Three cheers for the following 10 celebrity moms who are making a big difference!
From donating to the relief efforts after natural disasters, to advocating for autism awareness, to building an all-girls school in Africa, take a look through our list of 10 celebrity moms who are giving back and making our world a better place.
- Jenny McCarthy:
Love her or hate her, Jenny McCarthy has become one of the strongest voices for children with autism with her charitable organization Generation Rescue. The activist mama told Celebrity Baby Scoop that her unofficial role as the celebrity spokesperson on the topic is nothing short of a blessing.
Anytime you can do something that serves the greater good and make a difference, you should act,” the mom-of-one said. “So, what I thought was a hardship in my life, I now see as a blessing because I can reach so many people.”
Jenny’s son Evan, 9, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 ½-years-old. The single mom has publicly spoken about the possible link between childhood vaccinations and autism. She is also well-known for saying that children can “recover” from autism.
Has the community embraced her since Evan’s recovery — and her controversial statement?
My story of Evan’s recovery is not unique, there are thousands of parents before me whose shoulders I stand on today,” Jenny said. “I’m just as active today as when Evan recovered from autism. I still travel the country lecturing on autism, am the president and board member of Generation Rescue and actively fundraise throughout the country for the foundation. My journey now is for the other parents whose voice hasn’t been heard.
- Amanda Peet:
Something’s Gotta Give star Amanda Peet joined forces with American Red Cross to talk about the Measles Initiative. Unlike Jenny McCarthy, Amanda has long been outspoken on advocating for childhood vaccinations.
“Every day, 450 children in this world die from measles – a disease that is entirely preventable with a vaccine,” Amanda told Celebrity Baby Scoop. “We have an actual cure, yet innocent children are still dying at alarming numbers.”
She added: “Why? I learned why… The measles vaccine may exist, but many parents and children in this world do not have access to that cure. They live in remote villages, in countries with weak and inadequate health care systems. Routine immunization is a foreign concept altogether.”
The actress – who is mom to daughters Frankie, nearly 5, and Molly, 1- continued on the importance of childhood vaccinations.
Can you imagine watching your child die from a disease that a simple vaccine could have cured? It is not right. We take so much for granted in this country. When my children were born, my husband and I made the choice to vaccinate them against measles. Why shouldn’t other parents have that same choice and that same peace of mind? Why shouldn’t those children be protected the way mine are?”
“The good news is that groups like the American Red Cross and the United Nations joined together in 2001 and formulated a plan to bring mass measles vaccination campaigns to countries and villages all over the world,” Amanda continued. “For two years, I have been a volunteer with the American Red Cross, advocating on behalf of its Measles Initiative, a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally.”
- Gwen Stefani:
The original Harajuku Lover, Gwen Stefani, dug deep into her pockets after the devastation in Japan earlier this year.
The mom of 5-year-old Kingston and 3-year-old Zuma donated $1 million to Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund to help with recovery efforts in the devastated nation.
I’ve been inspired by Japan for many years and have a true love, appreciation and respect for the Japanese people and their culture,” Gwen said. “The disaster in Japan is beyond heartbreaking, and I want to do anything I can to help. I would never be able to make a gesture like this without the love and support of all the fans over all these years.”
- Sandra Bullock:
And that’s not the first time she’s helped out after a natural disaster. She was also involved in the disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.
Half of my family has a deep-rooted connection to the South and Louisiana, and, for me, New Orleans is one of our most precious, historic communities — visually, emotionally, artistically,” Sandy B told Vogue.
Madonna – mom of Lourdes, 15, Rocco, 11, David, 6, and Mercy, 5 – recently took on a new project. A big one! The global impact she is making with her multi-million dollar all-girls school in Malawi, Africa is immeasurable.
The Queen of Pop talked about her latest – and most important – project in the country where her youngest children originate:
Growing up in a privileged life, I took education for granted…but coming to Malawi has taught me a lot of things and (I have) learnt to appreciate what life gives,” Madonna said. “I realized how much they deserve to be educated and so for me the best thing I could do was to build a school, a unique school that will create future female leaders, scientists, lawyers, doctors and if this school is successful it will be used as a model to replicate it in other countries.”
- Jennifer Garner:
So it’s no surprise the Emmy-nominated actress has been a longtime advocate for education and literacy in children.
There is so much unmet potential. The cycle of poverty in this state has gone on for generations, and we hope we can provide a new energy to help the kids reach their true potential and avoid that,” Jennifer said. “Literacy is the most important thing you can give a child. If you can teach them to read, they can do anything.”
- Angelina Jolie:
Not only does she adopt orphaned children from numerous impoverished countries, Angelina Jolie also helps empower others in need. After a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, Angie jumped into action. The mother-of-six and UN Goodwill Ambassador made an official statement after the disaster, encouraging people to give to SOS:
SOS has been in Haiti for over three decades, now raising over 300 orphaned and abandoned children and caring for 4,000 more impoverished children and families to help prevent child abandonment,” Angie said.
