From George Clooney to Drew Carey…. from John Legend to Rascal Flatts …. See what celebrities from your own state are doing to help make the world a better place. They are all just another reason to shout OH – IO.
GEORGE CLOONEY (Born in Cincinnati, Ohio):
George Clooney, popularly known for his acting roles in various movies including Batman & Robin, The Perfect Storm and Ocean’s Eleven & Twelve, is also a well-known supporter of many causes.
His generous heart lead him and his Ocean’s 11 co-workers (Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Jerry Weintraub) to found “Not On Our Watch” whose mission is to stop physical violence and injuries and give voice to their victims. George Clooney is also known for playing an active role in the organization “Realizing The Dream” which is a continuation of the work Dr. and Mrs. King started in fighting poverty and injustice. George Clooney dedicated his time at the premiere of Ocean’s 13 by donating an evening with himself and hosting an after-party for the organizations charity auction.
In addition to this, Clooney is a supporter of poverty-fighting charities including “ONE campaign” and “United Way”. As a member of the Board of Trustees for United way, he plays a large role in the long-term recovery of helping rebuild lives and communities. In 2006, Clooney auctioned off his Academy Awards gift bag and transferable contents in order to benefit the Hurricane Response and Recovery Fund.
After donating $25,000 to the Actors Fund, George Clooney is quoted in an interview with Daily Variety as saying “To people like myself, the strike is a forced vacation, but with the rhetoric high, and two other strikes looming, there is the fear that a prolonged strike can destroy people who make a living in this industry My hope is that people who can afford it will take responsibility for this and help out. This felt like the right place, because the Actors Fund is the most inclusive. It helps writers, and everyone from craft services workers to agency assistants who have been laid off.”
RASCAL FLATTS (Born in Columbus, Ohio):
Rascal Flatts, famously known by lovers of music everywhere, are an American country pop/country rock music group that is composed of three main members. All three of these singers are members of the Red Cross where they work to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
In 2008, the band received the Academy of Country Music/Home Depot Humanitarian Award. They won this due to their donation to the “Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt” in Nashville. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt treats the region’s sickest patients, caring for patients in 44 states in the past year. Children’s Hospital has been recognized as one of the premier children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Parents magazine and the Leapfrog Group.
Rascal Flatts doesn’t stop at donating, they also host an annual Disney-themed party and concert for children in Nashville.
JOHN LEGEND (Born in Springfield, Ohio):
Upon reading “The End of Poverty”, famous singer John Legend took a trip to Ghana where he was inspired to establish the “Show Me Campaign”. This campaign works to raise funds for African villages. In 2008, he partnered with “Millennium Promise Alliance” in order to encourage social, economic, personal and educational growth. There were sessions along with this, referred to as “Poverty Action Tour” where people where challenged to support the fight against poverty and promote charities and groups that are also fighting for the same cause.
“Show Me Campaign” and “Millennium Promise Alliance” have helped weak villages by providing mosquito nets, free meals, safe water points, local clinics and fertilizer. John Legend is quoted as saying “Some people will say with some justification that we have a lot of problems here at home that we still need to solve… But I don’t believe you have to choose. I think every life is valuable and poverty anywhere is something we should address.” In addition to his generosity for those less fortunate, he supports “The Gentlemen’s Fund” which raises support and awareness for five cornerstones essential to men: opportunity, health, education, environment and justice. As spokesperson for “Tide Loads of Hope”, Legend spent a day folding laundry of those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
KATIE HOLMES (Born in Toledo, Ohio):
Katie Holmes is not only a hit when it comes to her acting roles, but she also is a hit in the world of charity world. Katie donates to multiple charities including “Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes”, “Dizzy Feet Foundation”, “Global Poverty Project”, “Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation”, “Raising Malawi”, “Stockings with Care” and “UNICEF”. Though her roles in all of these have been significant over the years, her greatest contribution was to “Love Our Children USA”, which is the leading nonprofit organization that honors and respects children. This organization fights to keep children safe and to strengthen families. The message it wants to send is positivity and hope. In 2009, Holmes was awarded the “Mothers Who Make a Difference” award due to her contributions to this cause.
