Variety Selects 50 Philanthropic Organizations with Showbiz Chops – Variety

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ACLU

Founded in 1920, the famed nonprofit organization works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States, from voting rights to LGBTQ rights, by the Constitution. With an annual budget of more than $100 million and through the support of such industry advocates as Kerry Washington, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, the ACLU provides legal assistance in cases when it considers civil liberties to be at risk. In addition to representing plaintiffs in lawsuits, the ACLU lobbies for policy positions that have been established by its board of directors. The group has more than 1.2 million members.

aclu.org

The Actors Fund

Outsiders think every actor is paid $20 million for every job. The Actors Fund knows better and “provides a safety net” for all kinds of performers: thesps, dancers, circus vets. The Actors Fund Home in New Jersey is well known but the org, founded in 1882, is much more. Actors Fund offers emergency assistance and long-term help in social services, financial assistance, career counseling, emotional support and senior care. Fundraising is also through events.

actorsfund.org

Alliance for Children’s Rights

For the past two decades, legendary television producer Dick Wolf has been supporting the organization, which advocates on the behalf of children, young adults and families impacted by the American foster care system. The alliance serves 35% of all children helped by legal aid organizations in California. “My longtime entertainment attorney, Cliff Gilbert-Lurie, has been involved with the alliance for many years, who co-founded it,” says Wolf, who recently donated $1 million to the organization. “The alliance has advocated primarily for diverse, Black and brown youth in Los Angeles County. It has been a philanthropic priority for me for over two decades. They are doing God’s work, advocating for children, young adults and families impacted by foster care. My recent gift and ongoing support will help disenfranchised youth and now, more than ever, help give them a future.”

kids-alliance.org

Alliance for Housing and Healing 

The organization was launched in 2009 when Aid for AIDS and the Serra Project combined forces to support people with HIV and AIDS. With an annual budget of $8 million, AHH is now the leading provider of housing and direct support for people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. Its annual Best in Drag amateur drag show, started in 1989, attracts a sold-out crowd at the 1,800-seat Orpheum Theatre. On Oct. 18 the event moves to the Rose Bowl, because of the pandemic and will be hosted by casting director Patrick Rush and local queen Kay Sedia. Industry advocates include Kathy Griffin, Melanie Griffith, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, Kevin Huvane, Molly Shannon, Jennifer Coolidge and James Van Der Beek.

alliancehh.org

America’s Food Fund 

Robert De Niro, Laura Dern, Questlove and Jennifer Aniston are among those who support America’s Food Fund, a fundraising initiative that was created by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Ford Foundation and Apple, along with the support of Oprah Winfrey. It raises much-needed funds for organizations fighting on the frontlines of our nation’s hunger crisis as a result of COVID-19.

americasfoodfund.org

Baby2Baby 

Every year the organization disburses diapers, clothing and other necessities for babies and children up to age 12 to needy families. Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein head Baby2Baby, which has a roster of showbiz supporters from Jessica Alba and Amy Adams to Kerry Washington, Ali Wong and Rachel Zoe. “We are distributing five times more items than any previous year in our history to meet the skyrocketing need,” they said in a statement. “By the end of this year, we will have reached nearly 1 million children across the country whose families have been affected by COVID-19.”

baby2baby.org

Beyond Type 1

Co-founded in 2015 by Nick Jonas, the diabetes organization aims to educate, advocate and focus on finding a cure for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Through its various media platform and by providing grants for research on the diease, Beyond Type 1 has successfully worked to unite the global diabetes community and be a champion for those living with chronic illness.

beyondtype1.org

Black Lives Matter Global Movement

In July 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, and the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on social media was born. More than seven years later, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, founders of the movement have create a powerhouse platform for igniting systemic social change, and BLM has morphed into a widespread social movement in America, the U.K. and Canada advocating for non-violent protests against police brutality and hate crimes against people of color. Today, BLM comprises a national network of more than 30 local chapters in cities across the United States. Its supporters, including celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Ariana Grande, issued a collective clarion call to end racial injustice, bigotry and hatred in America.

blacklivesmatter.com

Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Club offers programs for ages 6-18, mostly low-income, more than half from single-parent households. The Santa Monica branch is a microcosm of the national club: It deals with 4,000 kids a year, with sports and education programs to help them “find their passions” and translate that into higher education and/or careers, says SM branch CEO Emily Ausbrook. Since COVID began, they have fed 62,000 meals to people, and programs have continued. The national org is 160 years old; Santa Monica’s club was started in 1944.

