2016 was a year most of us associate with tragedies and political troubles. We invite you to focus on the part of the glass which is full.
17 charitable celebs put their money and time to work and supported fantastic causes. This article will lift your spirit, and you will die to do something good today.
1. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift did a lot of charity work in 2016.
No wonder she had no time for a new album. The 27-year-old pop icon appears to have a weakness for natural disasters.
Taylor Swift broke the rare six-figure barrier when she handed out a $1,000,000 check to the victims of the 2016 Louisiana floods. The star revealed she felt at home while touring throughout the Pelican State and had to do something for those affected by the deluge.
Swift concluded her generous year by pledging $100,000 for the victims of the 2016 Tennessee Wildfires. She made a remarkable appearance at Dolly Parton’s telethon.
“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate.” Even with so much money draining from her bank accounts to the needy, there would still be fans claiming she can do better. After all, Taylor Swift cashed in $170 million if we were to believe the guys at Forbes.
Check out the next charitable celeb!
Beyoncé used the bitter lemons of 2016 to make a “Lemonade.”
The superstar got so involved in charity work she even allowed herself the luxury to do some good deeds while preparing her newest album. Beyoncé featured in one of her music videos four African American mothers that lost their children to the infamous police shootings of last year.
Not only that, but she also took the so-called “Mothers of the Movement” to the MTV VMAs. Yep, ordinary women left their household chores to parade on the red carpet at the Madison Square Garden.
Beyoncé also chose to support in 2016 the relief efforts for the Flint water crisis. We can see the pundits stepping in to say the diva could have done better than the $82,000 she raised.
Beyoncé is no longer a brand, but rather an industry. With her net worth steadily heading towards $1 billion, fans have high hopes from Queen B being even more generous in 2017.
Coming up next is a Broadway sensation with a heart of gold.
3. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a special guest on the list of the year’s most charitable celebs.
Actor, singer, and composer, Miranda used the incredible success of his “Hamilton” play to support an excellent cause. He pledged over $2 million to the Hispanic Federation, a non-profit organization that helps impoverished children from Latino communities to access better education.
Miranda offered the fans the chance to win “Hamilton” tickets by making donations as small as $10. We need to praise his ingenuity, one that put him miles ahead of celebs that wouldn’t give a single penny.
Miranda extended his charitable work to support the Planned Parenthood organization. The Pulitzer and Grammy winner used crowdfunding again.
It seems that seeing the rap version of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was irresistible in 2016.
Even professional fighters know how to be good.
4. John Cena
Cena might be a jerk who uses chairs behind the referee’s back, but he is a great guy in real life.
Just go and ask the beautiful people behind the “Make-A-Wish Foundation.” John Cena finished 2016 as the celeb with most wishes granted.
He accomplished over 500 charitable missions. Most of them required the wrestler to spend long hours blanketed by toddlers that only wanted to cuddle with their brutal hero.
Cena supported the American Cancer Society by participating in last year’s Atlanta Airport Jet Drag. The WWE superstar teamed up with 19 regular folks to tug an airplane an impressive 6 meters. Not only did Cena provided most of the muscle power needed for the stunt, but he also boosted the total fundraising to $1 million.
Just don’t laugh the next time you see the wrestler show up in pink in the ring. Spreading awareness on breast cancer is the most generous thing a man can do.
Can you guess who went to Africa to give a helping hand?
5. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato was one of 2016’s top charitable donors.
Superstars in their early 20s are not traditionally generous, but that’s not the case with Demi Lovato. The 24-year-old made it clear that she wants to give back to all the wonderful people that adore her act.
Like the good girl that she is, Demi Lovato raised $80,000 for an organization supporting poor communities in Africa. To make things even better, she spent an entire week in Kenya coming in direct contact with unfortunate women and children.
The iconic singer made headlines last year when she publically addressed the issue of mental health at the Democratic National Convention. Lovato was never shy about being bipolar, but this time she took things at another level, declaring war to ignorance and shaming.
Demi Lovato did a lot of good. However, going on a rant against Taylor Swift for helping fellow artist Ke$ha with a $250,000 donation doesn’t count as one. We see a bit of envy there, amongst our most generous celebs.
