By James Prumos, Trending Writer
The wealth and status of celebrities in society allows them to not only greatly contribute financially to causes or charities they are interested in, but they can also choose to make these contributions and actions well known to their audience. One celebrity who has been very charitable over the years is singer-songwriter Elton John. As per Look to the Stars, John donated $43 million to charities around the world in 2004, making him the most generous person in music for that year, and he has held that title every year since. Another celebrity known for making large amounts of financial contributions to charities is Ellen DeGeneres. DeGeneres supports several charities such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a charity that focus on breast cancer research, and The Gentle Barn, a charity that hospitalizes abused animals.
Celebrities can also use their wealth and their popular status to create new charities of their own. Elton John established the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 to support HIV/AIDS research. Since then, it has raised over $125 million. Actor George Clooney founded Not On Our Watch with Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Jerry Weintraub. This charity donated millions of dollars in order to aid disadvantaged people in Sudan. These charitable actions would not be possible for someone of average wealth.
Lastly, celebrities can use their fame to popularize charities with their audience and increase overall community service in society. For example, Ellen DeGeneres promotes the aforementioned Susan G. Komen for the Cure on her talk show every October, encouraging viewers to donate to the charity. Paul McCartney has also promoted charities through his music on several occasions, such as the 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief, during which viewers were encouraged to donate money to a Hurricane Sandy relief fund. Celebrities also can promote charitable giving through more than just their careers. Now that social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are more popular than ever, celebrities can make their financial contributions well known to the general public, and can therefore increase the amount of financial contributions to these charities.
It is great how celebrities have the potential to use their wealth to benefit others and support charities. If more celebrities use their wealth for good causes, then hopefully the average person will be more compelled to donate or contribute to charities as well.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 24th print edition.
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