speak out against poverty
Today’s celebrities have a massive influence on a vast range of people. They are able to sway many people to support specific causes. Major artists around the world are using their platforms to speak out against poverty. Here are five celebrities aiming to alleviate global poverty.

5 Celebrities Aiming to Alleviate Global Poverty

  1. Lauren Daigle: Growing up, Lauren Daigle helped those in need, always believing in the “value of diversity.” She founded The Price Fund Foundation to bring hope and love to all people. This Foundation focuses on providing care to people all over the world through “communal initiatives and outreach.” By partnering with Love Does, a human rights foundation focused on conflict zones, Lauren has contributed to building a school in Goma, a small city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Located in a conflict zone, it is hard for children in Goma to experience a sense of normalcy. The school will help them gain access to an education that could steer them away from a world of war. Moreover, through her fundraising music video “Hold On To Me,” Lauren sends a message of hope to all struggling people. She also started a fundraiser to raise money for different charities that provide aid for individuals in distress.
  2.  MercyMe: Award-winning Christian Band MercyMe has partnered with Children International to help children build healthy living environments. Children International is an international charity with the goal of bringing an end to poverty. Since its conception in 1936, Children International has established 67 community centers and helped over one million children. Working with the organization has allowed MercyMe to initiate the change they want to see around the world. Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe, said that “Helping people is a core part of our beliefs. We are called to love those around us and give to those in need.”
  3. Amy Grant: Christian music icon, Amy Grant, recently used her platform to speak out against poverty at the International Poverty Forum (IPF). The IPF is an annual event that works to address global poverty. Caring for Others, Inc., a human services organization devoted to providing relief to those in need, ran this event. On March 4th, 2022, Grant brought awareness to the importance of helping others in her speech at the IPF alongside Tim Tebow and Deion Sanders. In addition, Grant has also brought awareness to global poverty through the songs that she has written. In her song, “Third World Women,” Grant “contrasts Western affluence with global poverty.” She emphasizes themes such as the significance of women standing up for women across the globe.
  4. Chris Tomlin and Hillsong United: Two well-known artists joined together in the fall of 2022 to help alleviate global poverty. Both Tomlin and Hillsong united with Premier Productions to raise money for poverty. Through their combined tour and partnership, the artists were able to raise $271 million to help people and communities worldwide. The two artists also joined together in supporting World Vision, an organization dedicated to protecting kids from the world hunger crisis.

Looking Ahead

The celebrities above are just a few voices in the sea of many that can speak out against global poverty. It is important to emphasize that one does not have to be a celebrity to influence people to take action against poverty; every voice matters.

– Madison Stivala
Photo: Flickr

Angelina Jolie Supports UkraineAmerican award-winning actress, Angelina Jolie, supports Ukraine. Since Tomb Raider’s filming in 2001, Jolie has traveled worldwide, assisting refugees and raising money to fight global poverty. The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which focuses on fighting against extreme poverty in rural areas, was founded as a means of helping humanitarian efforts by raising millions of dollars in support. It provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people who are struggling with violence, conflict, natural disasters and many other health-related issues on a daily basis.

Russo-Ukrainian War Overtime

In 1991, Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, right after the fall of the Soviet Union. From then on Russia and Ukraine have been head to head in multiple disputes over several different issues regarding keeping ties with Russia and joining NATO.

In 2014, the Ukrainian region of Crimea was annexed by Russian forces. This launched a series of brutal retaliations that eventually led to the split between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainian government reported the killings of around 15,000 people since 2014, according to Reuters.

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. In only three days after the invasion, Ukraine reported 352 deaths and 1,684 injuries among its people. From then on the Russo-Ukrainian war has continued to be an ongoing battle between Russia and Ukraine.

Jolie’s Surprise Visit to Ukraine

With over 7 million refugees fleeing Ukraine in hopes of escaping the turmoil of the war as of September 2022, Hollywood actress Jolie supports Ukraine by urging many to take the matter seriously.

