By Rebekah Deponte |Staff Writer|
Celebrities taking part in charity work or even starting their own foundations/nonprofit organizations is nothing new, but it also is not getting old any time soon.
Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, and several other Hollywood heavy-hitters are well known for their contributions in the charity world, but there are other celebrities who have been making major contributions to the betterment of our world without the spotlight on their activities.
Some might argue that tax deductions are a huge part of the reason wealthy people get so involved in charity and they would not be wrong in believing that.
If a celebrity donates $1 million to their own foundation, it is a personal tax write off, but the foundation itself only has to spend 5 percent of their earnings, so it makes sense for a celebrity to want to spend $1 million on their foundation and subsequently their image, rather than on taxes.
Whether charity work is done for tax deductions or simply as good deeds, celebs all over the place donating are their time and money.
There are several causes that get a lot of attention from the rich and famous, three of the top causes being the betterment of youths around the world, the environment and the treatment of animals, domesticated and wild.
Health and education are big foci when it comes to charities involving children and young adults.
Shakira started the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which aims to make education available for everyone in South America and Charlize Theron’s Africa Outreach Program helps African youths stay away from AIDS.
The focus in America’s youth charity is taking a shift towards youth empowerment and positivity towards themselves and their peers.
Foundations like Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and Straight But Not Narrow, an organization advocated by “Hunger Games” star Josh Hutcherson, encourage kids and teens to be accepting of themselves and others the way that they are, whether it has to do with their interests, body types or sexuality.
There are several celeb-founded organizations working towards bettering the environment and calling attention to the need for environmental care.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation focuses on a number of issues including forest preservation, the health of the oceans, clean water access, and renewable energy.
DiCaprio is not the only celebrity who has founded a charity with the aim being a better environment. Ian Somerhalder, Jack Johnson and Kate Blanchett are just a few of the others who have started their own charities or actively participate in environmental causes.
Animals are an easy way to get people involved with charity because most people have some emotional connection to animals whether it is through the adoption of a pet or a deeper connection where the endangerment of animals for any reason does not sit right with them.
One of the biggest organizations for animal rights is the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PETA is also one of the most widely supported organizations in terms of celebrity endorsement.
Alec Baldwin, Kristen Wiig, Cindy Crawford, Khloe Kardashian, Pink, and Ellen DeGeneres are only a handful of PETA’s long list of supporters.
It is up to spectators to decide whether or not stars’ charitable activities are done with the right intentions, but there is no doubt that celebrities play a major role in the charity scene.