There are many, many celebrities who generously give to charity and support important causes. But some of them do it more quietly than others. I'm not knocking on the Leonardo DiCaprios or the Oprahs or the Chance the Rappers of the world, whose charity work and activism is a central part of their public life.
But there are some celebrities who don't talk a whole lot about the work they do outside of acting, yet are still extremely generous with their time and their money. These are those celebs.
Of course Keanu Reeves is on this list. Everything we learn about bout him makes it clearer and clearer that he is the best. The actor has been quietly donating millions and millions of dollars to children's hospitals and cancer research over the years. He has a private foundation that his name isn't attached to. He began this charitable endeavor when his sister, Kim, was diagnosed with leukemia.
He's also known to treat the crews on his movie sets extremely well. It sounds like Keanu Reeves is exactly the guy he seems to be, and isn't that just the best?
Listen, Guy Fieri gets a bad rap, but he's actually a good guy. And he gives a lot of his time and money to help those in need. In honor of his sister Morgan, who died from cancer, he invites Make-A-Wish Foundation families to all his Food Network show tapings. He does lots of work with Best Buddies, an organization that supports those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
And he's been known to cook hot meals for first responders and victims of wildfires in his home state of California. He brings joy to people's lives in so many ways!
I don't know if you know this — I definitely didn't — but Nicki Minaj has been donating money to support an entire Indian village for years. The money that she has sent them has facilitated the addition of a computer center, a tailoring institute, a reading program, and two water wells.
Additionally, one night she simply offered to pay the college tuition of any fan who had straight As, eventually extending the offer to people who didn't have perfect grades. She just knew she had the resources to help and that these people's lives would be made so much easier with just a little more cash.
Prince's dedication to several causes only became public after his death. Rev. Al Sharpton revealed that Prince privately gave often and generously to charity when he was alive. He gave $1 million to a Harlem-based non-profit that worked with inner-city kids. He donated $250,000 to a solar power startup dedicated to helping families in need in South Carolina.
And he quietly donated to people in need, like the family of Trayvon Martin.
Popstar George Michael's incredible generosity, like Prince's, was only revealed after his death. A woman appeared on Deal or No Deal in the UK and said she needed £15,000 for IVF treatment. George Michael called the show's producers the next day and gave her the money. He worked at a homeless shelter anonymously, intent on just doing the work and not creating a fuss around it.
He gave a struggling stranger £25,000 to help with their debt, threw a free concert for nurses, and secretly donated half a million pounds to Project Angel Food, an AIDS charity based in LA. He knew there were people out there who needed his money more than he did, and he gave it away freely and discreetly.
Taylor Swift gets criticized a lot for her seemingly very curated image, but in reality, she's very generous with her money and doesn't hesitate to give to those in need. She donated over $1 million to help victims of the flooding in Louisiana, $100,000 to those who were affected by the Tennessee wildfires, and lots of money to an African parks charity.
On a personal level, she also helps out her fans too. She gave $5,000 to a fan who'd just lost her sister in a car accident. She reportedly also donated thousands of dollars to a fan named Brandon when his family cut him off. She never came out and took credit for the donations, as they only popped up using her and her cats' initials.
Russell Crowe is apparently known for committing random, very generous acts of kindness. He once walked into a thrift store run by a cancer charity and wrote them a check for $1,300. When a Jewish elementary school in Montreal was firebombed, he donated enough to help rebuild the school's library.
He's made generous donations to schools near his home in Australia, has helped raise massive funds for AIDS research, and he spearheaded an effort to raise over $400,000 for firefighters in rural Australia.
Eminem runs the Marshal Mathers Foundation, which according to CafeMom, "often gives money away on the condition that its source be kept secret." He doesn't want recognition for his good deeds. He just wants to do the good thing. And he does. A lot.
Despite his best efforts though, some stories have gotten out, like the time he donated $200,000 to Wolverine Human Services, an organization that helps at-risk youth in his home state of Michigan.
In 2015, 2 Chainz raised over $2 million by selling ugly 'Dabbin' Santa' Christmas sweaters, and he donated much of it to families in need. He paid a year's worth of rent and bought furniture for an unemployed single mom and disabled veteran. He bought a minivan for a family in need and gave a family of 11 a home for a year.