Our next celeb tried to wash away the sins of the past by being generous.
6. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson might be the last celeb you would consider charitable.
The director of the acclaimed “Hacksaw Ridge” proved generous only with acid rants, racist comments, and expensive lawyers. However, Mel Gibson turned his life around in recent years and embarked on a mission to payback for the errors of the past.
Mel Gibson tried to reboot his tensed relationship with the Jewish community by engaging in Holocaust philanthropy. Gibson has been closely following the activity of the Survivor Mitzvah Project.
Although the actor tried to keep everything hidden, news spilled that he currently helps survivors from eight countries. Will this be enough to make the infamous 2006 anti-Semitic burst forgotten?
Some would rush to say Mel is wasting his time and money on an already lost cause. Did Hollywood banish him for good?
Can you guess which supermodel bothered to do humanitarian work in her spare time?
7. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is an angel both on Victoria’s Secret catwalk and in real life.
Rosie did not settle with donating money to Unicef. She insisted on going all the way down to Lesotho to visit the poor children and their families.
The small African nation deals with a constant shortage of water, and any form of relief is welcomed. Rosie joined a plethora of celeb that chose the black continent as their preferred target for charity.
However, the 30-year-old model had a secret reason for spending more of her free time surrounded by children in 2016. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jason Statham will expect their first baby later this year.
Everyone loved her, and she felt like giving back. Check out the next famous name associated with generosity.
8. Michelle Obama
The etiquette requires First Ladies to do charity work but what Michelle Obama accomplished was extraordinary.
Michelle promoted and empowered one of the most beautiful initiatives ever. “Let Girls Learn” is a global effort that targets to enable more than 60 million girls worldwide to attend a form of education.
Let’s take a moment to applaud the former First Lady for raising more than $3.5 billion for the cause in 2016. Michelle traveled around the world, convincing presidents, CEOs, and even mere citizens.
“It opened doors. It gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and make my voice heard in the world.” That’s the line most often used by the 53-year-old to explain why education is so important for a girl.
You will be delighted to know Michelle will continue the good work even after leaving the White House.
The loss of a friend made our next celeb do incredible acts of charity. You have to read his story.
9. Sir Elton John
No one beats Elton John when it comes to giving money to AIDS charities.
The 70-year-old pledged more than $30 million only in 2016, making him one of leading philanthropists of the celeb world. We don’t account the money Elton raised from donations.
You probably wonder what makes Elton John so eager to support what is for many still is a taboo. John gathered the courage and confessed he took risks with unprotected sex during the 1980s.
The British music mastermind considers himself lucky to have avoided the AIDS epidemic. However, there is one dark reason to why Sir Elton John can’t contain his wallet.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation saw the light in 1992, just one year after dearest friend Freddy Mercury perished due to AIDS-related complications.
Even rappers get emotional when they come face to face with society’s real problems.
10. Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper stood up to his name. He gave to many a better chance!
Chancelor Bennett had a busy last year, and it wasn’t all about contracts and recording a new album. The 24-year-old rapper made a firm statement that he is eager to invest his time and money in multiple social causes.
Chance the Rapper was not shy to take his philanthropic work to the highest level of politics. He met President Barack Obama in April 2016 to show support for “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge,” an initiative addressing the problems of the African-American youth.
That was only the beginning. Disappointed by the lack of government involvement, Chance the Rapper publicly expressed his concern following a meeting with Indiana Governor Bruce Rauner.
The rapper kept his promise and donated $1,000,000 to the public school system of his hometown, Chicago.
11. Jesse Williams
“He has been a tireless champion of change, and a voice for the voiceless.”
That’s the line used to introduce Jesse Williams at the 2016 BET Awards. The actor from “Grey’s Anatomy” won the Humanitarian Award, and delivered a powerful and emotional speech regarding his involvement with the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Williams is the youngest member of the board of directors at the “Advancement Project,” a civil rights activist group. He also produced and starred in the “Stay Woke” documentary. Viewers got to see Jesse take on the serious issue of modern-day racism.
