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This Giving Tuesday, stars including Olivia Wilde, Liev Schrieber, Jewel, Gal Gadot, Uzo Aduba and Jane Fonda talk about the philanthropic causes that move them to action and the moments that remain meaningful to them from time spent helping others.
Olivia Wilde on supporting Artists for Peace and Justice: “Watching health workers and teachers in Haiti dedicate every ounce of their energy to the well-being of others,” says the actress and director, of volunteering in Haiti with Artists for Peace and Justice, which works in partnership with communities in Haiti and creates access to education.
Liev Schreiber on working with Feeding America: “It’s a brief glance or smile as they pass you on a line to get some food. Which is why you are both there. That is the purpose and goal of this organization. Feeding people. It’s not really a social event or experience so much as a way to get food to people who need food. If along the way my kids learn something about what it means to be part of a community, I consider that a bonus,” says the Ray Donovan actor, who’s a member of the entertainment council of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks.
Alexandra Daddario on the work of CARE: “During the pandemic I took a virtual tour to meet with staff from CARE Nepal, an impactful program implemented during the pandemic that allowed me to see what was happening on the ground while unable to travel. I was so moved by a young woman named Priyanka, who had escaped being a child bride because of CARE’s Tipping Point program that works to end child marriage. Hearing her story was a moment I will never forget and continues to motivate my drive and passion to work with organizations like CARE. CARE is an incredible organization that not only provides essential resources like food, water and medical supplies to women and girls in need around the world, but they offer programs that empower, educate, and build infrastructure. The majority of staff in each of the 100 countries that CARE works in are locals who determine which issues are addressed — everything from fighting poverty, healthcare, food security, climate, education, social justice, and more. I believe that every person in the world is better off when everyone is in a position to succeed,” says The White Lotus actress, who’s a member of the Global Advisory Council of humanitarian agency CARE.
Uzo Aduba on supporting Stand Up To Cancer: “Like far too many people, cancer has touched me personally. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer in November of 2020 and have other family members who have been affected by this disease. I’m proud to be a Stand Up To Cancer [SU2C] Ambassador and be a part of an organization which continues to raise significant funds to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking research which continues to save lives. This year, it was my honor to be a part of Stand Up To Cancer’s seventh roadblock telecast and streaming event, which helped highlight the important strides being made in cancer research and raised much needed funds to help further SU2C’s mission – which is to make every patient diagnosed with cancer into a long-term survivor,” says the actress, an ambassador for Stand Up To Cancer, which funds and develops cancer treatments.
Jane Fonda on her climate-change organization Fire Drill Fridays: “My climate-focused movement with Greenpeace is working to inspire the 70 percent of Americans who are concerned about global warming to move beyond concern to action. I’m so moved by how many of them have stayed involved, even through the height of the pandemic, and let me know how much the information they receive from my guests has motivated them to be climate activists. Action is what’s needed now,” says the actress and founder of Fire Drill Fridays, which holds demonstrations to push for action on climate change.
Gal Gadot on producing (along with her husband, Jaron Varsano) the 2021 series National Geographic Presents: Impact with Gal Gadot, which spotlights six young women who are making a difference in their communities: “It’s funny because where we come from and our mentality, philanthropy is something you do quietly. We always do that and we make sure to give back. This is something that both of us were raised to do, to do share, and to give back …. However, something that felt really, really meaningful to me is actually a show that we did that was called Impact [for National Geographic]. I’m a big believer in women empowerment, and I’m a big believer … in small actions that can have a really, really amazing ripple effect and create a true impact. And with Impact it was a show that we started [about young leaders]. And they do it in a quiet way without looking for credit, without looking for any recognition. The only engine that they have is their passion for what they do, and their will to do good and better their communities. And the fact that we managed to bring this show and show it to so many eyeballs, and the feedback that we got from it, and the inspiration that people had found by watching these amazing women, that for me was amazing. Because I’m so used to getting the attention from everybody and getting credit, and they are true heroes within us that I feel like we really managed to celebrate them through the Impact show. It was really, really meaningful,” says Gadot.
Jewel — founder of the Inspiring Children Foundation and an advisory board member of One Mind — on the importance of mental health: “Two moments stand out, the first is when I met our Inspiring Children Foundation youth, Cherrial, after her second suicide attempt, I remember telling her that one day she would no longer weep from sorrow but from joy and when I finally got that call, telling me that she was weeping from joy, it was like a love bomb went off in my heart. To help our youth go from suicide to smiles is the most rewarding work I have ever done. Then years later to have her call me overjoyed because she got rejected from ten colleges in one day but was so happy it didn’t affect her peace of mind. Then days later she got into Stanford University — a far cry from when she entered our program at 13 having attempted suicide twice, being separated from her family by Child Protective Services and coming to live in our mental health safety homes.
“Most recently, I joined mental health and brain research nonprofit, One Mind, as a One Mind Champion and Advisory Board Member. Through my Inspiring Children Foundation coupled with One Mind’s ground-breaking research I hope to make mental health resources and solutions available to all,” says Jewel, founder of the youth-development-focused Inspiring Children Foundation and advisory board member of One Mind, which advances brain health research and advocacy.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo on the work of the Arthritis Foundation: “Our favorite moment occurred while supporting our niece, Isabella Rosalina, as she became a leader in the fight against Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Isabella struggled with the disease throughout her childhood, but she was determined to follow her passion and play soccer. She now plays overseas at the University of St. Andrews. It was a thrilling acknowledgement of her inspiring journey when she was the Youth Honoree at the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run a couple years ago,” wrote the Russos, supporters of the Arthritis Foundation, promoting resource and research for the more than 50 million people in the United States living with arthritis.
Singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes on supporting One Mind: “I have thoroughly loved co-hosting a number of discussions for One Mind’s video series, “Brain Waves” and I’m proud to be working with them as a One Mind Champion. Some of the most important work around mental wellness is normalizing the conversation and de-stigmatizing our preconceived notions,” says Hayes, a champion for One Mind, which advances brain health research and advocacy.
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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