In April 2022, Jolie traveled to Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, of her own will. Ukrainian woman Maya Pidhoretska spotted Jolie at a local coffee shop, stating “people just couldn’t believe that it was her,” The Washington Post reports. The actress wanted to personally observe what the refugees and the Ukrainian people are facing from the ongoing war, which positively surprised many local people as well as the refugees arriving in Lviv.

While there, she took the time to speak with people as a way of providing both support and comfort from an outside source. Jolie dedicated her time to talk to students at boarding schools and medical facilities.

Angelina Jolie Urges Support for All

Before her visit to Ukraine, Jolie made a stop in Yemen’s capital, Aden. She hoped to aid refugees as well as to draw attention to the vast need for support in Yemen. Jolie has been advocating for Yemeni refugees for many years. Due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Yemen and other countries have lost substantial imports of wheat and other food supplies. Both Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s top breadbasket distributors.

Through an Instagram post, Jolie called for “an immediate end to the conflict and humanitarian crisis,” Global Citizen reports. Angelina Jolie supports Ukraine by recognizing the impact people can make on other countries suffering from the current war.

Although the Russo-Ukrainian war has been ongoing for many years, significant progress has been made. Notable figures such as Jolie have raised more awareness and support for Ukraine and other countries in conflict. As Jolie stated in a Global Citizen report, “Everyone deserves the same compassion…we cannot be selective about who deserves support.”

– Madison Stivala
Photo: Flickr

In July 2022, Jackson Yee, a well-known young Chinese actor and a member of the idol group TFBOYS, fell into the whirlpool of online public opinion because he obtained a permanent position in the National Theatre of China. Many netizens questioned the admission results and eligibility of Yee and two other actors. They felt celebrity privilege led to their acceptance. Despite Yee’s insistence on his innocence, he chose to give up the position he received. This incident underlines the social ramifications of income inequality in China.

Jackson Yee and The National Theatre of China

Yee, 22,  rose to fame as a TFBOYS singer, but since then has acted in a number of films including Better Days, nominated for an Oscar in 2019.  He has over 90 million followers on Sina Weibo, the Chinese social media platform.

There are two key doubts about Yee’s acceptance to the National Theatre. First, Chinese netizens questioned Yee’s eligibility to apply for the National Theatre of China. First, to be eligible one had to be unemployed, but Yee obviously wasn’t. In addition, when doubts escalated, the National Theatre of China refused to release interview videos and application details that the government required. Yee’s hire angered so many Chinese people not only because of celebrity privilege in the job market but also because of the overarching issue of huge income inequality in China that has long been a source of concern among netizens.

The Huge Income Gap Between Celebrities and Ordinaries in China

In China, the income of celebrities is unimaginable for ordinary people. For instance, Zhang Yixing, one of the most famous rap stars in China, paid $2.8 million in taxes in 2018.

And the income inequality in China goes beyond the most popular celebrities. Even tepid and unknown stars appearing in a single commercial performance earn tens of thousands of yuan. On the other hand, office workers in big cities may earn between 7,000 yuan and 10,000 yuan a month (equivalent to $1037 and $1482) while in remote counties, wages average no more than 3,000 yuan (equivalent to $44) a month.  In particular, this income inequality has caused outrage on social media.

Efforts To Cap Celebrity Salaries

In response to that netizen outrage, the Chinese government has embarked on a series of measures to correct disparities.  In 2018, China introduced a new mandatory policy that in television production, the salary of the leading actor cannot exceed 70% of the sum of the salary of all artists and 40% of the total production cost. This means that extremely high salaries for actors will be a thing of the past.

Moreover, China is enforcing this rule. For example, Zheng Shuang, a well-known Chinese actress, earned $25 million for appearing in just 77 days of a TV show. After public outcry, an investigation found that the production company did not follow the protocols and that Shuang had evaded taxes between 2019 and 2020. The government ordered the production to not hire Shuang again, and fined Shuang $45 million in back taxes.

