Nine nonprofits with Hollywood support

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1. California State Summer School of the Arts
Supported by state funds and contributions from Disney, Pixar, Paramount, Sony Pictures and other private donors, CSSSA allows select California students, grades 9-12, to earn college credits studying in one of seven rigorous four-week programs -- film and video, creative writing, visual arts, music, dance, animation and theater -- on the campus of CalArts in Valencia. csssa.org

2. City Year
City Year enlists 17- to 24-year-olds from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds to dedicate a year of their lives to full-time service as tutors, mentors and role models for at-risk students in 20 cities across the country. In Los Angeles, Disney, Sony and E! Entertainment serve as "team sponsors," calling upon employees to work with City Year corps members on campus beautification projects and leadership development workshops. cityyear.org

3. Dizzy Feet Foundation
On the road holding auditions for Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," judges Adam Shankman and Nigel Lythgoe repeatedly heard from hopefuls how dancing saved their lives. In quick order, they enlisted actress Katie Holmes and "Dancing With the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba to co-found Dizzy Feet last year to provide dance scholarships, establish national standards for dance education and support local dance programs for disadvantaged children.
dizzyfeetfoundation.org

4. Feeding America
The nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America serves more than 200 member food banks, feeding more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Actor-director David Arquette serves as chairman of its Entertainment Council, doing everything from helping promote its name change to producing a 2009 benefit concert at L.A.'s Club Nokia, starring pals Sheryl Crow and Ben Harper. He's even taken to working at his local food bank in Venice, Calif., several times a week. feedingamerica.org

5. FINCA International
For the past seven years, actress Natalie Portman has traveled around the globe, from Ecuador to Uganda, as Ambassador of Hope for FINCA (the Foundation for International Community Assistance), promoting its program of microloans that empower severely poor women (and some men) in developing countries to start their own small businesses. Most loan recipients are "petty traders," who sell food or clothing they make or vegetables they grow. Others open small beauty shops. With the profits they make, "they improve the lives of their families," says FINCA spokeswoman Diane Jones. finca.org

6. Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing
"Grey's Anatomy" star Dempsey founded this wellness facility in 2008 at Central Maine Medical Center in his hometown of Lewiston, inspired by his mother's successful battle with ovarian cancer. Providing health and financial counseling services, treatment rooms and dedicated space for support group meetings and educational programs, it's funded through private donations and the Dempsey Challenge, an annual noncompetitive running/walking/cycling event in Lewiston that raised $1 million in a single day in October. "Cancer isn't going away and the support groups are desperately needed," Dempsey says. dempseycenter.org

7. Precious Center for Teen Leadership

Inspired by the illiterate Harlem teen at the center of their film "Precious," producers Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness donated $1.3 million to the Fresh Air Fund to establish this literacy camp at the nonprofit's complex in New York's Fishkill Mountains. Opening July 20, it will hold four two-week sessions this summer for 180 inner-city girls, ages 13-15. Campers will publish a newsletter, read and discuss books, and participate in community service, music, dance and poetry activities.

8. The Serpentine Project

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst founded the Serpentine Project in 2008 to give hands-on mentoring to youth transitioning out of foster care. That means teaching everything from helping them get Social Security cards to paying for their college tuition, being on hand when they move into dorms and, later, buying them clothes to wear to job interviews. theserpentineproject.org

9. Stand Up to Cancer
Founded two years ago by CBS anchor Katie Couric, former studio chief Sherry Lansing, producer Laura Ziskin and other leading women in entertainment, the SU2C goal is to speed up the research and development of cancer treatments. In September 2008, a SU2C telethon carried by ABC, NBC and CBS raised more than $100 million. More than $83 million of that money has since been committed to five multidisciplinary researcher "dream teams" from more than 50 institutions -- each determined to finding quick-turnaround "translational" therapies. standup2cancer.org
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