For those who don’t remember, 2016 was a rough year. Unprecedented police violence targeted African American fueling speculations that racial hate still rages. Jesse Williams adhered to the increasing number of celebs that took a stance and demanded a change.
Our next celeb got arrested for doing good. Read and tell us if you think that was fair.
12. Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley made use of her divergent side when she protested against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Most celebs tend to do their charity work sitting comfortably at home and letting an army of lawyers and accountants deal with the paperwork. Giving money is easy compared to Shailene’s sacrifice.
Our beloved Tris embraced what the vast majority perceives as a lost cause – environmental activism. She joined the hundreds of protesters at the Sacred Stone Camp in late 2016.
Cold nights spent in a tent in what was the biggest civilian standoff in recent history – that’s the shortest way to describe the experience. The 25-year-old joined the Sioux tribes at the site and ended up arrested for trespassing. Well, at least that was the pretext used by the authorities to disperse the peaceful protest.
You will be sad to know Shailene Woodley did not win her row with the system. She will be back, louder and bolder.
Can you guess the surprise guest on our list?
13. Justin Bieber
Yes, the Bieber might be a nuisance to some, but we should all go past that and look at his generous side.
When you perform a haircut on a superstar, the hair that falls doesn’t go in the trash bin. Justin Bieber shocked his fans in 2016 when he decided to give up his fabulous dreadlocks.
The close haircut meant that parts of Justin’s body were loose and up for grabs. It is pointless to say how many in this world would pay good bucks to have them. The Canadian rapper used the opportunity to show the world how good he can be. He donated the money.
The Canadian artist recently auctioned his beloved blue Ferrari 458. The winner paid $434,500 for the car, and $400,000 took off to the many charities Bieber supports.
Next time you hear someone calling him “charitable” you’d better believe it!
Children from a hospital got a surprise visit.
14. John Boyega
Meeting a favorite movie character is the ultimate gift for children.
John Boyega showed once again why fans love him so much. Dressed up as Finn, the emblematic actor brought joy to the young patients of the Royal London Hospital.
Boyega acted on behalf of the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity. Their mission is to make life better for all those unfortunate souls that have to spend their best years tied to a hospital bed.
Seeing Boyega wearing his emblematic jacket and playing Jedi with children can melt anyone’s, heart. There are not enough money in this world to equal that.
Our next celeb is a walking synonym for “charitable.”
15. Oprah Winfrey
We all know how Oprah loves to give and our list simply could not miss including her.
The media mogul and widely acclaimed public figure embraced numerous good causes, and we would end up filling an almanac with her kind acts. 2016 was another year that put Oprah’s generosity on display.
Winfrey gave $1 million to N Street Village of Washington DC. The organization is known for offering a decent living to homeless and low-income women.
It must feel pretty good to know your money will provide food, shelter, and all the other things we the fortunate take for granted from life.
We should spend a moment to acknowledge that Oprah Winfrey made a pledge to donate her entire fortune over the upcoming years. It’s even written in her will!
The beautiful cause she embraced made fans love her even more.
16. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer took her charitable acts well outside the beaten path.
The 35-year-old comedian likes to indulge herself with acts of random kindness. Social media caught fire when a waitress posted a pic with the $1,000 Amy left for a $77 tab.
However, Amy is best known for reacting after the shooting that occurred in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. The attacker killed two and injured nine audience members that were there to watch Amy’s widely acclaimed “Trainwreck.”
Since the unfortunate event, Amy became an avid supporter of stricter gun control laws. She repeatedly tried to expose the lobby gun manufacturers take to the highest levels of politics.
Check out the Hollywood actor with an impressive record of being generous.
17. George Clooney
George Clooney is a regular presence amongst generous celebs.
The charismatic actor expanded his work in 2016 by backing the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. The $1,000,000 giveaway was intended for the one organization with the most merits in preserving lives and advancing good causes.
Clooney’s activism has a lot to do with his wife Amal, a prominent British-Lebanese human rights lawyer.
Clooney made headlines back in 2014 when he traveled to war-ridden Sudan. Together with fellow actors Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio Clooney established the “Not On Our Watch” organization. Their aim is to fight against any form of human rights violation and prevent modern genocides.