After you’ve made it big, what’s the next step? Sure, you can sit on your money and count it all day, but where is the fun in that? There are studies out there to show that people who give back have better mental health. Damon Becknel, an experienced entrepreneur and land developer, understands that giving back also means giving yourself a chance to meet new people and make new friends. This is not just for high school kids or young adults. Even celebrities still find time to volunteer in their communities. Here are some of them:
She was named Georgia’s Poet Laureate in 1991 and has won more than 30 honorary degrees from colleges and universities across the country. She is still going strong at 86. She has an ongoing relationship with Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She also teaches American studies.
She may have many luxuries, but that doesn’t keep her charitable. Like other celebrities, Celine Dion is involved with philanthropic activities, including helping the cancer community through the Institut BergoniÃ© in her hometown of Montreal, Quebec. In addition to donating all proceeds from “My Heart Will Go On” to charity, she has donated millions from ticket sales from her Las Vegas show. She has opened a hospital for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder close to where she lives in Florida called the Center for Autism Research Excellence (CARE).
One of the wealthiest men in the world, Warren Buffett, has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to charity. Many people don’t know that he began donating when he was just 11 years old. Today, most of his money goes toward the Gates Foundation, which seeks to improve health and learning opportunities for people worldwide. He also works with Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, where they provide 500,000 free meals every year.
She is best known for her role on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” but she gives back so much more than that. After Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and Mississippi, Oprah donated $10 million to help rebuild efforts and start a campaign called “Home Again,” which raised millions more. Most famously, Oprah opened her Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa, to help educate and empower young women.
Geldof is famous for several 60s pop groups that he formed, including The Boomtown Rats, and was even knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986. After focusing on humanitarian issues, his bandmates called him “Saint Bob.” In 1984, Geldof organized Band-Aid, which included such legendary artists as Midge Ure, Bono, Sting, Paul Young, Bananarama, and George Michael. The single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” raised money to fight famine in Ethiopia. His work didn’t end there; he also helped organize Live Aid the following year and the hit single “We Are The World.”
One of the founders of U2, Bono, has raised awareness for causes like Third World debt relief, affordable medication for Africa and AIDS victims. His work with Live8 helped influence G8 countries to cancel debt. Well respected because he doesn’t just donate but also involves himself in campaigns that help fight poverty worldwide.
The founder of Microsoft has donated more than $28 billion to charitable causes, including helping health care programs in developing countries through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation run with his wife. He also improves education throughout America by donating millions toward college scholarships and libraries. Most recently, he has been encouraging other billionaires worldwide to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.
Although most celebrities donate to charitable causes, these five often go above and beyond with their donations. Their commitment to making the world a better place is truly inspiring.
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