2012 has been the year of the celebrity engagement and wedding — who didn’t get married this year? From Justin Timberlake to Anne Hathaway to Amber Tamblyn and Reese Witherspoon, tying the knot was apparently the trendy thing to do. Even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got engaged this year — not to mention Jennifer Anniston.
But while these celebrations were making waves all year, other headline-worthy news was overlooked. Like the story about Kevin Bacon and Jeff Bridges launching the "Six Days of Good for Hunger" campaign that raised nearly $5 million or 50 Cent and Josh Groban teaming up to talk hunger awareness for Feeding America. While celebrity weddings, engagements, and babies are uber-buzzy, these are the headlines to watch.
Sure, the last thing you want to hear about is another actor who thinks he or she knows everything about politics. But there are some celebrities who do more than just talk. These stars view their popularity as an opportunity to really effect change. Some, like Jeff Bridges, have been fighting the good fight for a long time. Bridges founded the End Hunger Network in 1983 to raise awareness about the woes of childhood hunger. He's also now the national spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry campaign.
George Clooney is another prime example. He has spent years devoting energy to fighting homelessness in America through the Realizing the Dream campaign, and his own charity, Not On Our Watch, has donated millions of dollars to help those suffering in Sudan, with much of the funding going through the United Nations World Food Programme.
Other actors have taken a heavy-footed stance on these issues as well. Good Will Hunting costars and cause regulars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are longtime supporters of Feed America's cause and singer Josh Groban joined them this year in the fight as well.
But it's not just actors doing their part to tackle these important issues, it's musicians, too. Bret Michaels asked fans to donate non-perishable items when attending his concert this in September. In addition, ongoing activist Jon Bon Jovi's restaurant with the JBJ Soul Foundation is open in Red Bank, N.J., and continues to thrive. The restaurant, called Soul Kitchen, runs somewhat like a soup kitchen. The menu doesn't have prices; if you can't donate cash, you can volunteer instead.
50 Cent, known for his signature bad-boy demeanor, is using his Street King brand to feed 1 billion children in five years. To date, that program has supported the creation of more than 3.5 million meals.
Other musicians and bands use their abilities to raise awareness as well. Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, a WhyHunger activist, is performing at the fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize, which champions the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies and the grassroots groups that defend it. Colbie Caillat recently sang at the Heifer International’s dinner, "Beyond Hunger: Place at the Table."
Feeling inspired to help? Find out 44 Things You Can Do to Fight Hunger in America.