During Hispanic Heritage Month we gather to celebrate many achievements and contributions made by Latinos in the United States in different area such as music, sports, entertainment, politics, pop culture, education, technology, and business. We can now add one more to the mix: philanthropy.
This year during NCLR’s ALMA Awards American recording artist, actress, and TV personality Christina Aguilera was recognized for her contributions to charitable organizations. The Special Achievement Award “The Voice of a Generation” that Ms. Aguilera received was for her dedication to fighting world hunger. Since 2009, she has been a global spokesperson for Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief and was also named ambassadors against hunger by the United Nation’s World Food Progremme. Through her involvement with WFP, Christina Aguilera has helped raise $22.5 million which provided more than 90 million meals to hungry people.
Actor Andy Garcia who presented the award to Christina Aguilera said “as Latinos, we are so proud to see how she has become a role model not just for our entire community, but for anyone who aspires to make this world a better place”.
Christine Aguilera is not the only Hispanic who has been recognized for their contribution to society. Actress Eva Longoria was awarded the “Latina Visionary and Community Empowerment Award” at the 21st National Hispanic Women’s Conference hosted by the Hispanic Women’s Corporation, for her many charitable works including “Padres Contra El Cancer” (“Parents against Cancer”), which dedicates its resources to improve the quality of life of Latino families who have children with cancer. Another Latina who has been recognized is singer, songwriter, and philanthropist Shakira who received the “2011 Artist of the Year award” by Harvard Foundation for her humanitarian work through her Barefoot Foundation, which opens educational opportunities to underprivileged children in Colombia and also as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Other entertainers who have made significant contributions are: comedian George Lopez, who established the Lopez Foundation and is a spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation; pop music singer Enrique Iglesias, who has supported Habitat For Humanity, Help for Heroes and the Muscular Dystrophy Association; child actor Rico Rodriguez, joined the Los Angeles St. Jude Children’s Hospital – “Thanks and Giving” Campaign to provide toys for children who are fighting cancer and other deadly diseases; and salsa superstar Marc Anthony, who co-founded The Maestro Cares Foundation, which focuses on helping organizations in Latin America that help disadvantaged children.
As more and more Latinos from the entertainment industry and other industries build wealth and influence in the United States, we will see more philanthropic works within the community and throughout the world. Now that is a reason to celebrate!