Celebs Who've Branched Out of Their Careers to Give Back in Beautiful Ways
During their off hours, these stars use their time and resources to help make a difference
Kim Kardashian West
Since helping release Alice Johnson — a woman who was sentenced to life without parole for a non-violent crime — in 2018, the mogul has since helped several others receive clemency from President Donald Trump and developed a two-hour documentary special on the justice system called Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, which aired on April 5, 2020, on Oxygen.
The special follows Kardashian as she examines the cases of four inmates, whom she believes deserve a second chance after allegedly being unfairly sentenced. She visits them in prison, speaks to their families and friends, lobbies public officials and meets with lawyers to help facilitate their release.
The actress has split her time acting with innovating in the beauty space.
In 2011, Alba founded The Honest Company, which creates safe and effective products for families, from diapers to cosmetics. Once the coronavirus pandemic started to devastate people all over the country, the star decided to use her company to make a large donation to families in need.
“We’ve donated 3 million diapers, 20,000 wipes, 20,000 personal care products,” Alba told host Jimmy Fallon during The Tonight Show's April 2, 2020, at-home episode. “That is the No. 1 need for families right now who are living in poverty but also families who are out of work.”
Honest is one company that is still serving customers because, as Alba explained, it’s “an essential business.”
“I’ve gotten a lot of people reaching out to me on Instagram thanking me because where their diapers and wipes and shampoo and hand sanitizer is gone at the stores, they can go to our website and they’re getting subscriptions of our products, our cleaning products, everything, and they can just get it,” she said. “And we have a very rigorous way that we deliver to people and make sure that the workers are safe.”
As a child star turned adult A-list actress, this Hollywood veteran is now calling the shots and putting all of her efforts toward supporting women.
Witherspoon founded Hello Sunshine, her own media company that puts women at the center of every story they bring to life.
Years of frustration built by the limited roles she was having to choose from and the fact that she loves to read led her to create her own company at which she could provide a platform for women's stories to shine. A few of her projects include the Emmy Award-winning drama Big Little Lies, Apple TV+'s The Morning Show, co-starring Jennifer Aniston, and her recent big hit, Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere, which was Celeste Ng's best-selling novel adapted into a series starring Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
Leave it to Krasinski to know how to put a smile on people's faces during a global pandemic. The former Office star created his own YouTube series called Some Good News, and uses it to highlight good news from around the world, straight from his home.
Highlights from his series, which has already garnered more than 2 million subscribers, includes an Office reunion with Steve Carell, a surprise performance from the original cast of Broadway's Hamilton for a young fan and a virtual senior prom held for high schoolers who are missing theirs due to the pandemic.
Have you been partying at #ClubQuarantine?
The DJ has been putting on a show for hundreds of thousands of people who've been tuning in to his performances on Instagram Live. His feel-good sets have attracted the attention of people from around the world, including big stars like Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott, Ava DuVernay and Kelly Rowland.
“Best party of 1 and 100k I ever been to! Thanks @djdnice #ClubQuarantine,” Winfrey tweeted in late March.
"Incredible. Thank you for tonight’s party, @djdnice. Truly epic. You brought so many together while #SafeAtHome. Bravo! #ClubQuarantine," DuVernay added.
Following his success, D-Nice has extended gratitude to everybody who has come together to make his virtual parties such a huge hit.
“I never would’ve imagined that the best party I would create and DJ would be from the comfort of my own home. Homeschool is a thing!” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m feeling nothing but gratitude. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Thanks to all of you that supported. This has been a great way to keep our spirits high. Blessings!”
Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon
If you want to get ideas on how to stay sane during the pandemic while also donating to charity, tune into the Hollywood couple's limited-series weekly podcast, Staying In with Emily and Kumail.
Nanjiani announced on March 19, 2020, that he and wife Gordon are "doing a podcast to raise money for various charities that help those affected by this quarantine."
“Do not expect to hear updates on the virus — there are actual journalists for that,” the couple’s official announcement said, per Variety. “Do expect to hear talk about the emotional wear and tear of the unprecedented times we’re in, and about how many ways you can eat frozen waffles.”
When she's not filming a movie, Jolie has been a fierce advocate for vulnerable children around the world. The coronavirus outbreak has prompted her to speak out on the topic of potential child abuse while countries worldwide are enforcing people to stay home.
The actress wrote an op-ed for TIME magazine in April 2020, in which she noted that, “Isolating a victim from family and friends is a well-known tactic of control by abusers, meaning that the social distancing that is necessary to stop COVID-19 is one that will inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children.”
She also wrote about how the pandemic has “come at a time when children are deprived of the very support networks that help them cope: from their trusted friends and teachers to after-school sports activities and visits to a beloved relative’s house that provide an escape from their abusive environment.”
“It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child,” Jolie concluded, before encouraging the entire country "to give children the protection and care they deserve."
Ayesha & Stephen Curry
The couple has teamed up to improve the lives of children from the Bay Area and beyond by giving them the tools for proper nutrition, education and physical activity. The New York Times bestselling author and three-time NBA champion, also parents to three young kids, launched their Eat. Learn. Play. foundation with a mission to help young people in underserved communities to help ensure a healthy and successful future for all.
Most recently, the foundation — in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County Community Food Bank and World Central Kitchen — is helping to provide nearly 300,000 meals a week to Oakland residents, per their website.
This top model is also a top mentor to girls who want to learn how to code. To help young women succeed in our technology-driven world, Klossy created Kode with Klossy, a free two-week summer program for teens 13 to 18, who can learn key computer science concepts and skills.
“I saw coding as a language and I also saw this disconnect between young women having access to those skills and not having enough access to the skills,” Kloss told PEOPLE in 2019. “So I bridged the gap and I started Kode with Klossy to create access to learning opportunities.”
And with that, the supermodel started using her day job to influence young women to start coding.
The camp recently wrapped its fifth year and is now branching out to start educating teachers as well as young women.
George & Amal Clooney
The power couple are no strangers to philanthropy. While George is an award-winning actor and Amal is an international law and human rights lawyer, they use their spare time to speak out on important causes and donate to vital fundraisers.
While the world experiences unprecedented changes since the pandemic, the Clooneys stepped in to personally donate more than $1 million toward relief efforts.
According to Deadline, who was first to report the news, the two have donated $250,000 each to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the SAG-AFTRA Fund and the Los Angeles Mayor’s Fund. Additionally, the Clooneys donated $300,000 to three international charities: the Lebanese Food Bank, the National Health Service COVID-19 appeal and the Lombardo Italy Region.
The former Real Housewife has said goodbye to reality TV (for now) and hello to giving back full time. After quitting the Real Housewives of New York City ahead of the latest season, Frankel has been using her freed-up time to donate to those affected by the pandemic and other emergencies.
“This is becoming an absolute crisis and people are scared,” Frankel told PEOPLE in March 2020.
“I’m no expert on infectious diseases, but I am a mother and a New Yorker, and instead of living in my own anxieties and fear, I can help less fortunate parents in dealing with theirs,” she said.
“BStrong corona kits will have the essentials for families to prevent [coronavirus],” Frankel shared. “We will give them masks and gloves and I’ve gotten hydration kits donated and antibacterial and sanitization wipes as well.”
“Our goal is to create 20,000 kits,” she said, and she plans to distribute them for prevention in poverty-stricken areas.
BStrong is also raising money for cash cards to be distributed to parents who cannot afford to keep their children out of school and to help provide lunches. They have already raised $50,000.
“Bstrong is an initiative for people in crisis and this is a crisis,” she added. “My place of yes is taking a terrible situation and finding my way to help — without blame or politics, we simply get involved and do our part.”