Efforts to Raise Income Level of Rural Chinese

In addition to making the income of celebrities more reasonable, the Chinese government is also committed to improving the income level of the general public. This is the key to reducing income inequality in China. The Chinese government plans that by 2035, the rural population with lower incomes today will experience a 157% increase in income. Further, in order to achieve this goal, China will build digital infrastructures in rural areas to make the production and life of rural people more efficient, thereby creating greater economic benefits. If this plan can be carried out smoothly, by 2035 the income inequality in China between celebrities and ordinary people should be significantly reduced.

-Ella Li
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

 

The Brothers TrustTom Holland is a famous actor who made his acting debut at 12 years old as Billy in “Billy Elliot the Musical” in 2008. However, Holland is most notably known for playing Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He made his first appearance as Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016 and became popular due to Marvel’s large audience. Holland’s parents founded The Brothers Trust charity in 2017, which the whole family plays a role in, including Holland’s three brothers. The organization utilizes Holland’s fame and celebrity reach to fundraise. The funding goes toward supporting small-scale organizations often overshadowed by larger and more popular organizations.

The Start of The Brothers Trust

When The Brothers Trust first began, the Holland family focused on helping to raise money for more local charities, such as Momentum. Momentum is a children’s charity that provides support to families around the South West London area with children battling debilitating illnesses, most commonly cancer. Because Holland and his brothers were born in the same hospital out of which the charity was founded, the Holland family has a special connection to the Momentum charity, and thus, decided to begin their charitable work by supporting Momentum. However, as the organization continued to grow, The Brothers Trust moved to fund charities farther out.

Supporting The Lunchbowl Network

To help eliminate poverty in the world, The Brothers Trust has assisted in raising money for The Lunchbowl Network since their partnership in 2016. The Lunchbowl Network is a charity created in 2006 that, among other efforts, focuses on providing food for the most deprived children within Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. In fact, through its Saturday Dinner Programme, The Lunchbowl supplies about 7,640 meals monthly, equating to more than 90,000 dinner meals per year.

In 2019, The Brothers Trust’s fundraising efforts supported the purchase of “two brand new school buses” for The Lunchbowl Network. The buses are used to transport children to school, sports events and recreational school trips. Not only has The Brothers Trust helped raise money for The Lunchbowl but the Holland family also visits the charity to take photos and videos to raise awareness of the struggles that the children in Kibera face.

Artists for Africa

To further reduce poverty, The Brothers Trust supports Artists for Africa. Artists for Africa is a charity that hopes to create a better life for children living in the most poverty-stricken areas of Africa through art and education openings. Currently, Artists for Africa offers arts education for children living in Kuwinda, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the most densely populated areas with deteriorating infrastructure. Due to these circumstances, Artists for Africa helps provide safe accommodation for those pursuing art and organizes scholarships to allow art students to continue their education.

Art is significant because it “encourages self-expression and creativity.” To add, it can help “build confidence as well as a sense of individual identity.” The Brothers Trust provided eight children with a safe and supportive living environment and arts education by donating $36,000 to the Artists for Africa charity.

How The Brothers Trust Fundraises

The Brothers Trust utilizes different ways to raise funds for the numerous charities it supports. For instance, the Trust raises money through various raffles that give Holland fans the chance to meet him, attend his movie premieres and visit film sets that he works on. As a matter of fact, in November 2021, Holland held a competition allowing a winner to join him in attending the world premiere of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2021. To join the sweepstakes, people donated money to participate in a lottery system raffle.

Another way to support The Brothers Trust is by joining Holland’s live streaming events that aim to raise awareness for a particular cause and raise funds. On November 18, 2021, Holland hosted a live stream to raise awareness and funds “for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare and life-threatening genetic skin disorder that affects children from birth.” When encouraging people to donate, Holland only asks donors to give what they can afford.

