While many celebrities use their platform to promote business ventures or sponsorships, celebrities like Will Smith are starting to get more involved with and becoming more vocal about charity.
Will Smith is a well-known philanthropist as he frequently donates to multiple charities. Not only does he donate both money and his time to charities, but he also co-owns a charity foundation with his wife.
Read more below to find out more about Will’s foundation and what charities he donates to.
The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation
Will and Jada Smith started their charity foundation, The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation in 1996. They state that their mission is: “We improve lives by creating opportunities for often unheard voices, inspiring communities to reach their full potential. We provide grants to organizations and individuals that reflect our ideals.” They distribute the donations made to the foundation to organizations like Global Citizen, who are working towards ending worldwide poverty, and Education Cannot Wait, who are working to reposition education as a priority worldwide on the humanitarian agenda.
The foundation also worked with the Make-a-Wish foundation to create an Aladdin themed challenge called, #FriendLikeMe Challenge. They encouraged fans and celebrities to answer the question: “If you were the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and could grant 3 wishes to a friend or family member, who would you share them with?” For every post made, $5 was donated to the Make-a-Wish foundation. The campaign ended up earning $1,000,000 for Make-a-Wish America.
When Jaden Smith was 12 years old in 2015, he co-founded the company Just Water with the help of his parents Will Smith and Jada Smith-Pinkett. Although the company is not a charity in itself, the Smiths use it to do a lot of charitable work. The company sells responsibly sourced water from upstate New York. It is packaged in a bottle that is made up of 82% renewable resources as the Smiths recognized the harm single-use plastic is doing to our environment.
The company has a mission: “We want to inspire people to do good and feel good through conscious choices that help the community and the planet”. They follow that mission by doing things like helping their community in Flint, Michigan. As Flint. Michigan has been without clean water since 2014, the Smiths have sent water filtration systems that can clean up to 10 gallons of water per family and have been donating drinking water each month. They also teamed up with a sustainable shoe company called Allbirds to create their own shoe line. One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards Leonardo DiCaprio’s Amazon Forest Fund.
Other Charity Involvement
Will Smith stated: “I want to do good. I want the world to be better because I was here. I want my life, I want my work, I want my family, and I want it to mean something. It’s like if you are not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.” It is clear that he does strive to do good and make people’s lives better, not only through his foundation, but through helping out specific causes.
In 2008, tax returns were released that showed Will Smith and his wife gave $1.3 million in donations to a variety of causes including religious, civic and artistic. Their biggest contribution was to a Christian organization based in Will’s hometown of Philadelphia. He also donated to other religious groups like the Church of Scientology and a Los Angeles mosque. His contributions were not only religious, but also scientific as he donated to the Progeria Research Foundation and AIDS Foundation.
Will Smith does not typically advertise his own charitable actions, but they are immense and ongoing through his foundation and frequent donations.