STEVEN SPIELBERG (Born in Cincinnati, Ohio):
Steven Spielberg is famously known for being the director, executive screenwriter and producer of many well-known films. He has won three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Academy Awards for the category of Best Director. Out of the six Academy Awards, he has won two of them including Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.
Despite Spielberg’s successes, he has remains humble enough to remember those struggling through life. Steven Spielberg admitted that throughout his own life he had never felt comfortable with himself because he was never part of the majority. He states that he always felt “awkward and shy” because he was always on “the outside”. Partially, due to this, and the fame of Schindler’s List, Spielberg used his earnings from the movie to establish “Righteous Persons Foundation”. This foundation is used to enhance modern Jewish life… This includes engaging Jewish youth, promoting tolerance and strengthening the commitment to social justice. The “USC Shoah Foundation Institute” was also established by Steven Spielberg, whose purpose is to collect and preserve testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust.
Steven Spielberg is the co-founder for a foundation called “Starbright”, which merged with the Starlight Foundation in 2002, forming what is now known as “Starlight Children’s Foundation”. This foundation’s purpose is to improve the lives of sick children through technology-based programs. These programs focus on entertainment and education. Many of these children face chronic and life-threatening illnesses. With the Starlight Children’s Foundation, these children are able to cope with the pain and fear of their illnesses. Spielberg also plays a large part in donating to the American Red Cross ($750,000 in 2006) and The Bush-Clinton Fund ($750,000).
DREW CAREY (Born in Cleveland, Ohio):
Known for his sense of humor, Drew Carey is also one of the world’s biggest softies. He takes charity to a whole new level by sponsoring a child in Honduras through “Children International”. The goal of Children International is to bring real and lasting change to children who are living in poverty. This foundation thrives on investing in the potential, health and education of these children who are struggling through society. When asked about his role in this lovely program, he said “I know how important it is for young men like José to have support and guidance. I am happy to be able to provide whatever help I can to him and his family. It’s a great thing to know you can help someone a world away.”
HALLE BERRY (Born in Cleveland, Ohio):
Halle Berry, like Katie Holmes, was a recipient of Love Our Children USA’s “Mothers Who Make A Difference” award. In addition to Berry’s acting roles, she contributes to 20 different charities. When “T.Y.M.E. Ministries” held an auction to benefit youth who are homeless, runaways, in the foster care system, have a disability, teen parents, have dropped out, or are otherwise disadvantaged, Halle Berry sent in an autographed photo to be bargained off.
Berry is a celebrity ambassador for the Diabetes Award Campaign… In fact, she was the very first. As an ambassador of this campaign, she has shared her own struggle with Type 1 diabetes and used that to help others fighting the same problem. In addition, she supports the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles whose purpose is to assist victims of domestic violence. Her own experience with witnessing domestic violence as a child allows her to relate to the issue.
GUY FIERI (Born in Columbus, Ohio):
“CWK” or “Cooking with Kids” is a program that was founded by Guy Fieri himself. His love to cook inspired him to encourage kids to learn to love cooking as well. CWK provides funding for programs that get kids into the kitchen and teach them to cook. The mission of this program is as stated, “Cooking With Kids encourages and educates young people to learn how to cook for themselves, their families, and their friends, while instilling self-esteem, self-reliance, and a healthy lifestyle.”
BOW WOW (Born in Reynoldsburg, Ohio):
Famous rapper Bow Wow may not be lil anymore but he never forgets those that are! Bow Wow has performed free concerts to support “Computers for Youth”, whose mission is to improve the educational, social and economic prospects for low-income children and their families. This organization provides these children and families with home computers and the skills to use them.
