Outside of having successful careers and winning awards for their talents, there are many celebrities who use their platform to give back to their communities and show the next generation that their career dreams can also come true. Whether it be organizations they founded, or philanthropic projects that they’re heavily involved in, below are four celebrities who spend countless hours and dollars giving back to a cause they hold dear to their heart.
1. Alicia Keys: Having received a 2009 BET Humanitarian Award for her work with the Keep A Child Alive foundation, Keys shows that music isn’t the only thing taking up her time. As a co-founder and global ambassador of the organization, Keep A Child Alive focuses on providing treatment, food and shelter to those affected by HIV/AIDS in India and Africa.
2. Steve Harvey: From his Disney’s Dreamers Academy, to the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation that he has with his wife, to the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men, this funny man lets us all know that he values the future of our youth. His dedication to instilling discipline and hope to the next generation is admirable and that’s why BET honored him with the 2011 Humanitarian Award.
3. Halle Berry: Speaking openly about her domestic abuse past, Ms. Berry uses her time outside of work to give back to the young girls and women at the Jenesse Centre whose life experiences she connects with first-hand. Having been honored at Variety’s fourth annual Power of Women Luncheon in Beverly Hills and on the list of upcoming honorees at the 2013 BET Honors for her philanthropic work, Berry shows that there is more to her successful acting career than just a pretty face. With a goal to completely remodel one of Jenesse Center’s transitional housing shelters, the actress has kicked off her “What A Little Love Can Do” project to help raise money to renovate the spaces and provide a place of love and hope for battered women and children.
4. Russell Simmons: Continuing to prove that hip-hop gives back, media mogul Russell Simmons has no cut cards when it comes to helping the community. From his anti-sex trafficking work, to his presidential fundraisers, to his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation where he hosts several events that help raise money for inner city youth to have access to art resources, Simmons keeps the giving going. Having been honored by the T.J. Martell Foundation, the Producers Guild of America and the American Business Awards for his career strides in the music industry and philanthropic work, it’s nice to see Simmons getting recognition for his good deeds.