People who became famous by their own talents, work and effort tend to frequently remind us that they have not been as rich throughout their whole life. Actually, many of them were poor before gaining a worldwide recognition. Still, even with their enormous amount of money in their bank accounts, they cannot stop thinking about other people, the people in need, the less fortunate. In this article, we will point out some of them, but the whole list of according to Forbes can be found here.
“I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.” – Oprah Winfrey.
J.K. Rowling’s life was hard, but after some struggle, she ended up with stunning success. She’s is a living proof that hard work really pays off. We all know her as the author of the renowned Harry Potter series, which brought her to the limelight. In the real sense, J.K. Rowling was actually poor before publishing this book. Back in 2011, she was estimated to be worth about $1 billion and was on the Forbes list of richest people in the world. Nevertheless, she lost that status because of donating her money to charity. In 2011, she gave away about $160 million dollars to charity. Maybe it’s because Rowling knows exactly what it’s like to be poor.
Through the years, Rowling has been involved with several charities:
- Amnesty International.
- One Parent Families (now known as Gingerbread).
- The Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland.
- Comic Relief.
- Maggie’s Centres for Cancer Care.
- The U.K. Labour Party.
- Doctors Without Borders.
J.K. Rowling founded the Children’s High-Level Group (CHLG or Lumos), an organization that helps to “end the systematic institutionalization of children across Europe and helps them find safer, more caring places to live.” She also has her own charitable trust called Volant, which supports various projects and organizations to fight social deprivation, especially among women and children.
George Lucas, an American filmmaker, is known to be a huge supporter of education. He has even donated the amount of $4 billion he made from selling Star Wars to Disney, for education. His Educational Foundation is still making a significant effort to promote education. Lucas even paid $200 million for a housing project near his home that includes 224 homes. Lucas hoped to make a difference for the working class in that area saying:
“We’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people.”
Scarlett Johansson is an American actress, model, and singer. Although she who was an Oxfam Ambassador for nearly a decade, they split due to a difference of opinion over SodaStream. She was supporting USA Harvest and helping in providing food to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Johanson was also supporting some AIDS clinics in Rwanda and donated more than 2,000 shoes to Soles4Souls. These are just but a few examples of her many-years-long charity.
Ellen DeGenres, a TV talk show host, has been giving donations to about 38 charities. Apart from these charities, only within her show, she has given away way more than 50 million dollars.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Matt Damon, an American actor, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded water.org. This is an organization that works to provide safe and easy access to clean drinking water. He even started a campaign called “buy a girl a drink.” The campaign was about delivering water to women in disadvantaged countries. Damon used to say:
“You cannot solve poverty without solving water and sanitation.”