bgca.org

smbgc.org

A Call to Men

Featuring Eve Ensler and Gloria Steinem as board members, A Call to Men offers education resources and training and events that aim to encourage men and boys to adopt healthy attitudes toward manhood. Founded in 2002, the org has worked with such groups as the NFL and J.P. Morgan to, in the words of the website, “transform society by promoting healthy, respectful manhood” that can help prevent violence against women.

acalltomen.org

Care

Before the pandemic Care helped people in 100 countries, giving food, health care, education and work as well as disaster relief. The org has, for the first time in its 75-year history, focused on the U.S. It is a moral outrage that in 2020 a catastrophic pandemic is also exposing the alarming fragility of our own country’s food system and that an estimated 130 million more people around the world could be pushed to the brink of starvation this year,” said Michelle Nunn, president & CEO, in a statement.

care.org

Colin Kaepernick Foundation 

In 2016, San Francisco 49ers NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem as a form of peaceful protest against racial injustice in America. Kaepernick’s eponymous foundation was established to fight systemic racism and oppression through education and social action. The org’s centerpiece initiative is its Million Dollar Pledge, in which Kaepernick vowed to donate $1 million to charity. Kaepernick also launched the Know Your Rights Camp to raise awareness about higher education and self-empowerment.

kaepernick7.com

Color of Change 

Founded in 2005 by Van Jones and James Rucker and run by executive director Rashad Robinson since 2011, the online racial justice organization with 7 million members is on a mission to create a more just world for Black people in America. The charity has launched campaigns to establish criminal and economic justice, eradicate white nationalism and racism, and fix the broken prison system in America, which discriminates against Black communities. Color of Change has also fought for inclusion in Hollywood. “People are voting inside of a media climate and some of the protests have made white people who are part of the nomination process think differently about how they were making decisions,” Robinson told Variety.

colorofchange.org

CORE

Community Organized Relief Effort, the brainchild of Sean Penn, offers a network of doctors, emergency workers, and government officials. They deal with emergencies and help build an infrastructure for the future. Core began as J/P Haitian Relief Organization and continues to work in Haiti, but recognized relief and recovery are needed in many other places. So programs include environmental resilience and community building, which includes education and vocational training. So far 4,000 homes have been repaired; 5,000 vaccines administered; 38,000 truckloads of debris removed; and 1 million COVID tests administered.

coreresponse.org

Delivering Jobs 

Launched by Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Special Olympics and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Delivering Jobs is an inclusion campaign helping to create 1 million employment opportunities by 2025 for people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental differences. “This is an extraordinary time of opportunity for our community,” says Nicole Sexton, president and CEO of EIF.  “As communities and companies begin the process of reopening, we see an unprecedented opportunity to get inclusion and diversity right by including these 6.5 million Americans in the staffing plan. It’s time all companies answer the call and commit to 1% inclusion of people with neurodifferences.”

eifoundation.org/programs/delivering-jobs/

Developing Options

Developing Options was created in 2004 to offer alternatives to gang life and drugs to L.A. youth. Located in the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Zone, the org says it’s working to combat “shattered family relationships,” negative peer influences and limited attachments to the community. DO works with other agencies to introduce people to services ranging from health care to food access. The nonprofit serves 6,000 people in education and sports, for boys and girls ages 5-13.

developingoptions.org

Direct Relief 

The humanitarian-aid organization was founded in 1948 by refugee war immigrants, and now works throughout the U.S. and 80 other countries. In emergencies, such as 2020’s COVID and fires in Australia, the Amazon and the U.S., it works with local partners to prepare for long-term recovery of survivors. The org focuses on serving the most medically underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad via medical packs, for example, and preparing for COVID vaccine distribution.

directrelief.org

Do It for the Love 

Musician Michael Franti and his wife, Sara, created Do It for the Love to bring people with life-threatening illnesses, children with disabilities and wounded veterans to concerts. Since 2013, DIFTL has partnered with more than 400 artists, including Billie Eilish, Beyoncé, Keith Urban, John Legend, Childish Gambino and Mariah Carey. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill received its Founder’s Award in 2018. The org has fulfilled 3,300 fan wishes worldwide. In the COVID era, DIFTL has participated in multiple livestream benefit shows.

