A look at some celebrities who use their star power to help those in need.
Ever since I was old enough to pick up a magazine, I have been fascinated with celebrities. While I enjoy keeping up with celebrity styles, my interest was deeper than who was dating who, or whatever other rumors swirling around the stars that appealed to me. Rather it was their their ability to go above and beyond to make their dreams a reality, and use their celebrity to make a difference in the lives of others.
Take Ashley Greene from The Twilight Saga for example, she went on auditions while working in a restaurant to make ends meet up until she landed the role of Alice Cullen. Since achieving her dream of stardom, she still makes the time to give back to those in need. Green works with DonateMyDress.org, an organization designed to encourage girls around the country to donate their prom and special occasion dresses to those who cannot afford them for prom, sweet 16, quinceañera or formals. Other stars including singers & actresses Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift also support DonateMyDress. In addition to DonateMyDress, Greene supports ONE Campaign, an effort by Americans to rally Americans – ONE by ONE – to fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty.
Over the last few months, I’ve become very interested in the work CW stars Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill), Austin Nichols (Julian, One Tree Hill), and Ian Somerhalder (Damon, Vampire Diaries) have been doing in the Gulf of Mexico. I admire their desire and commitment to do everything they can to restore the Gulf to what it once was before the terrible Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It’s remarkable how much time and dedication these stars have put in.
In conjunction with Global Green USA, Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols flew down to New Orleans and toured the affected area. During their hiatus from One Tree Hill, Bush and Nichols volunteered their time to help clean up the areas affected by the spill. as well as using their celebrity to raise money for cleanup and those affected by the incident.
Bush and Nicholas use their Twitter accounts (@sophiabush and @aus10nichols) to keep in touch with their fans and promote their causes. In an interview with Planet Green, Austin said he and Sophia were scared of Twitter at first, but realized it would be a good way to spread their message. “One of the things that’s really amazing is seeing people saying, thank you for finally using Twitter for something good,” Bush said. “We’re not sitting here going hey, going to lunch here and then going on a jog–that’s not information that’s helping anyone. And what’s been so special for us is the amount of information that’s come back.”
Earlier this month, Bush announced a special charity challenge to raise money to assist the clean-up following the Gulf spill. “We are all reaching out to our friends and our loved ones to sponsor us, and hopefully we will be able to raise some more funds for the people of the Gulf Coast,” she wrote in her blog. “They need all the help they can get. So I am running. For the Gulf. For all of you. Because when my lungs start hurting, and when my legs start screaming ‘this running business is BULL, Sophia!’ I think of all of YOU.” Using Crowd Rise (as well as Twitter and her blog), Bush and her fans have raised $6,224. There’s still plenty of time to help them reach their goal of $150,000 by November 7.
Bush is also an advocate of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, a foundation committed to the preservation of biodiversity within the Maasai tribal lands of East Africa. In addition, she lends her support to the Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization that enriches the lives of children battling serious medical conditions by bringing together artists to share their time and talent.
Of course there are those who feel the stars can never do enough. It irritates me when people, unable to differentiate the attention seeking, paparazzi obsessed celebrities (and wannabes) from those who really do attempt to give back, paint all stars with the same brush. For every fame whore, there is a committed star who, after spending long hours on sets and doing tons of touring to promote their projects, still try to make a difference.
Are you someone who’d like to make a difference? For more information on how you too can become involved check out some of the links below. They’re a great resource for information on how to support your favorite charities and organizations of your favorite celebs.
Global Green USA – http://www.globalgreen.org/
DAYS Charity Events – http://dayscharityevents.com/
Daytime Gives Back – http://daytimegivesback.com/
Fans Giving Back – http://fansgivingback.org/
Planet Green – http://planetgreen.discovery.com/
Sophia Bush’s Page at Crowd Rise – http://www.crowdrise.com/sophiabush/
ONE – http://www.one.org/