According to Beyonce, “when you look around at all that’s wrong in the world, the need to do something, no matter how big or how small, is clear.” The superstar and “Friday Night Lights” actress Minka Kelly join three remarkable women as the winners of the 2010 SELF Women Doing Good Awards. Each year, SELF sets out to find inspiring women who are making a difference in the world, whether it is globally, nationally or in their communities. After sorting through mountains of nominations that readers sent in, Lisa Scarpinato, JJ Ramberg and Haley Kilpatrick stood out among all others. Each lady will be honored in New York City this fall and receive $10,000 to support her cause. Read their stories and be inspired to get out there and do some good of your own!
Beyonce speaks up about her charity work:
It all started when she was growing up in Houston, going to church with her family. “Pastor Rudy is still my pastor. I watched my parents get involved in [community charities] there, and that taught me how important it is to ‘give ’til it hurts.’ I saw how happy you could make people, whether just giving someone a hug, having a conversation or spending some time, and it became a part of me.”
“I’ve always felt that you should give because it’s what you can do to help. You don’t do it to get praised. For a long time, being quiet about what I did was a conscious decision. “When you look around at all that’s wrong in the world, the need to do something, no matter how big or how small, is clear.”
Donated her entire salary:
Beyoncé was quiet, for instance, about the fact that after she visited Phoenix House, a drug and alcohol treatment center, as part of her research for 2008’s “Cadillac Records,” she donated her entire salary from the film to the organization.
Charities Beyonce Founded:
-And this spring, she opened the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center there, to provide opportunities for recovering addicts to learn job skills.
-The Survivor Foundation with former bandmate Kelly Rowland in 2005 to help disaster victims after Katrina hit.
-And last year, she became a spokeswoman for Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS), a group that helps young women who have been victims of sex trafficking.
So why is she speaking up about all this now?
“I’ve realized that sometimes it helps a cause more if I talk publicly about it. That’s what increases awareness.”
What motivates me “Sisterhood means everything to me. All the charities I’m involved with are special, but I find any organization that focuses on women and children really motivating. GEMS and the young ladies the nonprofit helps are very close to my heart. And what I took away from the clients at Phoenix House changed my life. These were real people who touched me so much that I had to go beyond making a donation. They’re gaining skills at the Cosmetology Center, which will help them earn a living and find their way out of substance abuse—it’s a testament to the possibility of second chances.”
Who inspires me “My mother, Tina Knowles. She’s an incredibly loving person who is the first to make time for others.”
My proudest accomplishment “Singing “At Last” for President Barack Obama on his inauguration night was a personal accomplishment for me, both as a performer and an American.”
My recharge routine “I love going to dinners, seeing plays, visiting museums and spending time with family and friends. I know it’s time to jump back into my work when everything I do starts inspiring lyrics and melodies and I can’t keep myself out of the studio.”
One place in my life I’m not a perfectionist “I promise I’m working on this, but I could be less messy at home and keep the clothes in my closet and off the floor!”
How anyone can make a difference “Think about what truly touches you and motivates you to help, then start locally. Once it’s in your heart to give, you’ll have to follow through. I am a happy woman—very happy—because I know that I’ve worked hard, and I love being able to give back.”