doitforthelove.org

Dream Corps

With supporters including Kim Kardashian West, Demi Lovato, Ben Affleck and Common, the Van Jones-founded California-based charity centers on effecting change across racial, social, and partisan lines. The nonpartisan org supports community resources for families in every corner of the country, bring together organizations and leaders from different worlds, and focus directly on enacting positive policy change at the state and federal level.  The nonprofit’s three main initiatives: #cut50, Green for All and Dream Corps Tech, which focus respectively on criminal justice reform, climate change and the green economy.

thedreamcorps.org

Eva Longoria Foundation

Eva Longoria founded her the eponymous foundation in 2012 as a way to empower Latinas everywhere and help provide them with a better future. “COVID has impacted Latinx families at disproportionately high rates, making the Eva Longoria Foundation’s work empowering Latina women and girls economically and academically more important than ever,” she says. “We’ve pivoted our mentorship and STEM programs to the digital space to ensure that young Latinas can access their mentors and educational extracurricular activities. And we’ve launched three new entrepreneurship programs across California to help Latina entrepreneurs adapt to the new business environment and support their families.”

evalongoriafoundation.org

Feeding America

The largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, Feeding America, through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, provides meals to more than 40 million people each year. “The coronavirus pandemic created an economic downturn that has upended the lives of millions of people, forcing many to turn to Feeding America food banks for help for the very first time,” says CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. “Since early March, Feeding America food banks have provided more than 2.5 billion meals to people facing hunger in the U.S.”

feedingamerica.org

The Felix Organization 

Founded in 2006 by Emmy Award-winning casting director Sheila Jaffe and Darryl McDaniels, aka DMC of Run-DMC,  the charity helps children in the foster-care system by providing them with such crucially important opportunities such as summer camps and gifting them with toys during the holiday season. Through its Felix Friendship Circle, teens living in foster care in New York City and Los Angeles are able to attend Broadway shows, movie screenings and sporting events such as basketball games.

thefelixorganization.org

Film 2 Future

Launched in 2016, the nonprofit teaches filmmaking skills and life lessons to underserved L.A. kids; so far, the makeup is about 70% Latinx. Students are offered four workshops: narrative filmmaking, animation, emerging technologies and advertising, with industry professionals offering guidance. More than 125 students have completed the curriculum and created short films. The students also learn lessons prepping them for life after high school, such as resume-writing, financial literacy and teamwork.

film2future.org

Fire Drill Fridays 

When the pandemic sent large parts of the population into quarantine, Greenpeace and Fire Drill Fridays took Jane Fonda’s rallies and more- intimate Fireside Fire Drills online. “We are at a pivotal moment for our climate and the health and safety of people and our planet, and know that now is the time to be all hands on deck,” said Madeline Carretero, Greenpeace Fire Drill Fridays Project Lead, in a statement.

firedrillfridays.org

Global Citizen

With its mission to end global poverty by 2030, the org has been on the ground fighting for those affected by COVID-19. The org partnered with Lady Gaga to produce concert “One World: Together at Home,” which raised $127 million to provide critical personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers. “In recognition of the fact that the COVID-19 era will not end until we have a safe and effective vaccine, we partnered with Chris Martin of Coldplay to produce ‘Global Goal: Unite for Our Future’ hosted by Dwayne Johnson, which, in partnership with the European Commission brought together governments, philanthropists, corporations, and the world’s most-renowned entertainers to secure $1.5 billion to help ensure equitable access of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and an eventual vaccine to everyone, everywhere,” says Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO.

globalcitizen.org

Harness 

Founded by America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama and Ryan Piers Williams after the 2016 election, Harness brings together artists and activists to educate, inspire, and drive people to take action for social change. “Harness has helped launch the Protect the Sacred initiative, which combats COVID-19 in Indian country; the new online platform She Se Puede which inspires, affirms, and informs Latinas to leverage their power; the #BeCounted Census campaign to have undercounted communities be represented and resourced; and Culture Surge, an initiative to bring artists and activists together to civically participate during this historic election,” say Ferrera, Valderrama and Piers Williams.