Fundraising Through Merchandise

The Brothers Trust also helps raise money by selling merchandise, using the help of small businesses whenever possible. For instance, The Brothers Trust is selling a jigsaw puzzle designed by Jessica Murray (@jmurhop) and created by Wentworth Puzzles. In this way, the Trust is not only helping raise money to support charities but is also garnering support for Murray’s small business. Other available merchandise include mugs, scented candles and dog collars. By buying merchandise, Holland fans can help raise awareness of the organization to help change the world.

The Brothers Trust has seen success in helping many organizations through Holland’s fame and popularity. The Holland family continues to use their platform for the greater good of humanity, ensuring that funding goes to the unnoticed humanitarian organizations that need the most support.

– Kayla De Alba
Photo: Flickr

Kardashian's Charity Work
The Kardashians are members of one of the most famous celebrity families in the world. Known for their successful businesses and the popular reality TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” their lives of fame, glamour and wealth often distract spectators from the Kardashians’ valuable charitable contributions. Each Kardashian’s charity work exemplifies the organizations and ideals they care for most.

Kim Kardashian’s Charity Work

Kim Kardashian’s charity work includes donating $1 million to the Armenia Fund, which is a humanitarian organization established in 1992 that provides relief to Armenian citizens in need. Overall donations to the fund have contributed to creating schools, highways and medical centers for Armenians. The Armenia Fund has raised more than $100 million for communities in Armenia and Karabakh.

Kim Kardashian also advocates for disaster relief. For example, she answered phones to take donations for the telethon One Voice: Somos Live, organized by Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Anthony in 2017. The television event raised $35 million for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in order to rebuild homes and provide families with the funds to recover their losses.

Kendall Jenner’s Charity Work

Kendall Jenner, a world-famous supermodel and Kardashian family member, also helped to reduce global injustice by donating to charity: water. Charity: water, founded in 2006, works with local organizations “to fund water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)” initiatives in rural areas across the globe. The organization monitors projects to ensure that the initiatives it funds to supply water are able to function sustainably for as long as possible. For her 22nd birthday, she asked fans, friends and family to donate to charity: water in place of a birthday gift. She encouraged donations by noting that she herself “made a donation to fund 25 wells in Ethiopia that will bring clean water to 5,000 people.” The birthday campaign raised more than $67,000.

Kylie Jenner’s Charitable Work

Many know Kylie Jenner as a prolific contributor to charities across a wide variety of humanitarian areas. She is an ambassador for Smile Train, which is a charity founded in 1999 that funds surgeries for people, mainly children, with cleft lips and palates around the globe. Smile Train also provides speech therapy, nutrition services, dental and orthodontics procedures and “emotional support” to the children it currently helps. So far, the organization has provided aid to more than 1.5 million children.

In 2016, Kylie gave Smile Train 100% of the proceeds of a special lip kit she sold to the public, totaling almost $500,000. Additionally, in March 2020, she donated $1 million to assist people facing the impacts of the Australian wildfires. In this way, Kylie has attempted to diminish inequality around the world.

Kris Jenner’s Charitable Work

Kris Jenner has public donated to charities like the Ronald McDonald House Charities, raising and donating $3 million to the organization for COVID-19 relief. The Ronald McDonald House (RMDH), founded in 1974, works to provide support to the families of ill or injured children around the world who require medical care. Kris, along with Kim, also visited Haiti after the 2010 earthquake to provide assistance to families in deep need.

Both Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian publicly state that they prefer not to discuss their charity work and donations with the public. Both the sisters have donated to charities but feel it is not appropriate to flaunt their contributions publicly. Each Kardashian’s charity work is unique and reflects the distinct personality of each member.

Outside of the limelight, the Kardashians’ charity work shows their commitment to helping the disadvantaged and contributing to global poverty reduction.

– Rachel Reardon
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Audrey Hepburn’s Granddaughter
Decades after the late actress Audrey Hepburn’s passing, her granddaughter, Emma Ferrer, took on her grandmother’s legacy, becoming involved in international advocacy projects. Ferrer is a national ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees USA and a spokesperson for UNICEF. Here is some information about Audrey Hepburn’s granddaughter as well as some background on Hepburn’s work with UNICEF.

