50 Celeb Moms Who Make A Difference

Sharon Stone

Cause: Amfar Cinema Against AIDS

  • Jessica Alba Cause: Encouraging Voter Registration Among Youth 1 of 29
    Jessica Alba
Cause: Encouraging Voter Registration Among Youth
    To encourage voter registration among youth for the 2008 United States presidential election, Alba posed (bound, gagged and seemingly naked) in the bondage-themed print ad campaign “Declare Yourself.” While the ads drew national media attention, Alba’s photo in particular created a stir as she appeared to be wearing nothing but black tape. Alba told People, "I think it’s important for young people to be aware of the need we have in this country to get them more active politically. People respond to things that are shocking.”
  • Angela Bassett Cause: Arts Programs for Youth 2 of 29
    Angela Bassett

Cause: Arts Programs for Youth
    The actress, who will star in next summer’s The Green Lantern, is an avid supporter of programs for the arts, especially for youth. She also annually attends events for children with diabetes and those in foster homes. Bassett is an active Ambassador of UNICEF and a big supporter of the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Cate Blanchett Cause: Global Warming 3 of 29
    Cate Blanchett

Cause: Global Warming
    The Australian actress spoke at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen last year, urging that the new global warming treaty in 2012 specifies dramatic cuts in carbon emissions. As an Australian Conservation Foundation Ambassador and patron of SolarAid, Blanchett is also particularly interested in environmental issues because climate change has already wrecked havoc in Australia. “Australia’s climate scientists have been warning us that we’ll face many more catastrophic fire days in south-east Australia,unless the world acts to dramatically cut greenhouse pollution,” Blanchett has said.
  • Halle Berry Cause: Domestic Abuse 4 of 29
    Halle Berry

Cause: Domestic Abuse
    A newly single mom (she and boyfriend Gabriel Aubry split in April), Halle’s an active supporter of The Jenesse Center, which assists families facing domestic abuse issues. “Domestic violence is something I've known about since I was a child," Berry told Extra. "My mother was a victim of it. Early on in my life I made choices, and I chose men that were abusive because that’s what I knew." Berry also told NBC her message to abused women is: "Get out. Just get out. You're so worth it, as women, as mothers, as people. If you can't do it for yourself, get out for your children, because your children deserve better."
  • Jill Biden Cause: Breast Cancer Awareness 5 of 29
    Jill Biden

Cause: Breast Cancer Awareness
    Jill Biden started the Biden Breast Health Initiative, which in the past 15 years has educated more than 10,000 9th through 12th grade girls in Delaware about proper breast health. After one of her close friends died from breast cancer, Biden said she realized breast self-examination was usually not taught to young women. “As an educator, my first thought was, ‘What could I do?’ Hopefully [young women] go home and talk to their moms and grandmoms and sisters and they practice [breast self-exam]. Early detection is the key."
  • Sandra Bullock Cause: Hurricane Katrina 6 of 29
    Sandra Bullock

Cause: Hurricane Katrina
    Newly divorced single mom, Bullock obviously gets the sympathy vote—but she’s already won hearts for her disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. “Half of my family has a deep-rooted connection to the South and Louisiana, and, for me, New Orleans is one of our most precious, historic communities — visually, emotionally, artistically,” Bullock told Vogue. She was a big supporter of the Warren Easton Charter Foundation which was formed to rebuild the hurricane-ravaged Warren Easton High School. “If we educate these kids now, they can lead New Orleans later,” said Bullock.
  • Katie Couric Cause: Colon Cancer 7 of 29
    Katie Couric

Cause: Colon Cancer
    Rather than simply call attention to important issues via charity galas or celebrity events, Couric went so far as to undergo an on-air colonoscopy in 2000 to bring attention to colon cancer prevention. (Her husband, Jay Monahan died from it in 1998 at the age of 42.) “It would be criminal not to take advantage of these professional gifts I’ve been given,” she told Ladies Home Journal. "I have a bully pulpit from which to communicate a message and educate people. Helping to raise awareness and research dollars is my way of putting my fingerprint on the world in a positive way.”
  • Courteney Cox Cause: Domestic Violence 8 of 29
    Courteney Cox