iwillharness.com

HIAS 

For than 130 years, global Jewish nonprofit HIAS has been helping refugees around the world rebuild their lives. The org’s most recent campaign coincided with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates the Israelis wandering through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. The holiday’s core theme: welcoming those in need of comfort. Hias’ A Sukkah of Peace: A Global Justice Journey incorporated themed posters that people can hang in their sukkahs (traditional three-sided huts) to bring a sense of global justice to their holiday celebrations.

hias.org

IllumiNative

This nonprofit initiative was created and led by Native peoples to debunk stereotypes, raise awareness of issues affecting the 5 million Natives Americans. Ava DuVernay, Piper Perabo and Taika Waititi are among the industry supporters. “From our fight for equality and visibility in the COVID-19 response to our #ChangetheName campaign that helped lead to the retirement of the Washington NFL team’s offensive and racist use of Native imagery – IllumiNative has been working tirelessly to uplift Native voices. Although 2020 has been a transformative year for Native peoples, our fight against invisibility and systemic racism is far from over,” says Crystal Echno Hawk, executive director. “IllumiNative will continue to advocate for Native voices to be heard and for our people to have a seat at the table in the upcoming election, pandemic relief efforts, mascot conversations, and more.”

illuminatives.org

Intl. Rescue Committee 

Mandy Patinkin has been is an ardent supporter of the org since he first traveled to an IRC center in Greece to witness firsthand the plight of refugees fleeing Syria. Patinkin has since become an IRC ambassador. “I just wanted to be of some use to those people who have been living through a literal hell,” Patinkin says. “This could have been my family 70 years ago escaping the Nazis. There is nothing better than being able to use my voice to help refugees, share their stories and spotlight the tremendous contributions they’ve made to society and communities worldwide.” Other industry advocates of the org founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein to aid Jews fleeing fascism include Mia Farrow, Lena Headey and Piper Perabo.

rescue.org

James Blake Foundation  

Founded in honor of his father, Thomas, who passed away from cancer, Blake’s foundation raised money to fund research for the early detection of the disease. Andy Roddick and John Isner are among those who have taken part in the org’s annual tennis exhibition at a private suite during the U.S. Open, with one-on-one lessons auctioned off to the highest bidder. “I believe with the proper financial support, physicians will be enabled to provide patients with powerful new tools to fight and prevent cancer,” says Blake. “Every dollar donated to the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund is an investment to the mission: treating, preventing, and curing cancer through outstanding research, education, and patient care.”

Heifer Intl.

Founded in 1944, Heifer Intl. fights hunger and poverty around the world. Supporters of the organization can pick from a range of farm animals to donate through its online catalog, whether that’s a flock of chicks for $20, $120 for a goat or $500 for a heifer.

“They are sending the sort of message abroad that I can wholeheartedly support,” says advocate Susan Sarandon. “I share their vision of a world without hunger — and it is attainable in our lifetime. Heifer is working at it one family, one community at a time.” But that has added up quickly over the past 75 years: the charity has helped 34 million families across 20 countries.

heifer.org

The Los Angeles LGBT Center 

Founded in 1969, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has seen up to 50,000 visitors each month at its eight locations throughout the city. Services range from homeless youth and senior programs to HIV/AIDS and transgender health care. Last year saw the completion of the $142 million Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood. Sadly, the center’s signature fundraising bike ride AIDS/LifeCycle with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation was canceled this year due to the pandemic and it was recently announced that 2021’s ride would also not be taking place. The staff has been working overtime to raise some of the missed funds with a telethon on KTLA, a virtual variety show hosted by Frankie Grande and most recently, a drive-in screening series. Lily Tomlin, Ariadne Getty, Miley Cyrus, Jane Lynch and Rufus Wainwright are among the org’s supporters.

lalgbtcenter.org

Love Beyond Limits 

Love Beyond Limits offers after-school programs to underprivileged youth, ages 12-18. There is also training for parents and caregivers, so the kids have appropriate support. The 13-week sessions are located in Long Beach, with such work as the 13 Stones Mentoring Programs. The nonprofit also works with local businesses as part of its community outreach. LBL was founded in 2009 by Maleka Chris; president is Candace Yamagawa.

