Whether you recognize these faces from the big screen or history books, they’ve all used their time and resources to play a part in making the world a better place.
These four famous volunteers have made a lasting impact on the lives of others, and are examples of how we can use our own time and resources to help better the world with their skills, passion and perseverance.
Photo Credit: Sarita Coren
“I will do the best I can with this life, to be of use.” - Angelina Jolie
This actress and mother of six is extremely involved in a number of humanitarian missions around the world. She consistently draws attention to global issues, such as refugee rights, and has embarked on field missions since 2001 to personally meet with refugees.
The Jolie-Pitt Foundation is dedicated to helping extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife, and has contributed $1 million to Doctors Without Borders - this is only a handful of things on the lengthy list that details Jolie's numerous volunteer contributions. In 2006, she even donated more than $8 million to various charities.
Jolie has been granted numerous humanitarian awards for her charitable work, and we can’t help but admire how dedicated this star is to helping those in need.
Photo Credit: Fortune
“As a rock star, I have two instincts. I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have the chance to do both.” - Bono
This contender has done a whole lot more than simply deliver amazing vocal performances with his band, U2, over the years.
Bono’s most notable charitable mark on the world, and the act that makes him a leader in the fight against poverty, is the co-creation of the ONE Campaign, a clothing company that strives to stimulate trade with poverty stricken countries which now has more than 7 million members committed to the cause. He also co-founded its sister organization, RED, which partners with iconic brands to raise awareness about the AIDS crisis.
Bono has also volunteered abroad, done work with the Debt AIDS Trade Africa, participates in fundraising concerts such as Live 8 and has donated to One in Four Ireland, a charity that aids survivors of sexual abuse, along with much, much more.
Photo Credit: Life’s A Cup Of Tea
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” - Audrey Hepburn
This actress is best known for some of the most iconic movies of all time. However, she was much more than just a pretty face.
Hepburn was a volunteer nurse during World War II in a Dutch hospital, but that’s not where her work stopped. In 1954, she began contributing to UNICEF, an organization that defends worldwide children’s rights, by donating all the salaries she earned from her final movies.
She became a Goodwill Ambassador and consistently made a number of field trips around the world to help children in need. Even when she was not traveling, she was making a difference in her home country, talking about UNICEF projects to the media, participating in fundraisers and ceremonies, and more.
Photo Credit: Frank Flaman Foundation
“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy, and I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service was joy.” - Mother Teresa
In 1946, Mother Teresa left her covenant to to devote herself to caring for the sick and poor. She lived in the slums, helping those who needed it the most. She was eventually given permission by the Vatican to found the Missionaries of Charity, a religious order of women dedicated to serving “the poorest of the poor.”
Over the years her charity has grown to 4,000 sisters and thousands of volunteers who helped work in various centres all over the world. This included homes for orphans, people living with HIV and hospices for the terminally ill.
This woman was so influential, in fact, that only two years after her death the process to declare her a saint began.
We hope that glimpsing into a snippet of these lives has inspired you today. You don’t need to be famous to contribute; you can make a difference for a cause that you truly care about.
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Cover Image: Sarita Coren