Stars Who Gave Back and Restored Our Faith in Humanity in 2015
By Meredith B. Kile
Celebs gave us plenty in 2015, from blockbuster films to show-stopping concert tours to truly epic feuds. But most impressive of all were the stars who gave their time, money or talents for a worthy cause. Here's a look at some of the ways several famous faces gave back this year.
SUPER BOWL SUPERHEROES
Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt and Captain America himself, Chris Evans, made a good-natured bet early in the year when their hometown teams squared off in Super Bowl XLIX. The terms were simple: the loser had to visit a children's hospital in the other's city...dressed as his heroic MCU character.
@ChrisEvans OK. Seahawks win you fly yourself to Seattle, visit @seattlechildren hospital as Captain America, waving the 12th man flag.
In the end, Evans' New England Patriots took home the Lombardi trophy on Feb. 1, and Pratt paid his due, visiting Christopher's Haven -- an organization that provides a place for families of children being treated for cancer in nearby Boston hospitals -- in full Star-Lord gear.
In a move that proved both actors are more than a little super in real life, Evans later donned his Captain America suit and shield to pay a visit to Seattle Children's Hospital with Pratt in March. Talk about a real-life superhero!
Sandra Bullock's character in the animated film Minions was nothing short of a supervillain (with a name like Scarlet Overkill, what would you expect?), but the actress made sure some of her contribution to the film went to good, auctioning off 10 autographed pairs of the awesome, Minion-inspired Rupert Sanderson heels that she wore to the London premiere of the film.
After Bullock generously matched the auction donations, the effort ended up raising $84,850 for Art + Practice, an organization which "encourages education and culture by providing life-skills training for foster youth" in South Central Los Angeles.
But Tidal didn't stop there. Between ticket sales, merchandise and other sponsors, the event raised nearly $1.5 million. The funds were then allocated by the New World Foundation in a "strategic grant-making process," with a focus on "organizations dealing with income and racial inequality, childhood education and relationships between local communities and law enforcement," according to Dania Diaz, the managing director of philanthropy for Jay Z's Roc Nation.
Miley Cyrus gave back in her own eccentric way in 2015, founding the Happy Hippie Foundation with the goal of "rallying young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations."
Later in the year, she licked a piano at the 46th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards in November that was auctioned off for $50,000 for the LGBT Center of Los Angeles. Because she's Miley, and we should expect nothing less.
Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel continued their hilarious, ongoing feud in December, taking things to a new level to raise money for AIDS research and awareness. The long-running joke between the two is that Damon shows up at Kimmel's studio every night, hoping for a chance to get on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Now, a lucky fan can bid in a charity auction for (RED) to join Damon in the green room! The actor made his pitch to fans on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, offering the chance to sit with him "in silence" as he crosses his fingers and hopes for his big break.
"You will enjoy such amenities as a non-functioning air conditioner, a very old People magazine and the finest mini cheese cubes that Kimmel's catering staff can find in the back of the fridge," Damon joked.
In reality, the auction includes a trip to Los Angeles, a stay in a four-star hotel and the opportunity to "take selfies with Matt and enjoy magical green room food," and you can still enter to win!
Kim Kardashian's photo book might be called Selfish, but don't be fooled -- the reality star spoke to ET in May about visiting children's hospitals, saying that she was motivated, in part, by her daughter, North West.
"I just want her to be confident and strong and kind," she said. "She's almost two, and you can already sense a little bit of a personality, and she's extremely polite and sweet. Having kids teaches you more than you really can understand."
"I heard the cutest story of a girl who is trying to find 1,000 pairs of shoes to donate to this charity Soles For Souls! They helped her during Hurricane Katrina. I think I know the designer of Shoe of the Year Award!" Kim tweeted, pledging that she and husband Kanye West would help the girl meet her goal.
"So whoever you are ....these shoes are for you!" she wrote. "We will contact Soles For Souls! You reached your goal, so proud of you!!! xoxox."
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, welcomed a baby girl in December and revealed her name, Max, on Facebook (of course). But the couple did far more than mark the occasion with a sweet picture and heartfelt words.
They also announced the "Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation," promising to "give 99% of our Facebook shares -- currently about $45 billion -- during our lives to advance this mission."
Priscilla and I are so happy to welcome our daughter Max into this world!For her birth, we wrote a letter to her about...
"Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children," Zuckerberg and Chan concluded in their moving message. "We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can't wait to see what you bring to this world."
Rihanna's second annual Diamond Ball was a major event this year, with the headliner herself dropping jaws in a custom Dior gown on the red carpet. But the black tie event, hosted by Kevin Hart, was about far more than fashion.
Through auctions and donations, the 2015 Diamond Ball raised over $3 million for the Clara Lionel Foundation, which the singer created in 2012 to honor her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Brathwaite. The charity's mission is to help improve the quality of life for underprivileged communities all over the globe.
Rihanna spoke to ET about her late grandmother before the event, saying, "She is definitely here in spirit, and she feels delighted to be a part of such a great cause, raising money in her honor, to help, save and change many lives.”