Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on the positive aspects of our lives and reach out a hand to others less fortunate than ourselves. Many celebrities around the world this Christmas will pay it forward by using their star power to help others, support causes, and illuminate the charities that need the generosity of others.
British Celebrity Chefs Speak out Against Wasting Food
Do you find ways to use your leftovers or toss them in the garbage? The Press, an online English news publication, spotlights an event in North Yorkshire that encourages people to stop wasting food. In her article, “Celebrity Chefs to Encourage people Not to Waste Food at Christmas” Haydn Lewis writes that “Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year” (We toss 8.3 million tons of food year-round) and gives details about the Love Cooking Festival that will be held this week. BBC’s Celebrity chefs, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Gary Rhodes, Rachel Allen, Ainsley Harriott, Anthony Worrall-Thompson and James Martin will create exciting meals from leftover ingredients as a part of their “Love Food, Hate Waste” campaign. Visit the Love Food website to understand how wasting food impacts our environment and wallet, and to find recipe ideas and advice on living a less wasteful lifestyle.
Alice Cooper’s Annual Christmas Pudding Celebrity Charity Concert
Every year a fund-raising “Christmas Pudding Celebrity Charity” concert is thown by the Solid Rock Foundation, which was founded by Alice Cooper and his good friend, Chuck Savale. According to the Look to the Stars website, the Christmas event this year will be funding The Rock Teen Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This center will offer a safe place for young adults to go where they can express their creativity, be educated and have fun. The teen center will include a concert hall, indoor sports court, rock climbing walls, recording studio, game room, and computer study. Joining Cooper for the concert will be Eagles guitarist, Don Felder, Rob Zombie, Cheech Marin, and Glen Campbell.
Miley Cyrus to Perform at Christmas Cheers and Charity Party
Cyrus will perform at the annual “Christmas Cheers and Charity” event that will benefit Guatemala SANA this year, an organization addressing issues in Guatemala affecting healthcare, education and the environment. The organization is targeting their efforts this year toward providing clean water, nutritious food and educational supplies and are asking their Christmas party guests for donations that will be put toward basic supplies, blackboards and septic tanks for the schools. Year-round Miley also supports “Get Ur Good On”, a charity that offers support and grants for kids who do good in their communities.
Redefine Christmas, a Celebrity Campaign for Holiday Giving
Redefine Christmas is a global campaign intent on redefining what Christmas is about; less focus on buying stuff and more about charitable gift-giving. Each year, various celebrities add their voices to this movement through a video-taped message to the public and their fans. You can view messages from Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Harry Connick Jr., Buddy Guy, and other celebrities who explain the campaign’s concept, and its positive domino effect.
Colin Firth’s Eco-Age Shop offers Ecologically-friendly ideas for Christmas
Firth, the British actor who won our hearts in the movie, “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” is using his celebrity to raise consciousness about the environmental dangers our planet faces. He opened his first Eco-Age shop in 2007 in Chiswick, London, which is fully self-sustaining, lit and heated by solar power, and provides their customers merchandise that is recycled or eco-friendly. You can shop his store online for Christmas gifts and decorations. View a brochure here.
Tiger Woods’ December Chevron World Challenge Golf Tournament
Each December since 1999 the world’s best golfers have played in the Chevron World Challenge, created by Tiger Woods to benefit his foundation. The Tiger Woods Foundation provides educational opportunities and tools in an effort to give kids a brighter future. He reaches out through his Tiger Woods Learning Center in Southern California, his nationwide curriculum of goal-setting through Tiger’s Action Plan, and by providing four-year college scholarships through his world-wide Earl Woods Scholarship program.
Christmas New Orleans Style Thanks to Various Celebrities
Several celebrities have used their celebrity in efforts to help New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The Make it Right foundation is just one of Brad Pitt’s philanthropic endeavors, and is dedicated to rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. 80% of New Orleans was flooded by the surge of water when the levy broke, with the largest devastation in the Lower Ninth Ward where over 4,000 homes and thousands of lives were destroyed. Pitt and his partner, Steve Bing, are committed to rebuilding 150 green homes that are storm resistant and affordable. Thanks to this organization, residents are steadily returning to their homes, one by one, with 79 homes built to-date. (See progress map here.) During the Christmas Holidays an organized tree lighting has been held in the Lower Ninth Ward with residents donating ornaments to decorate the community tree.
Other celebrities have become involved in the plight of New Orleans as well. Keanu Reeves and Harry Connick, Jr. also support the Make it Right project, and Connick helped to rebuild The New Orleans Habitat Musicians Village. Bryan Batt, “Mad Men” actor, is featured in a Video that promotes spending the Christmas holidays in New Orleans to boost their economy over the holidays. Batt is also in the “Be the One” video that addresses restoring the New Orleans coastline after the BP spill. The 2010 “Christmas New Orleans Style” celebration will include over 100 events that begin December 1st and run through January 6th, or Twelfth Night, which marks the beginning of the Mardi Gras Carnival celebrations.
Every Christmas, headline actors, musicians and athletes will help others in need by donating their time, money and celebrity. If you are interested in following their lead, you can find ideas for making a difference in your community or the world at JustGive.org. If you are unsure about a charity’s legitimacy, be sure to look it up in the Better Business Bureau’s National Charity Report Index which rates each charity against 20 standards for acceptability.
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