A list of famous charity workers. People who helped others to lead better lives.
Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) – Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity and dedicated her life to serving the poor in India and around the world.
“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. ” – Mother Teresa
Clara Barton (1821-1912) – A nurse in the American civil war, Clara Barton helped improve treatment of wounded soldiers. After working with the international Red Cross in Europe, she returned to the US where she set up the American Red Cross.
William Booth (1829 – 1912) – Founder of the Salvation Army. Booth dedicated his life to offering charitable support to the poor in London. A fervent evangelical Christian, he was committed to providing material aid and spiritual salvation
Bill Wilson (1896-1971) was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, an international organisation with over two million members seeking to help individuals escape from alcoholism. Wilson found a cure for his own alcoholism and set up self-help groups to enable others to do the same. He did not seek to raise money, but give people the support to give up alcohol.
Cecil Jackson-Cole (1901 – 1979 ) Co-founder of Oxfam. Jackson-Cole revolutionised the charitable sector, launching professional management and charity shops which sold tradecraft from developing countries. Jackson-Cole was also instrumental in founding Help the Aged/Age Concern. In 1972, he also started a new charitable initiative ActionAid, which matched sponsors in developed countries with poor children in developing economies.
Abbé Pierre (1912–2007) French humanitarian who founded the charity Emmaus movement to help refugees and the homeless. Pierre wanted to not just give material help but the resources for people to help themselves. A saying of the Emmaus movement is “Giving people a bed and a reason to get out of it”.
Chad Varah (1911 – 2007) British vicar who founded the Samaritans, an organisation offering an opportunity for the suicidal to speak in confidence. Varah founded the organisation in 1953 after taking calls in his church. He was also commited to supporting sex education.
Eva Peron (1919-1952) The Eva Peron foundation raised millions to fund orphanages, hospitals and schools. The Foundation aimed to ‘to contribute or collaborate by any possible means to the creation of works tending to satisfy the basic needs for better life of the less privileged classes.’
Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) Audrey Hepburn supported UNICEF from the 1950s. In the latter part of her life, she retired from acting to devote more time to UNICEF projects in Africa and other countries. “The ‘Third World’ is a term I don’t like very much because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering.”– Audrey Hepburn.
Princess Diana (1961 – 1997) Princess Diana was associated with many hundreds of charities. She paid particular attention to charities involved with AIDS, landmines, prisoners’ families and palliative care. “I knew what my job was; it was to go out and meet the people and love them” – Princess Diana.
(1960 – ) Bono is involved in various charities including DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) established in 2002 with Bobby Shriver. DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. Also involved in Drop the Debt campaign.
Joan Baez (1941 – ) Joan Baez was a singer songwriter whose career spanned six decades. In the 1970s she played a key role in founding the US version of Amnesty International. Later she formed her own human rights organisation Humanitas International.
Bob Geldof (1951 – ) Bob Geldof was moved by African famine of 1984. He released hit single “Do They Know Its Christmas Time” and organised ‘Live Aid’. He has been involved in various charities ever since.
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ) Oprah has donated millions of her own fortune for charities such as Angel Network and a charity helping young girls gain an education in South Africa.
Angelina Jolie (1975 – ) Jolie has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She also founded charities such as Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation community development and environmental conservation in Cambodia.
Jane Goodall (1934 – ) The Jane Goodall Foundation seeks to protect Chimpanzees and their environment.
Desmond Tutu (1931 – ) The well-known campaigner against apartheid has also sought to tackle issues such as AIDS in Africa.
Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) Nurse who helped to standardise and improve the quality of nursing in Nineteenth-Century Britain.
Bill Gates (1955- ) Co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates became one of the world’s richest men. He now works full-time for his charitable foundation. By 2019, Gates had given away US$45 billion to his foundation, which concentrates on reducing poverty, improving education and access to information technology
Saints and Social Justice
- Saints and Social Justice A guide to changing the world by Brandon Vogt at Amazon
Other Celebrities noted for their charity work.
- Scarlett Johansson
- Brad Pitt
- Sir Richard Branson
Humanitarians – Famous people who have offered charitable service to others, including Mother Teresa, William Wilberforce, Florence Nightingale and Princess Diana.
Famous Philanthropists – People who have been able to give a large amount of money to charitable causes, including Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
People who made a difference. Men and women who made a positive contribution to the world – in the fields of politics, literature, music, activism and spirituality.
People who fought for human/civil rights – People who campaigned for equality, civil rights and civil justice. Includes Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.