Cause: Domestic Violence
    Along with BFF Jennifer Aniston, Cox designed a charity tee to support women and children survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault for pal Mariska Hargitay’s non-profit organization, Joyful Heart. In 2009, Cox was also honored with the Nat King Cole Award for her dedication to cancer causes. The award was presented by her friend Sheryl Crow, who famously battled ovarian cancer.
  • Marcia Cross Cause: Feeding America 9 of 29
    Marcia Cross

Cause: Feeding America
    When not making muffin baskets for Wisteria Lane neighbors, Cross put her energies into working to fight children’s hunger. In addition to her work for The United Way, Skin Cancer Takes Friends Campaign and UNICEF, the Desperate Housewives star is a spokesperson for Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. “It's painful to think about a child being hungry,” said Cross to People. “But now as a mother, to imagine my own children hungry, is unfathomable in this day and age."
  • Celine Dion Cause: Cystic Fibrosis 10 of 29
    Celine Dion

Cause: Cystic Fibrosis
    Dedicated to the cause since her cousin died of cystic fibrosis in 1982, Celine Dion has been the national patron of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 1993, helping to raise public awareness for the disease, specifically at the Ronald McDonald house. “When you have a sick child, you're not even capable of holding your tears, and it's very traumatic,” she told CNN. “You go to hospital and there are a lot of people, a lot of action, and you feel [like] you’re alone in the world. At the Ronald McDonald House charity, people are there to help you. [That’s] what
    you need sometimes.”
  • Melissa Etheridge Cause: Breast Cancer 11 of 29
    Melissa Etheridge

Cause: Breast Cancer
    Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and featured in a breast cancer docudrama titled 1 a Minute (which will be released later this year), Etheridge performed bald at the 2005 Grammys and has helped raise funds and awareness for the disease ever since. She also participates in environmental causes, including writing the Oscar-winning song "I Need to Wake Up" for the documentary
    An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Calista Flockhart Cause: Violence against women 12 of 29
    Calista Flockhart

Cause: Violence against women
    As one of the stars of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Flockhart traveled with the playwright to Africa in 2000 where she met rape victims and girls who'd endured female genital mutilation. “Seeing how powerless they were to defend themselves against outdated practices made me unbelievably angry,” Flockhart told Marie Claire. “Women are often the most vulnerable people in a society, and as a mother I'm extremely sensitive to that.” Locally, Flockhart is the national spokesperson for Peace over Violence and the L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women.
  • Jennifer Garner Cause: Childrens Literacy 13 of 29
    Jennifer Garner

Cause: Childrens Literacy
    An advocate for education and literacy in children, Garner was named “West Virginian of the Year” in 2007 for her work supporting her home state. “There is so much unmet potential,” said Garner. “The cycle of poverty in this state has gone on for generations, and we hope we can provide a new energy to help the kids reach their true potential and avoid that,” she told the Charleston Daily Mail. “Literacy is the most important thing you can give a child. If you can teach them to read, they can do anything.”
  • Marcia Gay Harden Cause: Red Cross 14 of 29
    Marcia Gay Harden

Cause: Red Cross
    “Working hand in hand with the Red Cross, I see families lifted from their present tragedies and given hope for the future,” Harden told Cookie in 2007. “I started working with charities before I had children, but now there's more resonance. Motherhood enhances my life, and that makes me better at whatever job I do. I know it's the biggest cliché in the world, but kids are the ones we have to help. They're the future."
  • Geri Halliwell Cause: United Nations Population Fund 15 of 29
    Geri Halliwell