She added: “That was before the earthquake. Now the needs for orphaned children are almost incalculable. SOS has been pulling resources together to provide temporary shelter for unaccompanied children, safe areas for mothers, and food, medicine, trauma counseling, and reunification programs for families and children.”
The Academy Award-winner continued to talk about helping the community for years to come. “SOS was there before the earthquake, and during it — but most importantly, SOS will be there for many years to come — to raise these children, in their communities until they are self sufficient adults.”
- Christy Turlington:
Most of us know Christy Turlington from the catwalk, magazine spreads and television commercials. But the model mom-of-two is taking on a much different role these days: public health advocate and director of No Woman, No Cry, a documentary about maternal mortality worldwide.
This new mission began when the supermodel experienced complications after the birth of her first child, now 8-year-old daughter Grace. While she received the necessary treatments, she realized that other women around the world do not have access to adequate healthcare services as it relates to pregnancy and childbirth.
After delivering my daughter Grace seven and a half years ago, in 2003, I began to hemorrhage. I had an ideal pregnancy and subsequent first-birth experience, but I was completely unprepared for a complication after delivery. In the weeks that followed, I learned that I was not alone and that many of my friends had in fact experienced some kind of complication. Then, a few weeks later, I learned that the same complication I had endured was the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. I learned that hundreds of thousands of women die each year in pregnancy and childbirth, but that 90% of these deaths are preventable. I don’t know that I made the decision then to focus all of my energy on this subject, but it was certainly the beginning.”
More than 343,000 women die every year of complications from pregnancy or childbirth – which is one death every 90 seconds – and 90% of these deaths are preventable. Christy said these statistics are unacceptable, and we must support our worldwide sisters.
“For each woman that dies, there are roughly 10-20 that will suffer lifelong childbirth debilitation,” the 43-year-old mom said. “I think what continues to motivate me is the fact that almost all of these deaths are preventable. How many pandemics can we say that about? We know how to prevent these deaths, and we are not waiting for a cure.”
If you have a voice, you must use it, as there are millions of girls and women around the world who cannot use their voices,” the model added. “If we come together with a unified voice, we can influence our leadership to follow through on past commitments and to continue making this issue a priority to insure healthy moms and healthy babies so that families around the world can thrive.”
- Gisele Bündchen:
Model mom Gisele Bündchen is taking a look at different birthing methodologies used all over the world in an effort to help promote the humanization of birth. The initiative was created by midwife and neonatal nurse Mayra Calvetti, who was present at the birth of Gisele’s now 2-year-old son Benjamin.
When Mayra told me her idea about the Birth Around the World Project I thought it was a beautiful idea and knew that it would be really cool if she could share a little bit of this journey on my Blog,” Gisele wrote on her official Web site. “I had the opportunity to experience the natural process of birth and it was one of the most life changing experiences for me and very very special!”
The project seems a perfect fit for the Brazilian beauty. The mom-of-one has openly discussed her drug-free and pain-free home water birth.
“I believe it’s a woman’s right to make the decision about how she’s going to give birth to her child,” Gisele continued. “And it’s also her right to have access to the information she needs so she can make that decision from a place of awareness, and not a place of fear.”
The natural birth advocate said she believes in “sharing information” in order to empower women and normalize the birthing experience.
I believe that sharing information and show different possibilities of birth may help to demystify some questions about natural childbirth that for a long time was the only way of giving birth,” she added. “I hope that I can learn even more about the subject through the experiences of these women around the world and be able to share this with you here on my blog.”
- Holly Robinson Peete:
When Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, welcomed their first children – twins RJ and Ryan – they never imagined that one of them would be diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
Autism affects 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys. Holly sat down with Celebrity Baby Scoop to raise awareness for children and families living with autism.
“Children in minority communities go undiagnosed too long,” she said. Holly also encouraged parents to “get out of denial quickly,” and “find time for yourself.”
RJ is going on 13. Loves all sports; MLB especially. By the way: Puberty plus autism? Challenging! Even more than for typical adolescents,” Holly said. “It can cause aggressive behavior and depression. Big transitional hurdle. Another thing you don’t read too much about. We are seeing some regression which is not fun. But he is verbal, affable, he has friends and plays team sports – all of which we were told he’d never do.”
Holly also commented on how autism affects the entire family.
We grew apart then back together again since our son’s autism diagnosis. It was rough going in the beginning. My husband chronicled our journey in his new book ‘Not My Boy!: A Father, a Son, and One Family’s Journey with Autism’. A lot of denial and miscommunication. I am so proud of Rodney and hopeful his book will inspire families affected by autism or any issue during difficult times. We had little hope ten years ago. A book like this would’ve helped us!”