When celebrities start a charitable foundation or champion a cause, it gets plastered all over the news. But some celebrities actually perform random acts of kindness and don’t want any credit for it. Here are some great instances of secret celebrity generosity:
The “Hunger Games” star has made a habit out of secret Santa visits. For several years now she has taken time on Christmas Eve to visit the patients at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville Kentucky. While photos of the visits circulate on social media after the fact, the visits themselves are unadvertised and not open to the media.
This character actor has made a name for himself being “that guy” in movies like “Fargo” and “Armageddon.” But back in the 1980s, before he was an actor, Steve Buscemi was firefighter in New York City. And on September 11, 2001, Buscemi quietly, without fanfare, reported back for duty at his old station. So many firefighters had been lost in the attacks that he figured they could use all the skilled help they could get, and he was right — and only a few photographs of him in action let the world know what he did.
During another tragedy, the deadly 2017 Grenfell Towers fire in London in which more than 70 people died, the British songstress and her husband attended a vigil for the victims and then went incognito to the local fire station to thank the emergency workers personally for their hard work.
This comedian made an unlikely friend in his early years of Hollywood, an old lady named Mimi who lived and worked at the local laundromat; she actually taught him how to wash his clothes. But after he hit the big time, he could pay other people to do that for him. Fast forward a couple of years and he learned she was homeless. He set her up in an apartment and took care of the utilities and got his friend Renee Zellweger to help furnish the place. His kindness continued even further when he took Mimi to some of his film premieres as his date, and still takes her to lunch and makes sure she has food in her fridge.
This top country singer (currently dating Gwen Stefani) saved four strangers from a mudslide near his home in Oklahoma. He happened along and tried to pull the men out with his truck; when that failed, he drove home and returned with his tractor and got the men loose. Others may call it heroic, but he just calls it being neighborly.
When a young student named Mercedes Edney, who blogged about skin care and wanted to go to beauty school, tried to raise funds online, she only raised around $300 of the nearly $6,000 tuition. Suddenly her fundraiser hit its goal… and she discovered that the balance had been picked up by none other than model Chrissy Teigen. It’s unclear how Teigen got pointed to Edney’s site, but everyone’s glad she did, Edney most of all. Teigen only left a note with her donation: “I’ve seen this be your passion for such a long time now… So excited to see you fulfill your dream!”
This “Madea” mogul is the king of good deeds. His numerous random acts of kindness include donating years’ worth of rent to homeless teenagers and families facing eviction. But Perry may have outdone himself when he anonymously paid for the layaways of nearly 1,500 people at two Walmarts in Georgia, spending $432,635 to spread Christmas cheer. “I know it’s hard times, a lot of people are struggling and I’m just really, really grateful to be able to be in a position to do this. So God bless you, go get your stuff, and Merry Christmas,” Perry said on Twitter.
The frontman for the Foo Fighters made a scary situation kind of awesome. Two Australian miners who were trapped underground signaled that while they were waiting to be dug out, they’d like an iPod with songs from the Foo Fighters on it to keep them company. When Grohl heard about this, he wrote a personal note to accompany the iPod telling the miners that when they got out, they had tickets to a Foo Fighters concert and two cold beers waiting for them.
The prolific singer/songwriter did an old friend a favor for life. When his childhood pal and fellow songwriter asked if she could contribute a song to his album because she was in bad financial shape, he did her one better – they co-wrote a song together, “Thinking Out Loud,” which hit No. 1 on the charts and has sold millions… and his friend never has to worry about bills again.
The late ’80s heartthrob and lead singer for Wham! apparently was a big fan of doing good deeds on the down-low. He volunteered at homeless shelters, and even paid off random debts on several occasions, all unannounced and usually with the caveat that no one be told. According to the host of the British version of “Deal Or No Deal,” one contestant who said she wanted to win the money for in vitro fertilization treatment, and didn’t, ended up having £15,000 sent to her by the singer the following day.