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7 Celebrities Who Are Leaving A Lasting Legacy Through Their Charities

Side-by-side images of Pharrell Williams and Elton John to headline an article about their charities.

Celebrities are stereotypically notorious for fast living, extravagant spending, and other less “charitable” activities. However, even though there may be a few who live that lifestyle, many celebrities are just the opposite. We reviewed some of the more notable celebrity-founded charities and found seven that we thought you would like to hear about.

1. Jami Gertz Wins Top Honors For Giving.

Actress Jami Gertz may not be a household name. She has held starring and support roles in several films, getting her start in “Endless Love,” in 1981. Jami is also one of the wealthiest celebrities on record, mostly due to her long-time marriage to billionaire Antony Ressler. The two founded the Ressler-Gertz Foundation in 1997 in Encino, California. The foundation provides grant funding for education, museums, health and human services, and Jewish organizations and temples. Supporting entrepreneurship, the foundation considers grants for people normally left out of the equation. In 2012, Jami and Antony donated a whopping $10,569,002 to the Ressler-Gertz Foundation!

2. Michael J. Fox Is Shaking Up Parkinson’s Research

Everyone knows the name Michael J. Fox. The Canadian actor has been on our TV screens since he was a teenager. Although Parkinson’s Disease has slowed him down some, the actor is still very active in his philanthropic endeavors. He received the devastating diagnosis in 1991 at age 29. Michael hid the condition for many years but founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000. Since the creation of his charitable organization, Michael has been a vocal warrior in the fight for research into Parkinson’s. As a voice for stem cell research, Michael has worked tirelessly to promote programs that support research into neurological disorders.

3. The Herb Alpert Foundation Is “Jazzed” For The Future

The legendary jazz musician and former owner of A&M Records is also a leader in the world of philanthropy. Still active and touring, he created the Herb Alpert Foundation in the late 1980s with his wife Lani Hall Alpert. The foundation focuses its attention on the Los Angeles area, working with other charities to support the arts. Herb Alpert’s legacy supports musicians who can bring more music to the world.

4. Emma Watson Is Fighting For Women Around The World

Emma Watson became a household name for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. As an adult, Emma continues to fight for the underdogs as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador. She is an active campaigner in the HeForShe campaign. Donating approximately $1.4 million to the U.K. Justice and Equality Fund to fight sexual harassment, she deserves recognition. Emma founded Our Shared Shelf, a Goodreads book club that promotes discussion of gender inequality. The group uses books and scientifically-based articles to further the discussion. Emma is quite active and we anticipate that her giving will continue as she continues the fight for equal rights.

5. Pharrell Williams Is Offering Tools To Fix The World

Pharrell Williams grew up in the Seatack neighborhood in Virginia Beach, VA. He became an international music sensation and continues to give back to his community. That is not the only contribution Pharrell makes though. He is the founder of From One Hand to Another (FOHTA), a VA Beach non-profit. He continues to promote his belief that every child can succeed if they have the right tools. Focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Motivation, the organization provides resources for underprivileged kids. Pharrell also provides donations to many other charities, including his home city’s Back to School Supplies program.

6. Can You Discuss Charity Without Mentioning Oprah Winfrey?

The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation is a powerhouse when it comes to creating a worldwide impact. The OWCF has received more than $400 million in donations over the years. They have provided more than 75 million meals to people in need. They also have a huge focus on education, ensuring that 72 million people have received an education they may have missed out on. Working in the United States and abroad, the OWCF continues to make an impact.

7. Elton John Is A Rocketman Supporting People With HIV/AIDS

HIV and AIDS were an 80s problem, right? Wrong. Although the disease was discovered in the 1980s, it continues to have a devastating impact 40 years later. Worldwide, 39 million people are living with HIV and 9.2 million of those people cannot access medical treatment. In 2022, 630,000 people died from AIDS-related diseases. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is leading the fight to end the discrimination and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. They provide support and direct care services for those living with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. The Rocket Fund is the EJAF’s $125 million campaign to end HIV/AIDS by 2030. They continue to provide support to educate people, provide medical assistance, and end discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.

Celebrity charities are very influential in bringing food, education, and enrichment to many. Whether they focus on medical issues or providing sustenance, celebrities are making an impact. Do you have any favorite charities?

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here and here.

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