In addition, Bow Wow has teamed up with Lil Wayne to take part in the “Celebrity Court of Dreams”, which is a charity game that mixes up big name stars and seventh and eighth grade players to make money, enabling these children to keep playing on their teams. The hopes of this is to “make healthy choices in life”, such as eating well, being active and excelling in school. Along the same lines, Bow Wow also got together with Nelly in Chicago to promote the importance of education. The two competed in a basketball game, where the losing team donated $100,000 to the charity of their choice! During half-time, they spoke of the need for education.
JON NIESE (Born in Lima, Ohio):
Though baseball player Jon Niese expanded his horizons upon joining the New York Mets, he didn’t allow it to make him forget where he came from. Having attended Defiance High School, Niese continues to give back. According to the school’s website, Niese generously donated a portable pitcher’s mound to the Defiance Baseball Program!
SARAH JESSICA PARKER (Born in Nelsonville, Ohio):
Ever since 1997, Sarah Jessica Parker has been showing her support for our world in numerous ways. It is not only her acting skills that make her relatable, believable and admired, but also her desire to improve the circumstances around her. Parker was nominated as Ambassador of “UNICEF” (works to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behavior.) She is dedicated to this role and has showed it through numerous “Trick-or-Treat” functions for UNICEF where she has served as the national spokesperson in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Most recently, she donated a signed bathroom to the 60th Anniversary of Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF Charity Buzz auction. This helped contribute $11,620. Parker believes that her involvement with UNICEF is what truly introduced her to volunteering, which has in turn helped her to set her own personal standard of contributing her time and giving back to others.
Parker’s commitment to UNICEF is remarkable from being the signator for the Mother’s Day e-Appeal in 2011 (providing HIV test kits to give babies a chance at life and helping the mother to take the first step to restoring her own health) to lighting the UNICEF snowflake in New York City in 2004 to launching the UNICEF Tap Project in 2007. Her giving is never-ending… Just this year, Parker wrapped herself up in Matalan’s Alphabet Scarves in support of a children’s charity.
ALYSON STONER (Born in Toledo, Ohio):
Young actress, Alyson Stoner, has stated “Tis the season to start using my hands to give”. On her own personal website, Stoner has stated her support for people with creative talent/vision and works to help get their projects funded so that they have the opportunity to share them with the world. In 2012, she and Hilary Duff both participated in a charity event that took place on the Santa Monica Pier. The goal of this charity was to raise $500,000 in order to send kids from 20 inner-city schools to summer camp.
LEBRON JAMES (Born in Akron, Ohio):
LeBron James is ambitious, both on and off the court. Just last year, he donated $1 million to his Ohio high school to renovate their gymnasium. At St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, James dominated the court from 1999 to 2003 winning himself a mythical national title his senior year. James also routinely trains at the high school during the summers and purchases uniforms for the students on the basketball teams.
Many of the charities which LeBron donates to involves enhancing the lives of children. He is quoted as saying “Being here with these kids is very important because I know I have two kids of my own (young sons LeBron and Bryce), and I understand the everyday life of a kid and the dreams that they have every day and the things that they want to do and the things that we hope they should do. To be a role model to these kids, to be an inspiration to these kids and to be a driving force making their dreams becoming a reality is what’s important.” LeBron has his own charity which is called “The LeBron James Family Foundation”, whose mission is to “positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational actives”. With his major charity goal being to enhance the lives of kids everywhere, LeBron also donates to Boys & Girls Clubs (helping youth create aspirations for the future, providing opportunities for career exploration and educational enhancement). Like many others, he also donated to the Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund and the Mesa Arts Academy.
MARILYN MANSON (Born in Canton, Ohio):
Known for his singing career, and more recently known for his acting in the show Sons of Anarchy, Marilyn Manson has become a well-known figure. Manson, along with other Golden Globe nominees and stars of “Mad Men” teamed together to raise proceeds for the Global Fund, which is the world’s leading financer of programs to fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa.