From traveling the world to playing gigs, many celebrities parlay fame into opportunities to help others. The charity work means even more when it grows out of a personal connection, as these celebrities found. How does it feel to reach out and help others? These celebs share and tell.
Courtney Cox : Raising awareness of an incurable disease
Courtney has partnered with The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation ( www.ebkids.org ), which raises money to find a cure for the rare genetic condition that primarily affects children.
Usher : Bringing displaced families back home
The R&B star has launched Usher’s New Look ( www.ushernewlook.org ), which is helping to resettle 1,000 families in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and Rita. “Every time I’ve been to New Orleans, I’ve taken the time to roll up my sleeves and help,” he says.
Lee Sinje : Giving hope to kids
A long time World Vision child sponsor who’s known for her work in helping underprivileged kids receive education. Malaysian actress Lee Sinje says, ” We must remind ourselves that nothing is too big to overcome or that we are never too small to bring about significant changes. Seemingly small measures can make a dramatic difference in the lives of the needy.”
Reese Witherspoon : Empowering women
” I think we all know people who have been touched by domestic violence, whether it’s your mother, sister or girlfriend. I personally know many people who have dealt with the situation and I think it’s important to stress that there are ways to talk about it.” The 32-year-old Oscar winner recently launched the Women’s Empowerment necklace, designed to save and improve women’s lives worldwide. “This necklace is a way to take action and demonstrate solidarity to reduce the epidemic of violence against women.
Charlize Theron : Ending violence against women
The actress is the newest UN Messenger of Peace for her work in ending violence towards women. “This is something that has been dear to me and disturbing to me for a long time.” At 15, Charlize witnessed her mother fatally shoot her physically abusive father in self-defence.
Eva Mendes : Helping sick kids cope through the art of therapy
Eva donates her time and talents to The Art of Elysium (www.theartofelysium.org) which pairs critically ill kids with actors and musicians. “I give these kids every ounce of love I have, and in return I get the same thing.”