Kiehl (Photographer) 2014.

Tis the season!!  It’s that time a year, yet again, where the world catches itself remembering the spirit, and the real reason for the coveted holiday season.  As children, it was almost an innate habit to expect Christmas parties, gifts and a big jolly guy based off some saint whom we were supposed to leave milk and cookies.  It’s usually not until one matures in life that they recognize that the greatest part of the holiday season is not to be on the receiving end but, instead, being the one to give!  This holiday season, EGL wants to spotlight some of our favorite celebrity charities and all they do, not just during Christmas, but all year round.

KEEP A CHILD ALIVE

Kiehl (Photographer) 2014.
Kiehl (Photographer) 2014.

This year, Alicia Keys showed off her natural beauty, taking time away from the infamous face beating, sparking a new, nationwide love for natural beauty. To make matching her inner beauty, she still finds time to help children and families worldwide in their fight against Aids and the HIV virus. The  Keep A Child Alive organization was founded by Keys and Leigh Blake in 2003 and currently serves  over 70,000 people a year, with the help of popular ambassadors like Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures, Empire) Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef) and Laila Ali (Boxing World Champion).  With countless programs that spread across multiple countries, this organization is giving more than medication, it’s giving hope. To get involved, to see who is involved and for more information on the organization, watch the video below or click the links above.

CLARA LIONEL FOUNDATION

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Yes, Rihanna! We neeeeeeeeeeeeed you (and others with hearts just like yours).  If this woman is ANTI anything, it’s definitely not education! In 2012, Robyn Rihanna Fenty founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, which she named in honor of her grandparents Lionel and Clara Braithwaite.  This organization helps fund health, education, art and culture through multiple programs and scholarships that can extend up to three years or until the student receives their undergraduate degree.  “In the fight against injustice, inequality and poverty, education is our most powerful weapon.”  For more information and on how you can help, watch the video below or click the links above.

CLARA LIONEL FOUNDATION

THE TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

retrieved via tomjoynerfoundation.org
retrieved via tomjoynerfoundation.org

“Uh Oh Oh!  It’s the Tom Joyner Morning Show!”  A veteran in his own right, not only in radio but in his philanthropic endeavors in the black community as well.  A graduate from Tuskegee University and raised by proud HBCU alumnus parents, Tom Joyner founded The Tom Joyner Foundation which provides monetary assistance to students who choose to attend a historically black college. Since its beginning, the organization has raised more than $60 million for students, hosts the highly anticipated annual Fantastic Voyage cruise, has given out countless scholarships and has partnered with other organizations focusing on veteran education and teacher equality.  Take a listen to the Fly Jock aka the hardest working man in radio as he reminds us why giving is so important!

RUSH PHILANTHROPIC ARTS FOUNDATION

Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Art For Life Gala
Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Art For Life Gala

Russell Simmons and his family have always had a heart for people.  His lifestyle and business choices seem to align with his personal beliefs, and when it comes to his foundation, Rush Philanthropic Arts, his bleeding heart is revealed.  Focusing on inner city areas, brothers Russell, Rev Run and Danny Simmons came together in 1995 to bring access to art and exhibition opportunities to the youth and are still going strong today- serving over 3,000 students annually.  “You can imagine your way into something great if you’ve been given the chance to dream.”  For more information on the foundation and how you can get involved, watch the video below and click the link above.

THE BANNER FOUNDATION

Paras Griffin, Getty Images
Paras Griffin, Getty Images

Last, but never least, is the big man himself, David Banner. Many still don’t know the background behind this award-winning rapper turned philanthropic activist but it’s never too late to find out.  Raised in the capital of the slow progressing state of Mississippi, Banner started The Banner Foundation a decade ago with hopes that family, education, art, community and healing would return as core principles in society.  With programs like Heal the Hood, an annual clothing and toy drive, and consistent donations from supporters like you, Mr. Banner continues to reach the masses outside his musical influence.  And speaking of music, if you have yet to get his album “The God Box,” then make sure it makes your Christmas list.  Straight from the horse’s mouth, let Banner tell you more about his foundation and how you can get involved.  Check the video below and click the links above.

Tis the season of giving!  If you or anyone you know has been looking for a new way to give this holiday season, then check out these mentioned charities and other celebrity organizations not mentioned (Bing!).  It’s an honor to be able to give.  If all you can give is a hug this holiday season, don’t underestimate that gift!  Giving is better than receiving, so remember, you reap whatever it is you sow.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Written By: Melody Lanei

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