In the booze driven, sex dominated world that celebrities exist in, it’s easy to see why their mistakes spread faster than wildfire. No one wants to hear about how Ellen DeGeneres donated to another charity, we want to know what latest debacle Lindsay Lohan has gotten herself into. We thrive on this fast paced drama, mostly because it’s a world we will never see or understand. As outsiders looking in, we want a taste of the high life and the seemingly no consequences to any action lifestyle they have created. Can the celebs really be blamed then? Aren’t they just giving us what we want? It’s possible, but doubtful. For the same reason we slow to see the aftermath of a car accident, we buy up US Weekly issues to see who’s divorcing who.
In a world where no publicity is bad publicity, it’s important to remember there are still wholesome people out there. Hollywood has become synonymous with debauchery but thankfully there are people out there who are working to change that, and seem to genuinely care about the mark they leave on this world. The stars on this list are ones who have managed to stay in the spotlight for all the good they’ve done, not just their next big blockbuster film. These celebs seem to understand the major influence they have on society and try to put their fortune to good use, creating a positive lasting legacy. It seems Hollywood still has a few good role models left.
13 Zach Galifianakis
Funny man Galifianakis has a sweet side as well. He met pal “Mimi” in the early 90’s at a laundromat in Santa Monica. After some successful movies and a little extra cash in his pocket, he got word that the elderly woman (who had no family left) was homeless, staying with friends whenever possible. Galifianakis not only found her a cozy place to live, but pays for her rent and has even taken her as his date to movie premieres. Just goes to show, be kind to all you meet, you never know who will come back years later as your savior.
12 LeBron James
This NBA star, along with his mother, started the LeBron James Family Foundation in which they help children and single parent families in need. From providing tips to leading a healthier lifestyle, to building playgrounds, this foundation does it all! James believes every child has potential and this foundation provides the safe space needed to cultivate that potential. The foundation focuses on the importance of education and since its establishment in 2004, has become a thriving non profit organization which now has the support of many other establishments. This successful athlete has shown how important it is to remember where you came from.
Mo’Nique is a big supporter of making women from all walks of life feel beautiful, appreciated, and accomplished. One such example is the glamorous night she threw for My Sister’s House, a shelter for abused women. On their “graduation” night from the program, she hired an event space, makeup and hair stylists, had catered food brought in, and even donated evening gowns from her own closet, all so the women could walk their own red carpet. The event celebrated just how far the women have come and enabled them to see their self worth. In a dog eat dog world, it’s so refreshing to see a woman who strives to lift other women up.
Turns out Ol’ Dirty B*st*rd isn’t an old dirty b*st*rd. Quite the contrary. While recording his latest rap tune, a four year old child was hit by a car just outside the studio. Gathering his friends, ODB was able to organize her rescue, lifting the vehicle and freeing her. His concern didn't stop there however. Worried about the child’s well being, he even went to the hospital to visit her, never revealing who he was. Her family however, recognized the superstar and told their tale to the media, wanting the public to know how he had saved their little girl.
9 Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves is no stranger to fame, having starred in many big budget productions. However, he is still down to earth enough to give credit where credit is due. The Matrix films are the perfect example of this mentality. After the success of the franchise, Reeves shared his profits with the FX and costume teams, stating they were the ones that made the movies possible and should share in the monetary gain. How much did he give up so they could be appreciated as well? Nearly 75 million dollars. It seems Reeves is truly thankful for his career, and all that help make it possible.
8 Justin Timberlake
In a sometimes selfish world, Justin Timberlake is taking the road less traveled.Knowing that is his responsibility (as a human being, not as a celebrity) to protect the world we live in and ensure its survival for future generations, he has dedicated himself to environmental issues. His self awareness is eye opening and hopefully other stars follow suit. Timberlake hired a team of professionals to figure out what his carbon footprint was while on tour. Once the result were in, he paid to have trees planted in the cities he was performing, thus creating a carbon neutral footprint tour. If only all the singers did that, the world would be far better off. Is there anything Justin can’t do?
7 Christian Bale
Most celebs want to distance themselves from any negative press concerning their films. However, this does not hold true for Christian Bale and the movie theatre shooting that took place in Colorado. Instead of simply releasing a statement expressing his sympathies for the victims, Bale went to the hospital, visiting them and lifting their spirits. He knew the theatre goers were there in support of his film and felt that responsibility. Sometimes all the money in the world can’t fix a problem, but physical presence, time taken out of one’s day, and just general support can make all the difference. This is the kind of behavior human beings must show each other if we are to thrive in this world.
6 Jon Bon Jovi
The JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurant is ridiculously amazing. This restaurant is not only organic, but it uses locally grown ingredients to help support other small businesses. It also provides job training in the hospitality business, but that’s not the best part. Soul Kitchen welcomes everyone and lists no prices on the menu. You pay what you can, and if times are tough, you can pay for your meal with one hour of volunteer work. The restaurant’s mission of people helping each other and promoting love over hate is so heartwarming, we can only hope other business take up this concept.
5 Matt Damon
Matt Damon works hard both on screen and off screen. In the little down time he has, he co-founded water.org, an organization that helps improve water quality and sanitation. Damon has traveled to dozen of places and has seen the water crisis first hand. Whereas other stars cut a check, Damon shows up, gets his hands dirty, talks to community members; he shows how near and dear this issue is to his heart. He’s like a superhero, using his fame for good! Being so recognizable, he is able to bring about public awareness and help address this ever present issue.
4 Aretha Franklin
Speaking of water and lack thereof, this diva has stepped up to the plate. When she learned of the Flint water crisis, Franklin took little time to spring into action, offering to do what she can to help the residents. Franklin will be paying for selected residents (as many as 50) to stay in hotel rooms as well as providing food for the families. Many celebrities have made generous donations, but when a star states exactly what they plan to do to help, it shows they truly care and their efforts are more than just a PR move. Respect, Franklin.
3 Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi has had a tremendously successful acting career. He’s played everything from serial killers to quirky lovable goof balls, and America just can’t get enough. Buscemi has a devastatingly loyal spirit and that can be seen in the aftermath of September 11th. When he learned of the attacks, Buscemi, who was once a New York firefighter, rejoined his old engine, donned his uniform and helped sift through debris and carry body bags. He was careful to avoid the press, not wanting attention but simply wanting to offer a helping hand and search for survivors and the many missing firefighters that were trapped inside the building. This wasn’t the first time he felt the urge to support his old friends in a past life. He was actually arrested in 2003 while protesting the closure of his old firehouse, and has given speeches demanding higher wages for these men. We are lucky to have men like him, fighting for what’s good in this world.
Let’s be honest, what hasn’t Oprah done? There’s nothing left, she’s literally done everything and has helped everyone. We all want to be friends with Oprah, not because she’s a billionaire, but because she is such an open hearted, free spirited, stand up for what’s right, type of woman. She pushed the boundaries and fights for what she believes in, traveling as much as she can to remote places to help build schools and promote education. She is open about her past, embraces what’s to come, and seems like she hasn’t changed a bit from the girl she once was. We love her, not for just all the good she has done in the world, but for remaining true to herself and helping others along the way.
1 Robin Williams
There are so many things Robin Williams will be remembered for, all of them devastatingly good. From his first performance to his last, he has made us laugh until we cried, and cried until it hurt. So few are able to show such raw human emotion and the world is far better off for having known Mr. Williams. He touched our lives not only through his films, but also in his generosity. He worked with organizations such as Comic Relief, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, just to name a few. He recorded video messages of hope and sent them to fans battling cancer, and visited our country’s troops, cracking jokes and thanking them for all they do. He was a light in this all too often dark world.