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10 Inspiring Philanthropy Projects

From celebrities to people just like you and I, it's important to recognise philanthropy projects that have inspired us and made a difference to our society.

Below we list 10 inspiring stories of giving, some big, some small, but all showcase generosity and kindness amongst mankind.

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Tony Hawk; skatepark funding in low income areas

Street crime amongst young people is on the rise along with an increase in gang culture. Tony Hawk, a professional skateboarder, set up the Tony Hawk Foundation. The foundation strives to support the youth in low-income communities with skateboarding programs and the building of skateparks. To date, the foundation has awarded over $5 Million to a number of public skatepark projects across America in the bid to keep young people active rather than turning to gangs and crime.

The Chan Zuckerberg Foundation

The aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation set up by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg is to advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy. In 2015, the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that they will both give away 99 percent of their shares in the company in their drive to improve the world for the next generation.

Bradley Reback, the story of a secret millionaire

Popular reality TV show, Secret Millionaire immersed entrepreneur Bradley Reback in the world of homelessness and poverty. Living undercover as a homeless person showed him the harsh reality that the homeless endure each day, but also encouraged him to set up Brad Phillips Charitable Trust (named after his undercover character on the show). The trust offers support for people sleeping rough, including showcasing on a map the facilities available in local areas.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa (OWLAG)

Oprah Winfrey made headlines when she opened The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. The school was a project funded by Oprah Winfrey herself, to provide educational and leadership opportunities for academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Michael Jordan and Charlotte Hornets

Since owning the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan and the team have given away over $3 million for charities that help raise money for education, hunger, wellness and the military. An inspiring initiative that the team host annually is Cornucopia, where the team provide Thanksgiving meals to 1,000 families in need. The meals include turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, and more.

Wells Fargo's cash contributions and encouragement of staff to volunteer

Wells Fargo regularly donates to nonprofit organisations, such as NeighborWorks, supporting financial education and down payments on homes. To encourage philanthropic gestures by Wells Fargo employees, staff are entitled to two days paid leave each year to volunteer.

The Grief Encounter

Established by Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE, Grief Encounter is one of the UK's leading bereaved child charities. The charity provides free services and support to bereaved children and their families. The Grief Encounter receives an abundance of support from celebrity friends such as Katherine Jenkins, Jeff Brazier and founder of Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis.

Tej Kohli Foundation donation to end poverty blindness

Last year, the London-based Tej Kohli Foundation announced a $14 million donation to the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute in Hyderabad, India, to support the institute's continued efforts to end poverty blindness. According to a report by the World Health Organisation, 90% of those affected by blindness and severe sight impairment live in third-world countries, including parts of India.

The World Coming together to help Australia

Millions of people and businesses have come together to help wildfire relief efforts for the recent bushfires in Australia. Celebrities such as Leonardo Di Caprio, Nicole Kidman, and Chris Hemsworth have all helped the Australia Wildfire Fund, encouraging fans and followers to respond to the catastrophic devastation that the country now has to deal with, through charitable donations.

And finally, a story from someone just like us…

Police found 19-year-old Fred Barley living in a tent on the campus of Gordon State College in America and were initially planning to evict him, until they heard his story. The boy had ridden six hours by bike, carrying all of his possessions in order to enrol for his second semester at the school as a biology student. He'd arrived early to search for a job, but unfortunately had no luck. The officers, moved by Fred's courage and determination put Barley up in a hotel with their own pennies. Word spread, and soon enough people starting donating clothes and school supplies, he was even given a job at a pizzeria. One individual set up a GoFundMe page which ended up reaching a total of $184,000, all of which to be spent on Fred's education.

With thousands of inspiring stories out there, these are just a handful of examples demonstrating an act of kindness to help those less fortunate.

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