Audrey Hepburn’s Work with UNICEF

Late actress Audrey Hepburn’s humanitarian efforts made a significant difference in the lives of countless children. Hepburn was a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. UNICEF operates in more than 190 nations and regions to ensure that every child’s rights are protected. Her commitment to the organization began after a journey to Ethiopia in the late 1980s where she sought to assist individuals in areas impacted by a severe drought that brought famine to the nation. She subsequently communicated with journalists about the work occurring in Ethiopia, and as a result of her international fame, media interest and attention grew dramatically.

In the years thereafter, Hepburn made multiple philanthropic trips, aiding in areas such as Turkey, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and Sudan. Hepburn was a staunch advocate of UNICEF. She conducted new studies, organized ceremonies and enabled the organization to gain widespread media coverage. In 1992, she received the “Presidential Medal of Freedom,” the highest civilian honor. Despite her cancer diagnosis, Hepburn continued to work for UNICEF, traveling globally on the organization’s behalf. Hepburn died in 1993 after focusing the latter years of her life on humanitarian efforts. However, her granddaughter continues her legacy.

Emma Ferrer’s Work

Though Hepburn’s granddaughter Emma Ferrer never met Hepburn, Ferrer learned much about her grandmother through her grandmother’s legacy, which ultimately influenced her desire to follow Hepburn’s lead. Ferrer was inspired that such a high-profile celebrity would ally herself with humanitarian causes. Ferrer feels a sense of connection to her grandmother through Ferrer’s own work with UNICEF. Additionally, Ferrer is a fervent advocate of UNICEF’s work and the good that these efforts can achieve in the form of significant decreases in child fatalities, illnesses and malnutrition.

Ferrer’s passion for humanitarian endeavors began when she saw photos of lifeless children washing up on an international shore as a result of war. These heart-rending images prompted her to create artwork based on the images. In her free time, Ferrer writes on the well-being of youth in nations rife with conflict and violence. Her writing comes from extensive research and comprehension. She incorporates her understanding of the realities of disadvantaged people into her artwork.

Ferrer donated artwork proceeds to the UNHCR after her first exhibition as an art curator in 2018. She has collaborated extensively with nonprofit groups and her philanthropic activities and artwork serve to continue Hepburn’s legacy.

Ferrer reflects her grandmother’s values and fights valiantly to continue Hepburn’s legacy, notably campaigning to preserve children’s rights across the world. “I think it’s so important to have a history and a legacy that you want to carry on in your family, whether you’re famous or not,” Ferrer tells UNICEF.

– Tiffany Lewallyn
Photo: Flickr

The Weeknd’s Charitable Work
Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd to R&B fanatics, is one of the world’s most well-known musicians. However, his passion extends far beyond his love songs. The Weeknd’s charitable work positions him as a humanitarian celebrity as he uses his celebrity platform to help those in need.

The Weeknd’s Biography

The Weeknd was born in Toronto, Canada, to parents who are immigrants from Ethiopia. The musician grew up in Scarborough, Canada, where “the working poverty rate” stands at roughly 10% and 13% of the population is non-working poor. These circumstances of poverty prompted The Weeknd to take action to reduce poverty in the area and beyond.