Cause: United Nations Population Fund
    Former Spice Girl and mom of one, Halliwell has toured Brazil and Zambia as a representative for the United Nations Population Fund, which helps advance reproductive health in third-world countries. While traveling, she visited with college students and women’s groups in slum areas, helping to gather information about the quality of female life.
  • Mariska Hargitay Cause: Joyful Heart Foundation 16 of 29
    Mariska Hargitay
Cause: Joyful Heart Foundation
    The Law & Order star founded Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to provide support to victims of sexual abuse. The on-screen sex crimes investigator is a certified rape crisis counselor in real life and works as a counselor at the Santa Monica Rape Crisis Treatment Center. “I started getting fan mail from survivors who felt a connection to [my Law & Order character],” she told TV Guide. “In many of these letters, people would disclose their personal stories of abuse — some for the very first time. I wanted to help find a way to help people reclaim their lives and give them a renewed sense of
    possibility and hope.”
  • Salma Hayek Cause: Violence against women 17 of 29
    Salma Hayek

Cause: Violence against women
    Mexican actress Salma Hayek is very active in raising awareness about violence against women. She testified before congress in support of the Violence Against Women Act, founded The Salma Hayek Foundation to bring aid to battered women, and recently branched out to work with disadvantaged children in Mexico. Since the birth of her daughter, Hayek has focused new attention on championing the needs of children. “In some ways all women are mothers,” Hayek told Cookie." It’s in our nature to protect, nurture, and feel empathy; the programming just kicks in more strongly when
    you have children.”
  • Katherine Heigl Cause: Organ donation 18 of 29
    Katherine Heigl

Cause: Organ donation
    Katherine’s brother, Jason, was killed in a car accident in 1986, and because of him, Heigl and her mother are deeply involved in raising awareness of organ donation through Donate Life. “It’s hard for people to be thinking about organ donation for the first time in the midst of crisis," the Grey’s Anatomy alum in told Spotlight Health in 2002. "But organ donation is the most honorable way to preserve the memory of someone you love. I learned through difficult experience that it’s the right and humanitarian thing to do. The need is always out there. Make sure the people around you know your feelings on organ donation, so your loved ones can fulfill those wishes without any doubt."
  • Katie Holmes Cause: Dizzy Feet Foundation 19 of 29
    Katie Holmes

Cause: Dizzy Feet Foundation
    Katie Holmes co-founded the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which helps underprivileged youth become professional dancers and supports access to dance education in the U.S. In addition to raising awareness for the foundation’s scholarship opportunities, Holmes recently announced the Angelina Ballerina Stars of Tomorrow dance program. “I think it’s important for children to experience music and dance. Every child should have the opportunity to discover what it is they like and have access to the very best in that pursuit.”
  • Iman Cause: AIDS research 20 of 29

Cause: AIDS research
    Supermodel Iman’s humanitarian and charitable work includes serving as the Global Ambassador for Keep a Child Alive and supporting the Children’s Defense Fund, For All Kids Foundation, and Action Against Hunger. She spearheaded the “I am African” campaign to help raise awareness and funds for the African AIDS pandemic. “I always believed in a life of service because I was raised that way,” said Iman, the daughter of a refugee who became a diplomat. “Being a Somalian and a Muslim, charity was part and parcel of how you lived. You always gave.”
  • Angelina Jolie Causes: Multiple 21 of 29
    Angelina Jolie

Causes: Multiple
    With an entire Wikipedia page devoted to her humanitarian work, it’s no surprise that Ms. Jolie is nicknamed “Santa Angelina.” Since she can’t single-handedly adopt all the earth’s needy children, she pumps cash into humanitarian efforts through The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife. Jolie first realized the importance of humanitarian causes during the filming of Tomb Raider in Cambodia. “I have a stupid income for what I do for a living,” she once told CNN. Rather than let the money sit there, she puts it towards her foundation, which distributes millions to organizations like Global Action for Children and Doctors Without Borders, among others.
  • Nicole Kidman Causes: United Nations Development Fund for Women 22 of 29
    Nicole Kidman

