Hollywood stars have the platform to inspire change and no one knows that more than these 10 Latinas. Through charities and their own foundations, Eva Longoria and these other celebrities have worked to make a difference:
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Eva Longoria is passionate about her work, which is why she’s been involved with more than 30 charities. Eva’s Heroes is a charity close to her heart as it was inspired by her sister. The charity’s mission is to enrich the lives of those with special needs. She also works to improve the lives of Latinas through the Eva Longoria Foundation. “The Eva Longoria Foundation supports programs which help Latinas excel in school and attend college,” she said in a letter on the foundation’s site. Additionally, we work to provide Latina entrepreneurs with career training, mentorship, capital and opportunity. By investing in Latinas, we hope to build a stronger future for our country.”
Jessica Alba was also one of the most charitable celebrities of 2013, according to the Daily Beast. She’s involved with more than 25 charities, such as Clothes Off Our Back, Soles4Souls and Revlon Run/Walk For Women. She launched The Honest Company to give other moms non-toxic and organic baby products that are also affordable. “It’s a deep passion of mine,” she told Self Magazine. “I spend all my time at the office. I think it’s a nice balance to Hollywood because this is something that I could actually control. I could see [it through] from the beginning to the end and there’s something really wonderful and fulfilling about that.”
Rosario Dawson is such a good sport that she took a pie to the face to raise money for her charity, Studio One Eighty Nine, which promotes African and African-inspired content through a shopping site. She has shown support for undocumented activists, and she shows how proud she is of her roots by also co-founding Voto Latino. In an article that she penned for Latina, she wrote: “At times like these, we need to remember that elected official respond to two things: money and votes. Now, most of us don’t have wads of cash to throw around, but we all have the power of the vote.”
Daisy Fuentes is involved with several charities, but there’s one she has an especially close relationship with: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Fuentes has been involved for more than 15 years. “Once you go there, you realize that there is no other place in the world like St. Jude’s,” she said to us. “And at that point I just said I’m going to use my celebrity [status] to tell as many people as I can about this. Because at the end of the day everybody wants to help in some way – to find a cause that they can support. I think the biggest challenge is finding one you can really believe in.”
Shakira gives back to her community. She founded Pies Descalzos Foundation in 1995 to give educational opportunities to underprivileged Colombian children. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and got $45 million for education initiatives for Central and South America from the Clinton Global Initiative. This year she teamed up Activia for its “Dare to Feel Good” campaign, where she shows that feeling good on the inside can impact how you feel about yourself on the outside.
Sometimes personal experiences drive people. When Jennifer Lopez’s daughter, Emme, was three weeks old, she found a lump on her head. Luckily, there was nothing wrong, but it got her thinking about other parents who couldn’t get quality health care, and the Lopez Family Foundation, which was previously called The Maribel Foundation, was started. On the website, Lopez explains, “We grew up in a neighborhood that was not privileged, with an awareness of what many must go without. The number of children that grow up without access to quality health care, doctors, and health care facilities, is unacceptable. Also unacceptable is the small number of parents who have access to be adequately and completely informed about critical child- and health-care topics.”
Adriana Lima has a soft spot for children. She has worked with orphanage Caminhos da Luz in her hometown Salvador, Bahia. She raises money to buy clothes for poor children in Bahia as well. And just before Christmas, she went to Haiti and worked with The St. Luke Foundation. “I am continuously moved by the spirit of the people of Haiti, and The St. Luke Foundation for Haiti continues to support their needs,” she said in a Facebook post.
Constance Marie works to improve the lives of both people and animals. She wrote a letter to Santa Ana Mayor asking that he put an end to elephant rides at the Santa Ana Zoo. After seeing a video of trainers using bullhooks and shocking elephants with electric prods, she was saddened. She’s also served as a spokeswoman for East Los Angeles Women’s Center, which works with women and children who have faced sexual or domestic violence and those impacted by HIV or AIDS.
Brazilian actress Sônia Braga was one of the founders of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. This group works to help Latinos in media, entertainment and telecommunications. This foundation has given more than 350 scholarships to Hispanic students pursuing a degree in the arts.
Gina Torres is not just a Joss Whedon favorite, having starred in “Firefly” and “Serenity,” but she’s also inspiring change, especially among women. She starred in a video for The 2012 Project, where she encouraged women to run for office. “There’s nothing super about this fact: The U.S. ranks 69th in the world for the number of women in elected office,” she said. “Women can’t win if we don’t run"