Celebs Who Are Quiet About Giving Back

Ashley Hunte
A hand holding a yellow flower in bloom.
Unsplash | Lina Trochez

Let's face it, celebrities have a lot of money. Which in most cases, makes a lot of sense. And while what they do with that money isn't always... great, sometimes they'll surprise us.

Especially when they don't make a big deal out of it. That's how you can tell when a celeb cares more about giving back than about their image. Here are just a few celebrities who gave back somewhat silently.

Steve Jobs was actually much more generous than anyone thought.

Steve Jobs and Apple revolutionized how we communicate using technology.
Unsplash | Brad Pouncey

The Apple co-founder is probably best known for wearing black sweaters and jeans while introducing a flashy new phone. And while he seemed pretty stingy in life, his widow publicly set the record straight in 2013.

In fact, Jobs donated tens of millions of dollars toward AIDS research.

A little known fact about Jobs in his life was that he was incredibly charitable towards hospitals and AIDS research.
Unsplash | Enric Moreu

Jobs and Apple donated to helping fight AIDS in Africa. In addition, he donated $50 million to Stanford hospitals, and much of that money went into building a children's hospital.

George Michael once helped a former 'Deal or No Deal' contestant.

The Deal or No Deal models, each holding a numbered briefcase.
Giphy | Deal Or No Deal

The late singer watched an episode of the game show back in 2008, which featured a woman who appeared on the show in order to win money for fertility treatments.

He was touched by her story, and reached out to make a donation.

George Michael was a global superstar before his 2016 death.
Giphy | George Michael

Thanks to his donation, the woman was able to afford the treatments. It took some time, but she gave birth to a child in 2017, a year after the singer's death.

Kate Middleton donated her hair to charity.

Kate Middleton tossing her hair

Back when the Princess of Wales was still the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate chopped off much of the length of her hair. The hair she cut was donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for sick children who've lost their hair.

Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell donated their wages to Heath Ledger's daughter.

Heath Ledger was a talented actor who was gone too soon.

Ledger's 2008 death shocked the entertainment world, and his will had not been updated to include his daughter, who was two years old at the time.

The trio of actors helped complete Ledger's final role in the film 'The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.'

Heath Ledger in his final role in the 2009 film, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
IMDb | Infinity Features Entertainment

The actors reportedly didn't take any of the wages for their work in the film, and sent the money directly to Ledger's daughter instead.

Prince would often give back.

A very close-up shot of the pop star, Prince.
Giphy | markpearson

Among the star's philanthropic endeavors, he once donated $12,000 to the Louisville Free Public Library in order to keep it from closing its doors. At the time, he requested that the donation was kept private.

Keanu Reeves is probably much more generous than any of us know.

Keanu Reeves making a heartfelt gesture to his fans.
Giphy | Sky

Which is saying a lot, since the actor is already known to be incredibly generous (as well as just a pretty neat dude in general). There are plenty of stories of him helping others.

This includes a story in which he donated money to a 'The Matrix' crew member.

The Matrix is one of Reeves's defining roles.
Giphy | PeacockTV

Reeves gave a set builder $20,000 after hearing about his financial troubles. He also gifted motorcycles to the stuntmen who worked on The Matrix: Reloaded.

Cara Delevingne once wrote a check to the Hollywood Food Coalition to keep it from closing its doors during the pandemic.

"Cara quietly wrote a big check. No fanfare. She just did it," wrote Molly Knight, who works with the organization.

Beyoncé funded housing projects in Texas.

Beyonce basking in the applause she received during a performance.

As if we need any more reasons to love the superstar, Beyoncé donated millions of dollars to fund a housing complex for homeless people in Houston. It's known as the Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments, for good reason.

She and Jay-Z also donated money to help protestors make bail.

Jay-Z applauding during a Grammys ceremony.
Giphy | Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

During the protests in Baltimore and Ferguson centered around police brutality and violence against Black Americans, many arrests were made. Beyoncé and Jay-Z donated tens of thousands of dollars to help those who could not afford their bail.

Russell Crowe once helped rebuild a Jewish School.

In 2004, when in Toronto for filming, Crowe learned of a hate crime attack on a Jewish elementary school in Montreal, which involved fire bombing. The actor donated money to help rebuild the school's library.

He also once donated to a thrift store completely out of the blue.

Russell Crowe on set with Ryan Gosling.

The actor walked into a charity store in England and handed them a check with the equivalent of around $1,300 USD, just because he could. How generous of him.

It's rumored that Taylor Swift donated to a homeless fan's GoFundMe.

Though it was never confirmed, in 2014, a fan named Brandon posted a GoFundMe to help him secure housing. Someone with the initials T.S., M.G., and O.B.S. (the latter possibly standing for Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson) donated $4000 to the cause.

Of course, we may never know the truth.

Taylor Swift cheering and dancing at the BBMAs.
Giphy | Billboard Music Awards

But we do know that Swift loves her fans. And even if she wasn't the one to help Brandon, she at least inspired a fan to give to someone in need.

Nicki Minaj has donated money to help a village in India.

Minaj loves giving back to her fans, as well as the rest of the world. In 2017, the star posted an Instagram video showing Indian villagers crowding around a well that was built thanks to her funding.

She'd actually spent years donating to the village.

"The money I've sent to this village in India for the last couple years [via my Pastor Lydia Sloley], has gotten them a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS," she wrote in her caption.

Robin Williams once raised $50,ooo for a food bank.

Robin Williams spent his life making people laugh, and was ultimately gone much too soon.

Between 2004 and 2008, Williams performed stand up shows in order to raise money for the Seattle Food Bank. Over the course of those years, he managed to raise more than $50,000 for the cause.