Celebrities who have been charitable in 2022, from Gigi Hadid to Hakim Ziyech

Here's a look at how some famous names have worked to make the world a better place

Sisters and models Gigi and Bella Hadid are vocal supporters of Palestine. AP Photo
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This year, celebrities across the worlds of fashion, stand-up comedy, acting, singing and even wrestling have all had one thing in common: they've used their time (and money) to spread a little cheer.

Some of their gestures have been small, such as handing out cash to job-seekers, others have run into the millions of dollars, while others have been as unquantifiable as making a seriously ill child happy.

All, however, have been noteworthy for the sense of community they encouraged.

Here's a look at 11 celebrities who have helped others during the course of the year.

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid donated her earnings from Paris Fashion Week to those affected by the Ukraine-Russia war, as well as to Palestine. AFP

In March, the American model, who is of Dutch-Palestinian heritage, pledged to donate her earnings from Paris Fashion Week to aid the victims of the Ukraine-Russia war as well as to Palestine.

Working during the autumn/winter 2022 shows that took place in Paris in February, Hadid took to social media to explain her frustration at being tied to hectic schedules that are agreed to months in advance. “Having a set fashion month schedule has meant that my colleagues and I often present new fashion collections during heartbreaking and traumatic times in history,” she wrote.

Although her schedule was out of her hands, the model explained that she wanted to be able to contribute towards wider issues happening around the world.

“We don’t have control over most of our work schedules, but we would like to walk ‘for’ something. Following in the footsteps of my friend [model Mica Arganaraz], I am pledging to donate my earnings from the fall 2022 shows to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine.”

John Cena

John Cena became the celebrity who has made the most wishes come true for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Sarah Dea / The National

The part-time wrestler-turned-actor John Cena is now officially the celebrity who has granted the most wishes for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, after making his 650th appearance for sick children in June. This means he is the star most generous with his time by volunteering to spend it with children in hospital.

Founded in 1980, the Make-a-Wish Foundation helps bring comfort to critically and terminally sick children by granting what it describes as "magic wishes".

Through the foundation, children can request to meet a sports personality, film star or celebrity. A much-requested figure, Cena has given up countless hours of his time to spend time with hundreds of sick children for no other reason than to bring them a little joy.


Lizzo donated $500,000 to Planned Parenthood after Roe vs Wade was overturned in the US. Reuters

In June, following the decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade, the singer Lizzo announced she would be making a donation to support the freedom of reproductive rights.

A supporter of body positivity and individuals' right to freedom from prejudice, the singer acted quickly, putting up half a million dollars to support women's body autonomy.

Only days after the historic ruling, the Juice singer tweeted, “I’m pledging $500k from my upcoming tour to Planned Parenthood." She then said that sum would be matched by Live Nation, the company producing her world tour, and together would bring the total donation to an impressive $1 million.

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle donated his earnings from a last-minute comedy show to the families affected by a racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. AP Photo

In June, stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle appeared in a last-minute show in Buffalo, New York, only one month after a racially-motivated mass shooting in the area killed 10 people and left another three injured. During his show at Shea’s Performing Arts Centre, he announced to the audience that he would be donating the ticket sales from that performance to the families affected.

Speaking of the decision, Kevin Sweeney, the director of marketing and communications at Shea’s Performing Arts Centre, told Entertainment Tonight that Chappelle had made the announcement on stage. “He said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘I came here to Buffalo to recognise the victims and for these families.’"

Among those in attendance at the 3,019-seat venue were family members of the victims, who were personally invited by Chappelle.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady donated to disaster relief funds in Florida after Hurricane Ian. AP

In September, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback made a donation to disaster relief funds to help those affected by Hurricane Ian.

It is acknowledged to be the largest and most destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane to hit Florida since 1935. Brady tweeted: "Happy we're able to head home for Sunday night, but so many people in Florida won’t be able to do the same."

As well as his own gesture, he hoped the National Football League and his fellow players would also get involved, writing "I’ll be making a donation to the Florida Disaster Fund to get things started, and I’m hoping the rest of the NFL family in our state will follow suit."

Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke handed out $5 bills to those looking for jobs at a non-profit organisation in Malibu. Reuters

The actor, 97, proved that kindness has no age limit, when in October he passed out $5 notes to those at the Malibu Community Labour Exchange, a non-profit that helps people find employment.

Filled with job seekers, the actor handed out cash as a reminder that even small sums can make a difference to someone's day. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the actor joked that as much as he enjoyed helping others out, he "can't do it all the time though."

Hakim Ziyech

Morocco's Hakim Ziyech has donated the bonus he earned during the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. AFP

Moroccan footballer Hakim Ziyech, who helped his country to a historic semi-finals appearance in the recent World Cup in Qatar, has donated his earnings.

As the first African nation to reach the final four, Ziyech, 29, earned a bonus of $277,575, (Dh1,019,394) which he then donated to charities across Morocco.

Signed to Chelsea, Ziyech earns $6.3 million (Dh23,136,750) a year, and previously has a history of distributing his bonuses among the team's staff and to those in need in his home country. Across Morocco, he has already helped support numerous amateur football clubs as well as gifted money to hospitals.

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson has offered free food and drink to first responders in the US. Reuters

To mark the holiday season, Johnson has been helping spread a little cheer to first responders across the US.

Through an initiative of his company Teremana, a mobile catering bus named the Mana Mobile (for the South Pacific islanders' term for power) has been travelling the country to offer free food and drink to the police, firefighters and paramedics. To date, it's already gifted 22,000 people a meal with the hope to up that number before the year finishes.

On social media, Johnson wrote, “Teremana will be dedicating the holiday season to bringing the Mana Mobile to local first responders to thank them for everything they do for their communities. We’ve already served 22,000 first responders and are aiming to serve an additional 10,000 before the year comes to a close!"

Reiterating that this is a gift, and not a sale, the actor jokingly added, “and remember ... your money is NO GOOD at the Mana Mobile!"

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were among the first celebrities to donate to Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Reuters

Blake Likely and her husband Ryan Reynolds were quick to donate to the UN Refugee agency USA for UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) when it requested funds to help the people of Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February.

On social media, Reynolds noted that "in 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighbouring countries. They need protection. @usaforunhcr is providing it."

He then pledged to match the donations. "When you donate, we’ll match it up to $1,000,000, creating DOUBLE the support."

Lively also praised the UNHCR's work, explaining it was on the ground "helping the 50,000+ Ukrainians who had to flee their homes" and explained how the organisation was "providing life-saving aid, and also working with neighbouring countries to ensure protection for these families."

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher also donated to help those in Ukraine. EPA

Another name that helped raise funds for Ukraine is actress Mila Kunis. She launched a fundraising campaign, where she outlined why it was so important for her to lend her support.

“While my family came to the United States in 1991, I was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine in 1983," she wrote. "Ukrainians are proud and brave people who deserve our help in their time of need. This unjust attack on Ukraine and humanity at large is devastating and the Ukrainian people need our support. Our family is starting this fund to help provide immediate support and we will be matching up to $3 million.”

With her husband, Ashton Kutcher, the pair set out to raise $30 million (Dh110,175,000), however, the fund passed that collecting a whopping total of $38 million (Dh139,555,000.)

Lil Baby

Lil Baby hosts an annual Back to School Fest event for the children of Atlanta, Georgia. AP Photo

Hip-hop star Lil Baby continues to help support the community where he grew up. For the past three years, the rapper has been hosting a Back to School Fest for the children of Atlanta, Georgia, as a fun day out for youngsters. Hailing from an underprivileged area, the singer has music, games and even carnival rides for local children to enjoy, free of charge.

In addition, the event also provides basics to struggling families, such as school supplies, backpacks and even haircuts for the children, many of whom might otherwise have to go without.

To date, more than 3,000 children have benefitted from the events. This year's event has formally tied up with Goodr, a non-profit that offers free, nutritious meals to any children, families and seniors in need of support.

Updated: December 27, 2022, 12:28 PM