5 Facts About The Weeknd’s Charitable Work

  1. Supporting Scarborough with COVID-19 relief. Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, The Weeknd began donating profits from the sales of his popular range of face masks, which carry an “XO” label, matching every dollar for COVID-19 relief in Scarborough. In June 2020, the popular singer and songwriter donated $500,000 CAD to the Scarborough Health Network Foundation to provide COVID-19 relief to his hometown. The Scarborough Health Network Foundation began in 1977. It works with volunteers and members of the Scarborough community to build infrastructure and purchase medical technology. This is especially important during the COVID-19  pandemic as hospitals work to fight off the virus. Since implementing a COVID-19 Emergency Fund, the Foundation has raised more than $3 million for COVID-19 relief.
  2. Supporting Musicians During COVID-19. The Weeknd donated $500,000 to MusiCares, a charity that supports musicians with programs to “address financial, medical and personal health issues.” The charity created a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support musicians facing the impacts of COVID-19 and “the cancellation of multiple music events” due to social distancing protocols. The relief fund has provided more than $13 million worth of assistance to about 14,000 people in the music industry.
  3. Providing Food Aid to Tigray. An “ongoing conflict between the government” and the people of the Tigray Region within Ethiopia prompted The Weeknd to give back to his parent’s home country. The conflict arose in November of 2020 after the Ethiopian Prime Minister “ordered a military offensive against regional forces in Tigray” after “an attack on a military base,” home to government troops. The conflict led to thousands of deaths and more than 2 million displacements. A June 2021 article on GlobalGiving indicates that Ethiopia’s Tigray Region now faces the most severe food crisis in 10 years as more than 350,000 people endure “severe famine conditions.” Soldiers within the region “are accused of blocking food aid and stopping farmers from harvesting, plowing or planting” while “killing livestock and looting farm equipment.” Feeling a personal connection to Ethiopia, in April 2021, The Weeknd vowed to donate $1 million through the United Nations World Food Program U.S.A., which would ultimately provide 2 million meals for the people in this region.
  4. Supporting Ethiopic Studies. In 2016, The Weeknd made a donation of $50,000 to the University of Toronto’s Ethiopic studies program. This program commits to helping those of Ethiopian descent with academic, personal and professional achievements. The program works to teach the ancient Ethiopic language of Ge’ez to students in hopes of decoding “excerpts of history” that are rarely understood. The musician also made a donation of $30,000 to the program in 2020.
  5. Assisting Beirut, Lebanon. On August 4, 2020, an explosion in Lebanon’s capital of Beirut led to the deaths of more than 200 people while destroying a majority of the city. In response to his Lebanon-born manager’s call for aid to Lebanon, in August 2020, The Weeknd made a donation of $300,000 to the Global Aid for Lebanon fund which his manager created. The funds went toward supporting “the Red Cross Lebanon, the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon and the United Nations World Food Programme.”

Descending from parents who immigrated from Ethiopia to Canada jumpstarted The Weeknd’s strong passion for helping people in Ethiopia, Canada and beyond. His desire to provide people with entertaining music has made him into a household name throughout the United States, but his ability to influence does not end with just that. Through donations and a commitment to use social media to raise awareness of global issues, The Weeknd’s charitable work makes him a rockstar, both on and off stage.

– Nia Hinson
Photo: Flickr

Marcus Rashford's CampaignMany know Marcus Rashford for his role on the soccer field as a player for the famous Manchester United team. However, Rashford is also an activist in the fight against child poverty in the United Kingdom. With 22% of adults and 30% of children in Britain living in poverty, this is an important issue, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming from a background of poverty himself, Marcus Rashford’s campaign gives a voice to the impoverished youth.

Marcus Rashford’s Campaign Combats Child Hunger

One of Rashford’s most significant passions is combating child hunger. In June 2020, during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the soccer star launched a campaign asking the government to continue using food vouchers for students during summer vacations. For many impoverished children, school lunches are a necessary resource to receive proper daily nutrition. Rashford’s campaign provided vouchers to underprivileged families, allowing children and families to access school lunches and groceries during the summer. Additionally, he raised £20 million with FareShare, a U.K. organization that has provided 131.9 million meals to charities and vulnerable people.

The public has shown strong support for Rashford’s campaign. During his initial campaign, the government rejected his ideas. However, the people rallied in his support, causing the government to backtrack, providing 1.3 million students with meal vouchers for a six-week summer break period. His October 2020 petition calling for the government to extend free school meals to other vacations and expand eligibility garnered more than 500,000 signatures. Although this request was not successful, local businesses followed with their support, even businesses that the pandemic hit hard. Additionally, Rashford used his Twitter account, with more than 3.5 million followers, as a directory of food banks, providing valuable information for those the government denied food.

