From organizations that help care for children, provide support to military veterans to foundations that help indigenous people protect their right to own land, Hanks is one active and generous human being.
Everybody loves Tom Hanks. There's even a joke doing the rounds on the internet that Tom Hanks will be "arrested" for being too nice. There's no doubt that he is one of the finest actors in Hollywood. Remember his role of a good-hearted simpleton in the movie Forest Gump that won him the Oscar in 1995 or his gentle, romantic role in Sleepless in Seattle? We know that the man can carry off any role with elan and poise even after so many years of being in the profession. In fact, Hanks and his acting just keep on aging like fine wine. His recent roles playing Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post in The Post and a pilot who landed an airplane in the Hudson River in Sully, only show his every increasing acting prowess.
Well now since we've established how good an actor he is (although we didn't need to, you can't help it when we speak about the great man) let's turn our attention something that very few people know about him. Besides a good actor, Hanks is also one of the most generous people out there. Did you know that Hanks cares about causes ranging from children's health to space exploration to veterans' lives to environmental conservation and donates to over 31 charities?
With regard to children's causes, Hanks has donated to foundations such as the Elevate Hope Foundation and the Hole In The Wall Gang. The former provides abused and abandoned children an alternative method of therapy through music and the arts while the latter organizes summer camps for children between the ages 7 to 15 who are seriously ill to attend summer camp.
Hanks is a champion for women empowerment. He is one of those stars who has been vocal about creating roles specifically for women in movies and has shared his progressive thoughts on the recent #MeToo movement. The Women in the World Foundation, that is dedicated to driving solutions that advance women and girls count Hanks as one of its supporters. Another organization that Hanks supports is the Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) that works to bring in innovative research, education and outreach directed at the development of more effective approaches to the early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer in women.
Hanks also deeply cares about the military and veterans' lives. He has worked with organizations such as Elizabeth Dole Foundation to try and uplift the conditions of military families and caregivers by strengthening the services afforded to them through innovation, evidence-based research, and collaboration. Another similar organization that Hanks supports is the Got Your 6 cause and campaign designed to change the conversation in the U.S in a way that helps veterans and military families be seen as civic assets and leaders who will reinvigorate our community.
One of the things we know about Hanks is the fact that he is deeply interested in innovations and technology to help forward the cause of humankind. He has accordingly donated to Lifeline Energy Celebrity that designs and distributes solar and wind-powered MP3s and radios for distance education programmes across sub-Saharan Africa, along with clean energy LED lights to improve the quality of life and livelihoods for vulnerable women, children, and refugees. He is also a part of the National Space Society - an educational, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization.
The environment is another cause that Hanks deeply cares about. It's no wonder that he supports organizations such as The Rainforest Foundation and The Surfrider's Foundation. The former's mission is to support indigenous people and traditional populations of the world’s rainforests and to protect their rights to land, life, and livelihood. The latter is a non-profit dedicated to the protection of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through conservation, activism, research, and education.
With AIDS being one of the top concerns in the world, how can our hero be very far from associating or supporting this major concern? Hanks' name figures in a number of organizations working in the field of AIDS. One of them is the American Foundation for AIDS Research that is dedicated to the support of AIDS research, prevention, treatment, education and the advocacy of AIDS-related public policy. Another organization is the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation that is dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy and prevention, care, and treatment programs.