lovebeyondlimits.org

The Midnight Mission 

Ever since the Midnight Mission was founded in 1914 in L.A.’s Skid Row area, it has continued to expand. That includes the Home Light Family Living, begun in 1994 to help homeless families; Crisis & Bridge Housing Programs, Courtyard Outreach, offering a monitored area for those who resist sleeping in shelters; plus a women’s program. It also has a presence in Orange County and the South Bay area. An L.A. institution, Midnight Mission feeds about 1 million people a year.

midnightmission.org

MusiCares

Established in 1989, the Recording Academy’s MusiCares is a nonprofit organization that serves to help musicians in dire times, whether financial, medical or other personal issues with which they need assistance. When a musician is in need of a place to go for drug rehabilitation or detox they can get help in confidence. MusiCares has distributed millions of dollars to benefit the welfare and safety of those working in the music industry, especially this year with the global pandemic. Every year the org puts on a benefit honoring someone in the music biz that helps raise funds.

grammy.com/musicares

Musicians on Call

The healing power of art is not a myth, and for more than 20 years Musicians on Call has brought live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. Volunteers have performed for more than 850,000 patients, families and caregivers at facilities across the country, ranging from children’s hospitals to adult facilities, VA hospitals and hospices. And while COVID has ruled out in-person visits, the ability to make virtual has made it possible for musicians to perform for more patients than they could previously.

Industry advocates include Kelly Clarkson, Darius Rucker, Lauren Daigle and Rachel Platten.

musiciansoncall.org

Musicians Without Borders

Founded in 1999 on the premise that music can help communities to heal, Musicians Without Borders began its work in war-ravaged Bosnia and is active in Kosovo, Palestine, Greece, Northern Ireland, Germany, Rwanda, Uganda, El Salvador, Italy and the Netherlands. The organization’s mission is to “enable musicians to be advocates, activists, teachers, and performers, with the message: War Divides, Music Connects.”

musicianswithoutborders.org

My Friend’s Place

Steve LaPore and Craig Scholz started the org in 1988 when they bought dinner for what they thought would be a dozen teens on Hollywood Boulevard. Boosted by Lionsgate (Kevin Beggs is on the board) My Friend’s Place aids homeless youth, homegrown and transplants, lured by showbiz or by the nonjudgmental attitude of Southern California to LGBTQ youth. “We’re really trying to help a young person build the trust and relationship to take the step into opportunities that could be a gamechanger toward who they really want to be,” says executive director Heather Carmichael.

myfriendsplace.org

Neads

Since 1976, Neads (formerly known as National Education for Assistance Dog Services and Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans) has been training and providing service dogs for individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing, veterans with PTSD and for children with developmental disabilities. “Neads is a particularly well-run, compassionate organization that places world class service dogs with veterans, children and adults with physical and emotional disabilities,” says writer-director Andrea Berloff. “I’ve seen first-hand how a service dog can vastly improve a person’s life. They not only provide people with disabilities with essential assistance, they also offer companionship and love. NEADS changes lives.”

neads.org

Partners in Health

Partners in Health fights social injustice by bringing the benefits of modern medical science to the most vulnerable communities globally. “Partners in Health brings lifesaving medical care to some of the world’s poorest places, partnering with local governments to fight both new and well-known health threats from Haiti to Peru to Sierra Leone,” says Dr. Sheila Davis, CEO of the org. “This year, in addition to our work fighting COVID globally we saw an urgent need to bring our work home. We are sharing our decades-long experience fighting epidemics including HIV, tuberculosis, and ebola to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable in our own communities do not go ignored.”

pih.org

Richard and Demi Weitz’s QuaranTunes Concert Series

Spurred by the desire to help others in times of need during the coronavirus pandemic, 17-year-old Demi Weitz, daughter of WME agent Richard Weitz, decided to hold a series of online Zoom fundraisers called QuaranTunes. With the help of legendary music producer Clive Davis, who helped recruit such talent as Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of “Hamilton” to take part, the online series has since featured some 200 performers and raised over $10 million for such organizations as Saban Free Clinic, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the American Cancer Society.

fylf.org/rwquarantunes-x-fyl/

Rise

Amber Heard and Tatiana Maslany are among the supporters of Rise, founded by Amanda Nguyen, a rape survivor, in November 2014 to write her own civil rights into existence to keep her rape kit from being destroyed. Rise’s goal is to pass its Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights in all 50 states. “Rise has worked with businesses and local governments around the country to create ‘safe havens’ for sexual and domestic violence survivors disproportionately impacted by this pandemic,” says CEO Nguyen. “Our team has also been able to pass the Survivor’s Bill of Rights in three more states — Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska — impacting 3 million more people for a total of 84 million survivors impacted across 26 states.” 

