Friday, June 22, 2012

The World's Most Philanthropic Millionaires


Image Courtesy of Flickr

You do not have to be Warren Buffett or Bill Gates to give ridiculously large sums of money to charity. Of course, that does help, but the total charitable contributions Americans make in an average year exceed $300 billion, even if it is only a few dollars at a time. Regardless of whether you give generously or not, the most generous people are also generally very wealthy.

Whether you believe that wealthy people giving generously is a good idea or not, everybody knows it happens a lot. Naturally, you don't need to win a huge sweepstakes with RewardIt or be rich and famous to be able to give back. However, there is a whole different level of giving that comes about when people know that their immediate bills will be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Real altruism is inspirational, so the following is a small overview of just how generous the rich and famous can be.

Actors and Athletes

It's not an act when someone cuts a mighty check that actually helps someone. Whether you are a fan of Mel Gibson or not because of some of his beliefs, you have to admit that his more than $6 million to the A.P. Reilly Foundation and the Holy Family Church has undoubtedly helped a lot of people to improve their lives. Meryl Streep is also a well known philanthropist, giving millions a year to various universities and other educational programs.

But athletes are no slouches in the philanthropy field, either. Baseball player Lance Berkman provides incredible donations for youth groups and children who would otherwise not receive any care in the poorest places on earth. The golfer Davis Love has also been quite generous to the Boys and Girls Club of Georgia and to the Special Olympics.

Writers and Musicians

Not many fans of Star Wars think of George Lucas as a kindly fellow, but he actually is. He has donated in excess of $4 million over the past few years to various charitable causes. As well, folks like Bono could easily earn their own articles with the work they have done across the years. Musician Herb Alpert has also donated like a mad man, putting more than $9 million into his foundation that supports well being and brotherly love. Dean Koontz has also given tremendous amounts of money to such causes as Canine Companions for Independence and Saint Michael's Abbey.

Giving to charity is a universal part of being truly wealthy. The richest people in every part of life are also the most inclined to give, and often the amounts they give are truly incredible. It can be downright inspirational to people who don't have huge bank accounts. If even a few bucks can go some distance, it might be worth taking a moment to help someone out.

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