Causes: United Nations Development Fund for Women
    A Goodwill spokeswoman for The United Nations Development Fund for Women, Kidman once said: “If you take care of the woman in the family, the whole family prospers. But when the mother falters, the family falls apart.” She was particularly affected by quality of life for women in developing countries. “In a lot of places in Africa, particularly war zones, women are frightened to cross a path to get food and water,” she told Glamour. “They can be raped. There’s a violent atmosphere. So UNIFEM did this wonderful thing: They lit and monitored the paths. Logical, simple, step-by-step solutions: That’s how my brain works.”
  • Lisa Kudrow Cause: Feeding America 23 of 29
    Lisa Kudrow

Cause: Feeding America
    Lisa Kudrow may be best known as Pheobe Buffay, but post-Friends, the actress is giving her all for charity. At an event for Feeding America, Kudrow and former co-star Courteney Cox gave a performance of the novelty song “Smelly Cat,” a throwback to Kudrow’s occasional singing stints on Friends. In addition, Kudrow participated in a dramatic reading of Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart,” and proceeds went to AIDS research.
  • Annie Lennox Causes: AIDS 24 of 29
    Annie Lennox

Causes: AIDS
    A mother of two girls, Annie Lennox is veteran activist who’s committed to her causes and even once gave an entire concert tour’s proceeds to charity. Inspired by former South African president Nelson Mandela who characterized the destructive power of AIDS in Africa as “a genocide,” Lennox created the SING Foundation, which combats AIDS/HIV in South Africa. Not one to shy away from controversy, Lennox chastised the Catholic Church last summer for banning birth control, stating, “When the Pope goes to a country in Africa and tells them that they shouldn’t use condoms, when we know that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease — I don’t think that makes any sense at all.”
  • Jennifer Lopez Cause: Boys 25 of 29
    Jennifer Lopez

Cause: Boys
    The original Jenny from the block, the Bronx born-and-raised Lopez recently unveiled a giant billboard of her childhood self in looped-up braids in Times Square to launch the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s “Be Extraordinary” campaign. She told People that her Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club “ taught me how to be disciplined and be perseverant. They encouraged me to be great in whatever I decided to do, and they taught me that I could do whatever I wanted.”
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus Causes: Project Hope 26 of 29
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Causes: Project Hope
    TV’s most hilariously self-centered mom actually grew up traveling to impoverished nations with Project Hope, a medical humanitarian organization founded by her step-father. “It was an eye-opening experience for me,” she told Parent and Child. “I was keenly aware that my step-dad was helping those in need, so there was that take-action culture in our house. It was life changing.” Today, she’s involved in local environmental issues and, along with husband Brad Hall, is making a documentary about NGOs (non-governmental organizations) around the world that make big changes
    with small ideas.
  • Susan Lucci Cause: Multiple Childrens Causes 27 of 29
    Susan Lucci

Cause: Multiple Childrens Causes
    Susan Lucci is nothing like the woman she plays on TV, at least when it comes to charitable endeavors. An advocate for kids, Lucci was honored by the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children last year and was presented with the Linda Dano Heart Share Award for her commitment to children in 2003. She’s also a big supporter of Little Flower Children Services of New York, a Catholic charity that provides foster care and adoption services in New York.
  • Madonna Cause: Raising Malawi 28 of 29

Cause: Raising Malawi
    Some thought she was an Angelina wannabe, but Madonna’s Raising Malawi (co-founded by rabbi Michael Berg) charity does a great deal to help Malawi's one million orphans. Last month, Madonna laid the first brick to build the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. “Having lost my mother at such a young age,” she wrote, “I felt a close connection to these children. Their stories had touched my own. By educating girls we will rebuild this community and raise this nation. Our academy will educate, protect, and empower 450 young girls who are Malawi’s hope for the future.”
  • Camryn Manheim Causes: Multiple 29 of 29
    Camryn Manheim

Causes: Multiple
    “Service is the cornerstone of a life well-lived,” Manheim told a 2009 graduating class. “I am a big proponent of paying it forward. You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give,” she said. Manheim has worked for women’s rights, Overweight Acceptance rights, GLBT rights, RAINN (The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and for poverty issues through the Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ House of Justice. Recalling a conversation with her mother after her first arrest for civil disobedience, she says her mother didn’t bail her out. Rather, she told her, “Honey, you stay in there and make your point.”

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