risenow.us

Sandy Hook Promise 

The organization was begun January 2013 in Newtown, Conn., by Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, after the Dec. 14, 2012, school shooting. The org says: “Our mission is to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children.” So far, there are 12 million participants, with 14,000 schools engaged in such programs as Know the Signs. A sister org, Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund, works to “prevent gun violence and support mental wellness.” The website offers info on programs and offers shocking facts about gun violence and school shootings.

sandyhookpromise.org

Stand up for Gus  

Founded by actor Jason Patric, who was blocked from seeing his son Gus for an entire year by his ex-girlfriend, Stand Up for Gus is an advocacy group that raises awareness of parental alienation and works to fix the broken family law system in the United States. It supports parents and children who have been tragically and unjustly been torn apart. Supporters of the org include Chris Rock, Robin Wright, Chris Evans and Mark Wahlberg. “I want to use my story and my name to give a voice to those who do not have one,” Patric says.

standupforgus.com

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

Founded in the early ‘90s to help indie singer Victoria Williams get by after her MS diagnosis, Sweet Relief has expanded its mission of helping musicians dealing with the distress of illness or disabilities to the point that it seemed almost uniquely attuned to the needs that would arrive with the coronavirus crisis. The org is now assisting those in the music biz financially impacted by COVID-19 and has taken in thousands of applications for help with everything from medical needs to insurmountable everyday bills. Artists from Kesha to new country superstar Morgan Wallen have been performing livestreams to make the urgent funding heftier as well as sweeter.

sweetrelief.org

T.J. Martell Foundation

No charities have been synonymous with the music industry’s philanthropic side for longer than the T.J. Martell Foundation, “music’s promise for curing cancer” for 45 years. For many participating stars, it’s personal, as with George Thorogood, who just set up a fund in honor of his late wife, who died of ovarian cancer. Of the three major annual dinners, Nashville’s got in just under the wire in February, with celebs including Reba McEntire showing up to fete honorees such as Amy Grant, adding $1 million onto the total $280 million raised for research since 1975.
tjmartell.org

Transgender Law Center

The nation’s largest trans-led advocacy organization for transgender and gender non-confirming rights and equality was started in Oakland as an offshoot of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. TLC became its own entity in 2004 before going national in 2007. Most recently, “Star Wars” fans raised $10,000 for the center through a fundraising campaign spearheaded by Maggie Lovitt of the “ ‘Star Wars’ Friends” podcast.

Industry advocates include Trace Lysette, Angelica Ross, Laverne Cox, Leslye Headland and Shelby Young.

transgenderlawcenter.org

The Trevor Project 

Launched in 1998 by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone, the Trevor Project is one of the leading orgs in the States providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to members of the LGBTQ and questioning LGBTW youth under the age of 25. The Trevor Lifeline is a toll-free telephone number that those in dire need can call for free, confidential counseling. Advocates of the organization include Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin, Darren Criss and Anderson Cooper.

thetrevorproject.org

VH1 Save the Music

One of the longest-running music-related charities, Save the Music was founded in 1997 with the goal of helping students, schools, and communities “reach their full potential through the power of making music.” This often means organizing or restoring music programs and donating instruments. The foundation, with advocates including Elton John, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Bono, has donated $58 million worth of new musical instruments to over 2,159 public schools in 276 school districts around the country, and proudly states that 76% of its spending goes toward supporting music programs.

savethemusic.org 

Will Rogers Pioneers Assistance Fund

The organization is working with the National Assn. of Theater Owners to help cinema workers. Paramount distribution president Chris Aronson says: “We knew people living paycheck to paycheck needed help quickly. The Pioneers Assistance Fund COVID-19 Emergency Grant was up and running by March 30. It allowed us to provide more than $2 million to workers who have endured enormous hardship.” Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation exec director Todd Vradenburg adds: “We’ve been able to provide relief to thousands, but the need is massive and continues to grow.”

wrpioneers.org

Written by Jem Aswad, Shalini Dore, Tim Gray, Malina Saval and Chris Willman

First published here: variety.com

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