It might seem that nowadays any big name can write out that check for a reasonable event. It appears that celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio are more than just superstars on the silver screen. Instead of waiting for that Oscar, he is saving the environment. He has taken it upon himself to stand for ecological rights rather than look for another Emmy Award.
The Road to Scamville
Over the years, some celebrities in Hollywood decided to take the scam route. There have been quite a few celebrity charity scams. Most of it had to do with tax write-offs, which showed that the charity was probably fraudulent. For example, Wyclef Jean’s foundation was in the spotlight concerning embezzlement. The funds were set up to help locals after the earthquake in Haiti, but it never happened. Even NBA player Lamar Odom’s cancer foundation for children caught some heat. Everything for his charity went downhill after it was discovered that the charity never spent one dime on any cancer studies. However, DiCaprio’s road to saving the world was a far cry from scamming anyone.
Too Legit to Quit
There are numerous legit charitable celebrities, but many express that DiCaprio is in a league of his own. He is active with his charity called the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. DiCaprio, an American actor, film producer, and environmental protester has managed to raise over $61 million, since 1998, for his charity.
His foundation is also responsible for backing over 65 organizations that help with numerous causes from environmental preservation to climate change consciousness and indigenous rights. After his success in “Titanic,” in 1997, DiCaprio founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation a year later. Even though the the foundation involves itself in all areas of the natural environment, its emphasis is on global warming, protecting Earth’s biodiversity, and sustaining energy that is renewable. This charity is responsible for working on projects in over 40 nations. DiCaprio’s foundation is responsible for creating two short web films, “Water Planet” and “Global Warning” which are both documentaries.
DiCaprio’s active participation in those causes has earned him recognition from all over the world. He has received admiration from numerous environmental congregates. Among the tributes was the Martin Litton Environment Prize, in 2001. This award was presented to him by Environment Now. Plus, in 2003, he earned the Environmental Leadership Prize which was handed to him from Global Green USA.
Keeping it Real
DiCaprio’s passion for charity work caused him to become the chair of the national Earth Day celebration in 2000. It was there he conversed with President Bill Clinton. Together, they deliberated strategies to handle global warming and issues concerning the environment. In 2007, DiCaprio had a crucial part in the “11th Hour,” a biopic about society’s connection to wildlife and global warming. He co-wrote, co-produced and re-counted the motion picture.
During a celebration that promoted and honored the film, “11th Hour” in 2013, DiCaprio raised approximately $40 million to help his charity. He mentioned to attendees, “Offer as if the fate of the planet depended on us.” This event turned out to be the world’s uppermost-earning ecological charity event. He affirms that global warming is the world’s “number-one environmental issue.”
Many articulate that he does not just talk the talk, but he walks the walk. In fact, DiCaprio is recognized for owning environmentally friendly, electric-hybrid vehicles. Even his house is powered by solar panels. Even though his utilization of private jets and big yachts has drawn a lot of criticism because of their large carbon footprints, to some, he still stands as one of the world’s most active charity givers.
By Jomo Merritt
Edited by Jeanette Smith
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Image by Eva Rinaldi Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License