Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back – Scarlett Johansson
Maxim named Johansson No.6 in their Hot 100 Issue in 2006, No. 3 in 2007, No. 2 in 2008, No. 34 in 2009, No. 14 in 2010 and 2011, and No. 17 in 2012. Now that’s a record! Although she was ranked down than before, she did not miss a year to be on top 20 of this list for seven years in a row. And guess what? Not only is she one of the hottest women in the world, she is also one of the most active philanthropists. Don’t be deceived by her insanely gorgeous appearance. Despite the blinding glamour, she has much higher priorities in giving back to the world than investing in her looks and profile.
1. As an Oxfam Ambassador
Scarlett started to work as an ambassador for Oxfam in the 2004, motivated by the organization’s attempt during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake. Ever since, Scarlet Johansson has packed numerous fundraising, advocacy and promotional activities into her busy schedule. In 2007, she skipped the Oscar to go on a life-changing trip to India and Sri Lanka for an Oxfam project. She helped tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka who were rebuilding their lives after losing their families and livelihoods from the disaster. Oxfam was also taking projects such as reconstructing village irrigation schemes and schools for devastated communities. She also engaged in a few healthcare projects and domestic violence project to help Indian women. After spending a day with young girls at the Oxfam-funded schools in Uttar Pradeseh, she was motivated to enable over a thousand children from the lowest Dalit caste to gain a basic education by providing three years’ funding for the school.
In 2008, Scarlett joined other Oxfam ambassadors in ‘calling on heads of states at the Japanese G8’ to respond urgently to global poverty. Her role was to remind people that the world’s poorest people are the most vulnerable to increased food prices and the negative impacts of climate change. Later, she signed an open letter with global figures such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Sir David Attenborough to urge world leaders at the UN meeting in Poland to tackle climate change.
Scarlett Johansson also used her celebrity to promoting people’s interest in humanitarian affairs. She appeal to US consumers on behalf of Oxfam Unwrapped drove over $100,000 in gifts for Mothers day 2009 and generated worldwide media coverage for the gift catalogue’s Christmas promotion. She also contributed to on-line auction with eBay by donating opportunities to attend a premieres of her films ‘He’s just not that into you’ and ‘Iron Man 2’. For Oxfam’s project to help Haiti recover after the earthquake, she recorded a public service announcement urging people to give and donated tickets to the opening night of her play “A Vie from the Bridge” to a fund-raising auction.
2. Fighting for food justice
In 2011, Scarlett joined Oxfam’s GROW campaign.
“Sharing food is one of life’s pleasures. On a global scale, we don’t share fairly. Close to a billion people go to bed hungry every night. The fact is: the global food system is a broken one. All of us, from Kentucky to Kenya, deserve enough to eat”
In September of the same year, she joined a trip to Kenya to visit places that was hit by the devastating drought that put more than 13 million people at risk. She visited Dadaab, the biggest refugee camp in the world. Thousands of Somali refugee flew to Dadaab to escaped drought and famine.
“This is a long-term and escalating crisis exacerbated by political conflict, famine and drought that can no longer be ignored,” she said. “Over half of Somalis that have died are children; an entire generation lost. This is no longer an issue that can only garner some attention, some of the time. Extreme action must be taken by the global community now.”
Her global popularity has helped Oxfam raise awareness around the world about issues that create poverty and world leaders’ responsibility to act. She provided the phenomenal boost to Oxfam’s work with people starving around the world.
3. As an (RED) Embassador
Johansson visited Rwanda in September 2008, to increase the awareness of AIDS sufferers in African nations. She spent four days with charity workers at (RED) to attend AIDS clinics.
“When I admitted that I had taken two HIV tests, everyone was completely horrified, the implication being that I was leading this wild lifestyle,” said Scarlett Johansson, whose decision to join Bono in the (RED) initiative was a no-brainer. “I was only being responsible”
“It was important for me to come here and see the issues we’re up against firsthand,” she said.
“I came here with an open mind, wanting to listen, understood and learn; I leave with the overwhelming understanding that the small action of making a (RED) choice in your purchases has an enormous impact on the lives of people in countries like Rewanda.”
When you purchase (RED) items—from partners including Apple, Armani, Converse, Dell, Gap, Hallmark, Starbucks, and Microsoft—in stores and via Joinred.com, up to 50 percent of profits go directly to fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.
“If that can be achieved by buying a couple of pairs of Convers,” Johansson says.
“It’s worth a shot, don’t you think?”
Scarlett finds charity work very rewarding, she told USA Today: “It was nice to feel part of the community. Certainly your vanity is the last thing on your mind when you’re traveling in a place like this.”
Not only is she the motivation for girls on diet, she’s also a role model for everyone.