He may be off the celebrity radar right now, but Joaquin Phoenix has been one of the most charitable people in Hollywood for a long time. The Best Actor Oscar nominee (“Walk the Line,” 2005), who publicly announced in Oct. 2008 that he would be retiring from his acting career to pursue one in music, has a long resume in philanthropy. He’s been a vegan since the age of three, and is a staunch activist for animal rights, working with PETA.
Phoenix has participated in a number of events for the Hole in the Wall Gang, the family of camps for chronically ill children founded by the late Paul Newman.
In 2006, Phoenix auctioned off a guitar he signed, to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust. He’s also a passionate supporter of The Art of Elysium, of which he has said, “For me, expression is the key to fulfillment. Because of The Art of Elysium, many children have the opportunity to express their deepest feelings. Through art, they are able to manifest their dreams.”
Joaquin has even reached out to the retired community with a public service announcement for AARP’s Divided We Fall campaign. In 2005, he joined The Peace Alliance, a nonpartisan group “representing a growing constituency for peace.” Phoenix has also designed lunchboxes for auction, benefiting The Lunchbox Fund, and has appeared in several videos for Amnesty International, in support of Darfur, and also for an initiative to end violence against women in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Oh, and he volunteered for the Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. In secret. How’s that for humility?
So, the “Quills” star is actually a guardian angel that wears many hats. Some of them are meant to disguise him. But others are his way of reaching out to others, and making a genuine difference.
For those of you who don’t know, my allergy/cold symptoms kept me home today. I feared the rain would only make it worse. But I got a little work done, which is great. I hope to go to class tomorrow.
If any of you have any ideas, questions, or comments on my blog, please E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to hear from you! Also, don’t forget to visit www.cnn.com/impact to learn how you can help the earthquake victims in Haiti.
Till tomorrow, loves!