Tom Hanks’ philanthropic work: how he uses his fame for good causes
Tom Hanks is a beloved Hollywood actor known for his work in movies such as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. However, what many people may not know is that Hanks is also deeply committed to philanthropy and using his fame to support various charitable causes. In this article, we will explore Hanks’ philanthropic work, including the causes he supports and how he uses his platform to make a positive impact.
Hanks’ Philanthropic Causes
Tom Hanks has supported numerous charitable causes throughout his career, with a focus on education, the arts, and social issues. Some of the organizations he has worked with include:
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Hanks has been a longtime supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which works to end pediatric HIV/AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs. Hanks has served as the foundation’s spokesperson and has helped raise millions of dollars for the organization.
The National Space Society
Hanks is also a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote space exploration and development. Hanks has been a strong advocate for space exploration and has even produced and narrated a documentary series called “From the Earth to the Moon.”
The V Foundation for Cancer Research
Hanks has supported the V Foundation for Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization that funds cancer research and programs aimed at improving cancer treatment and patient care. Hanks has helped raise awareness and funds for the organization through various initiatives, including the annual ESPY Awards, where he has served as a presenter and honorary co-chair.
The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
Hanks is a member of the board of directors for the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that provides theater and educational programs to underserved communities in Los Angeles. Hanks has been a strong supporter of the organization’s mission to use theater to engage and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.
The Motion Picture and Television Fund
Hanks is a member of the board of trustees for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance and support to entertainment industry workers in need. Hanks has helped raise funds for the organization and has been involved in initiatives such as the annual “Night Before” party, which raises money for the fund.
Using His Platform for Good
To supporting various charitable causes, Tom Hanks also uses his platform to raise awareness and advocate for social issues. One of the ways he does this is by speaking out on issues he is passionate about, such as climate change and gun control. Hanks has been vocal about the need to take action on climate change, and has even narrated a documentary called “Racing Extinction” which explores the impact of climate change on the planet.
Hanks has also been a vocal advocate for gun control, following numerous mass shootings in the United States. In a 2018 interview with CNN, Hanks spoke out about the need for gun control legislation, saying, “How many more times do we need to have these things happen in our country before we can come to grips with the fact that, maybe, the laws need to be adjusted?”
To speaking out on social issues, Hanks also uses his fame to raise awareness and funds for various charitable causes. For example, in 2020, Hanks hosted a virtual fundraiser for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which raised over $1 million to support food banks in the Los Angeles area. Hanks also participated in a virtual telethon to raise funds for the Robin Hood Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is one organization that Hanks has been involved with for many years. The foundation works to prevent and treat pediatric HIV/AIDS in developing countries, as well as advocating for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Hanks has served as a board member for the organization and has participated in fundraising events such as their annual A Time for Heroes Celebrity Picnic. His involvement has helped to raise awareness and funds for the cause, and has inspired others to get involved as well.
Hanks is also an active supporter of the National Space Society, an organization that advocates for space exploration and the development of space resources for the benefit of humanity. Hanks has been involved with the organization for many years and has served as a member of their board of governors. His involvement has helped to bring attention to the importance of space exploration and the potential benefits it could bring to society.
Another organization that Hanks has been involved with is the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded in honor of legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano who died of cancer in 1993. The foundation works to fund cancer research and support programs for cancer patients and their families. Hanks has been a supporter of the foundation for many years and has participated in their fundraising events such as the annual ESPYs Jimmy V Award presentation.
His support for specific organizations, Hanks has also been an advocate for social issues such as climate change and gun control. In 2014, he narrated the documentary “Years of Living Dangerously” which explored the impact of climate change on the planet. He has also been an advocate for gun control measures, and has spoken out about the need for common sense gun laws in the United States.
Hanks’ philanthropic work is a testament to the power and potential of celebrity influence for good causes. By using his platform to support important organizations and advocate for social issues, Hanks has been able to make a positive impact on the world. His involvement and commitment to these causes have helped to inspire others to get involved and make a difference as well.
It’s important to note that celebrity philanthropy is not without its criticisms. Some argue that celebrities use their philanthropic work as a way to bolster their own image and gain positive publicity. Additionally, some argue that celebrities may not have the expertise or understanding needed to effectively address complex social issues. These criticisms highlight the need for celebrities to approach their philanthropic work with humility and a willingness to learn from experts in the field.