destroy social discrimination and aid vulnerable youths.
7. Ashton Kutcher: Thorn
Together with his ex-wife, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher started the organisation, Thorn, which addressed the sexual exploitation of children. Thorn focuses on technological approaches to end child trafficking, which has helped identify over 16,000 victims. Ashton has put himself on the foreground by testifying in front of the senate foreign relations committee in 2017. A jack of all trades, Ashton is not only a talented actor and comedian, he is also fiercely involved in his own causes and charities.