Educational Resources

Along with his work against child hunger, Rashford also works to provide underprivileged children with educational resources. Rashford has said he only properly started reading books for leisure at age 17 because his family never had the budget for it. After learning that more than 380,000 children in the U.K. never owned books of their own, Rashford sought to change that. In the fall of 2020, he launched a book club with Macmillian’s Children’s Books to provide books to children. Through Marcus Rashford’s campaign, thousands of children now have access to a new hobby that they previously viewed as a privilege.

In May 2021, the Sunday Times Giving List notably recognized Rashford as the youngest person to top its list of British philanthropists. This accolade was due to Rashford’s generous donations to various food, poverty and community charities. The soccer player has raised more than £20 million in donations, putting his “Giving Index” rating at 125%; his wealth is £16 million. Due to the additional waves of COVID-19, there is a high demand for donations.

Rashford has proven himself to be a valuable contributor both on and off the field. Through his hard work and dedication, millions of children across the U.K. have had access to food and books. With his substantial passion, Rashford shows no signs of slowing down in his philanthropic efforts.

– Carly Johnson
Photo: Flickr

Kelly Osbourne FashionKelly Osbourne, daughter of actress Sharon Osbourne and musician Ozzy Osbourne, is a triple-threat entertainer, singer, model and fashion designer. She is better known for her impactful discussion when she stars on talk shows and reality TV. The public listens to what she says on The View, Australia’s Got Talent, Big Brother, E! News Fashion Police, and Project Runway. During the past decade, she has successfully intertwined her passion for fashion with her passion for educating people about global issues. Kelly Osbourne has used this large platform to enhance global awareness issues.

Collaborations: Macy’s Style Lab Celebrity Campaign

In October 2020, Kelly Osbourne and celebrity personal shopper, Nick Cannon, promoted Macy’s Mystyle Lab Department and Dosomething.org. Dosomething organizes campaigns for youth to focus on social change, and on raising money to end poverty and violence in the world. The Macy’s campaign made donating easy. When a unique QR code was scanned at the Mystyle Lab in a store or liked Mystyle on Facebook, Macy’s donated a dollar to DoSomething. Teens can also take a Do Something Cause quiz to automatically enter for a chance to win a $250 shopping spree. Anyone who participates in the quiz receives information on how to help the environment in their community.

The Role of an Ambassador

In May 2013, Kelly Osbourne took on the role of ambassador for GenerationCURE, a young adult campaign of amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. A group of twenty-somethings launched GenerationCURE in 2011 with the hope of becoming the “final generation” of AIDS activists. Their goal was to bolster amFAR’s research through raising funds and awareness. In June 2015, Osbourne was one out of 300 young celebrities who attended GenerationCURE’s fourth annual solstice event held in New York City. These solstice events have raised $90,000 for amFAR.

Recently, Kelly Osborne participated as a guest celebrity in GenerationCURE’s Holiday Parties in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. in December 2019. In the star’s interview with HIVPLUSMAG.COM, Kelly Osbourne shared how she actually became involved in AIDS activism at a young age. She said, “I remember putting on a garage sale when I was about 10 years old for my mum’s best friends’ neighbor who was HIV-positive…” Osbourne explained that this neighbor was fired because he was HIV-positive, and her garage sale raised enough money for him to keep his apartment until he passed away.

Osbourne’s passion as an HIV/AIDS activist also stems from watching a friend battle the life-threatening disease. She elaborated, “I have actually watched somebody who had to take antivirals, and be there to wipe their puke, and pull their hair back, and see the night sweats they go through, and how much weight they lose or gain.” It is safe to say that experiencing a loved one going through hardships triggered a passion in Kelly Osbourne’s soul.