He's committed to helping people directly and finding the people who need immediate funds or resources.
In addition to just being like, the Queen of Acting, Meryl Streep and her husband Don Gummer, have also done lots of charity work. Meryl has worked to empower women and girls with organizations like the United Nations' Girl Up.
But she and Don also have their own foundation, called the Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts. No one at the foundation takes a salary. Instead, Merl uses it to quietly donate millions to organizations like Oxfam America, New York's Meals on Wheels, the Coalition for the Homeless, and the National Women's Museum.
I knew I liked her. Kristen Stewart, when she's not busy getting the best haircuts of anyone in Hollywood, is working with organizations like Oxfam and the Red Cross. She's also involved in Shoe Revolt, an organization that auctions off signed celebrity shoes to raise money for the fight against sex trafficking.
Gotta love Betty White, right? Somehow, you're about to love her even more. She is a huge animal lover and has been involved with several animal-related organizations throughout the years, including the Morris Animal Foundation (she's been a board member since 1971!) and the SPCA of LA. She's a trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and she even received the American Humane Association's National Humanitarian Medal Legacy Award in 2012.
She's an animal lover, through and through.
Dave Matthews?! Patron saint of insufferable college dudes? Yeah, he's a generous guy! The Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band has given tons of money to non-profits based in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. Since the band was formed, Matthews and his bandmates have donated over $40 million to charitable organizations. That's a lot of money!
Charity is a huge part of what Dave Matthews does. Shucks, now I like him a lot!
Something you might not know about Jami Gertz (whom you might remember as the girlfriend Bill Pullman abandons to be with Helen Hunt in Twister) is that she is extremely wealthy, mostly thanks to her marriage to a billionaire. Luckily, she and her husband, Tony Ressler, are very generous. They once donated over $10 million to their foundation, making them the most generous celebrities of 2012.
The Ressler/Gertz Foundation mostly supports educational, local LA, and Jewish causes.
Prolific author Nora Roberts has her own foundation, aptly called the Nora Roberts Foundation. Through that, she has given more than $50 million to support literacy and children's education programs. She's thinking of the little ones, and we love her for it!
In addition to literacy and children's programs, the Nora Roberts Foundation also donates to humanitarian organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Alzheimer's Association.
Gisele Bündchen is a model, she's married to Tom Brady, and she does an immense amount of charity work. In 2010, she donated $1.5 million to the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Since then she has supported St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, WWF, the I Am Africa HIV / AIDS campaign, Brazil's Zero Hunger program, and much much more.
I don't know about you, but I don't think of Alec Baldwin as the most charitable soul. I associate him with hurling insults at his daughter and being generally difficult, but he's actually worked with lots of charitable organizations, so that's a point for him. Not only does he have his own organization with his wife, Hilaria, which supports the arts, but he's also worked with the Wounded Warrior Project, Habitat for Humanity, Creative Coalition, PETA, and several cancer research orgs.
Jerry Seinfeld isn't one of the humblest guys in the world, but he puts a good portion of his money toward charity, so that's good. He and his wife Jessica started an organization called Good+Foundation, whose mission is to help families struggling with poverty.
A separate foundation called the Seinfeld Family Foundation supports children's education, health, and the arts. Not going to lie, most of this work is probably spearheaded by Jerry's wife Jessica, but it's nice that he's involved nevertheless.
Miley Cyrus has donated to and volunteered with a long list of charitable organizations, including the Red Cross, City of Hope, the Libby Ross Foundation, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and Blessings in a Backpack. But she also has her own organization — the Happy Hippie Foundation — a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of issues of homeless and vulnerable youth in the LGBTQ+ community.
In addition, she and Liam Hemsworth donated to help wildfire victims even after she lost her own home. The list of organizations she works with is too long to list here, but she's generous with her time and money and encourages others to do the same.
Jessica Simpson, who's known for having incredible teeth, has volunteered with Operation Smile, a medical charity dedicated to treating children around the world who have facial deformities. Since then, she has helped kids all around the world with organizations like No Kid Hungry, Seinfeld's Good+Foundation, and several other organizations that work to make kids' lives better.
She has supported organizations that research cancer, provide disaster relief, and help refugees.