7 Celebrities Using Their Fame to Do Good [LIST]

Get to know these giving stars [LIST]

Jan 14, 2014

Image by Flickr user Ping Foo

Celebrities are a fixture in today’s culture, popping up everywhere from the daily news to your various social media feeds. While many of us are up-to-date on the latest fashion faux pas or movie premieres, there are actually many celebrities who shine their attention on doing good. So without further ado, introducing: seven celebs who dedicate their time, efforts and famous faces to important social causes.

1. A GREENER AND HEALTHIER PLANET

Celeb: LEONARDO DICAPRIO 
Leo has been in the limelight for most of his life, as he began his acting career at a young age. As he grew up, his love for the environment emerged, and in 1998 he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation - dedicated to wildlife and habitat preservation, healthy oceans, water access, climate change and disaster relief. DiCaprio sits on the board of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and in 2007 created, produced and narrated the documentary The 11th Hour which gathered world experts to talk about the state of the environment.

Image by Flickr user Ninha Morandini

2. HUMAN RIGHTS AND REFUGEES

Celeb: ANGELINA JOLIE
Considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, Angelina Jolie got up close and personal with the plight of refugees while in Cambodia filming the Tomb Raider in 2001. She was spurred into action and became a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, traveling around the world to provide humanitarian relief and attention to refugees. She and her partner Brad Pitt (you might have heard of him) created the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, named after their son,  which focuses on finding solutions to rural poverty, providing elementary and secondary education and protecting natural resources and wildlife. Most recently, Jolie was appointed as Special Envoy for UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

Image by Flickr user Gage Skidmore

3. MEAT-FREE

Celeb: SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY
World-renowned musician Sir Paul McCartney is first and foremost associated with The Beatles, but he’s also a longtime advocate for vegetarianism. Inspired by his late-wife Linda, McCartney spearheads the Meatfree Mondays in the UK which encourages people to give up meat one day a week. The growing worldwide movement reaps positive benefits for the environment and for your checkbook - all by reducing meat intake.

Image from Flickr user rê_invento

4. EDUCATION FOR ALL

Celeb: SHAKIRA ISABEL MEBARAK RIPOLL
While Shakira’s hips don’t lie, the multi-platinum Colombian singer is a fierce advocate for education - specifically for kids. At 18 the singer founded the Pies Descalzos Foundation (The Barefoot Foundation in English) which aims to make education universally available for every child in Colombia, South Africa and Haiti. In addition to being a UN Goodwill Ambassador, she is influencing US policy as an appointee to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Image by Flickr user mauriciosantana.com.br

5. H20

Celeb: MATT DAMON
Actor Matt Damon has a passion for a water. He co-founded the nonprofit Water.org which provides access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries. The nonprofit works with local partner organizations to build wells and provides intensive training seminars on the importance of good hygiene practices and its link to better health. Damon was also thehostof the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, which explores the current and projected state of the planet.

Image by Flickr user teobonjour - www.matteomignani.it

6. GIRL POWER

Celeb: AMY POEHLER
The hilarious Amy Poehler is well known for her acting chops, from Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, to her Golden Globes performance with pal Tina Fey. What you might not have know is that she is also a dedicated advocate for young women, and uses her media platform Smart Girls at the Party to encourage girls to be their authentic selves. Through interviews and giving advice, Poehler aims to remind young women that anyone can make a difference - whether they’re famous or not.

Image by Flickr user GabboT

7. FARMING THE LAND

Celeb: WILLIE NELSON
Country music legend Willie Nelson is pro-agriculture and advocates for farmers. In an effort to bring attention to the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep families on their land, Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985. The environmentally-minded singer also started (with his wife) a petroleum diesel alternative  called BioWillie, made from waste vegetable oil, fats and other natural materials on local farms.

Image by Flickr user John Pozadzides

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