Auctioning off in Exchange of Support

The Small Steps Project is a United Kingdom-based global humanitarian organization that supports families living in dire poverty on rubbish dumps. It takes steps to get kids out of the rubbish and into the classroom. The Small Steps Project delivers shoes, hygiene products, and emergency aid to protect children. In addition, Small Steps works with celebrities to raise funds through Celebrity Shoe Auctions. While partnering with the Small Steps Project, Kelly Osbourne offered her fabulous Aldo Wedges for auction in exchange for donations. And, Kelly Osbourne convinced the rest of the Osbourne family to auction off their shoes for the cause.

The Osbournes are no strangers to auctions as in the past, they raised $20,000 by donating dinner with their family during a 2014 Race to Erase MS Gala event. Race to Erase MS is a nonprofit that supports multiple sclerosis research and patient support. During the last 27 years, the organization has raised over $50 million, with over $34 million going to research and grants.

Kelly Osbourne’s Small Gesture; a Metaphor for Activism

There is no doubt that Kelly Osbourne raises awareness about numerous global issues. Her passion does not stop when the interviews are over nor when the cameras are off. On April 30, 2021, Osbourne was spotted dressed fabulously, giving a homeless man cash during her LA shopping spree. So many times, we ignore and walk past homeless people as we live our day-to-day lives. Kelly Osbourne’s action is a metaphor that we must acknowledge, and work towards solutions to eradicate homelessness and poverty as well as diseases like HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.

– Alexis Jones
Photo: Flickr

New Crisis AmbassadorsOn July 15, Crisis announced broadcaster Ayo Akinwolere and actress Imelda Staunton, two award-winning stars, became the organization’s newest ambassadors. The two join other popular and well-known Crisis Ambassadors, including Ellie Goulding and Jeremy Paxman, in an effort to raise awareness for the organization.

Crisis and Homelessness in the U.K.

Crisis is a U.K.-based organization working to alleviate the issue of homelessness in England, Scotland and Wales through various services. Some of those services include one-on-one support, courses and advice. The organization also carries out research on homelessness and helps people find housing.

Homelessness has been a long-standing in the U.K.. It is estimated 280,000 people, or one in every 200, are homeless in England.

Crisis reports the COVID-19 pandemic clearly exacerbated the increase of homeless people in the country. As there are concerns that statistics surrounding homelessness are not accurately captured in official reports, Crisis carries out its own research to fully understand the scope of the problem.

Ambassadors

A Crisis Ambassador is a role that works to increase awareness and donations for the organization and its mission. Before the announcement, both Akinwolere and Staunton provided prior support to the organization.

Akinwolere supported the charity’s Christmas campaign last year by providing entertainment for the guests and appearing in their fundraising film. Staunton has supported the organization for ten years, becoming a regular at various events, fundraisers and services.

Both ambassadors experienced success in their respective careers. Staunton, popular for her role in the Harry Potter film franchise, has acted in numerous critically acclaimed films. Akinwolere has won awards for excellence in broadcasting. Both ambassadors share a large following and commitment to social justice. Therefore, the two fit the role because they can use their platform to increase awareness for the organization.

Akinwolere’s Q&A with Crisis

In a Q&A with Crisis, Akinwolere said he is looking forward to his role because he wants to help raise awareness for the organization and highlight the important work they are doing.

“To be able to highlight Crisis and its work clearly to audiences is so important to ensure those supporting Crisis through donations and campaigning can see the humanity within many of the journeys of people experiencing homelessness.,” Akinwolere said.

He said he has been supporting the charity for years, but their relationship blossomed in the last few years.

Akinwolere also noted the importance of continuing to help the nation’s poorest as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Homelessness is a really complicated and complex situation across Great Britain and as coronavirus restrictions lift, we cannot see the levels of homelessness return to what they were previously,” he said. “With the right approach, we can really move forward to end it.”

He also said he is looking forward to moving forward “with a really modern and holistic approach to help end homelessness for good” as he becomes an ambassador.

Staunton and Akinwolere will join others in raising awareness for the work the charity is doing in ending homelessness in the U.K. and supporting those citizens as they transition out of the streets and into housing.

– Laya Neelakandan
Photo: Geograph