The Ann & George Lopez Foundation

How would you like to help the Ann & George Lopez Foundation? Donate your kidney. That’s exactly what Ann Lopez did in 2005 when her husband, comedian George Lopez, suffered from kidney failure. To most it sounds like a sacrifice of unspeakable proportions, but when Voluntales asked Ann if she had any doubts about live donating an organ, her answer was an unequivocal, “No. None.” Lopez jokes – well, sort of – that her mission is to have the whole world walk around with one kidney. Don’t worry, if you’re not quite ready for that, the Ann & George Lopez Foundation needs plenty of help in other areas. Read on for our heartfelt conversation about a silent killer and what the Lopez family is doing to fight back. more…

Kari Whitman with her dog Ace.

It’s a hot Saturday in West Hollywood, CA, and a tall, slender woman dressed in sweatpants and a tank top is weaving between dogs in cages, on a street divider next to busy Santa Monica Boulevard. It is here, right next door to PETCO, that she has spent almost every Saturday for the past ten years, finding homes for American Bulldogs and various other dogs that she and her team rescue from shelters around Los Angeles.

As the people around her observe the dogs, she approaches them to give them facts about each one. “He doesn’t like kids,” she says about an English Bulldog that’s garnering a lot of attention this morning. Another one, a sad looking American Bulldog, is deaf, so she gives a girl advice on how to get its attention without scaring him. There is nothing she doesn’t know about these pups, and she doesn’t own a single one of them. more…

David Arquette helps Feeding America

Actor David Arquette (Scream) is the celebrity you’d probably most want to sit down for a beer with on a day off, but what he does in his spare time may surprise you. Arquette works almost on a weekly basis with Feeding America, a non-profit organization that helps feed 36 million Americans that without it would go hungry. Here Arquette talks about why he got involved, why you should too.  more…

American Idol winner David Cook, left, and Neil Tiemann, right, perform for students of Biruh Tesfa, a United Nations program supported by the UN Foundation, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photo/Stuart Ramson/UN Foundation)

In 2008, American Idol contestant David Cook watched Annie Lennox take the stage for Idol Gives Back, as a montage of Africa played in the background. It was at that moment that he knew that he wanted – needed – to go there and see it for himself. “They were showing images of children, and it just tore me apart,” he says. “I think to have that kind of visual moment when everything clicks and you realize that my reality is not their reality, it really puts you in a position where you want to help. So from that point on I was just kind of chomping at the bit to get involved.”

It would take another two years, but in March 2010, the winner of season 7 finally had the opportunity to go on his own African journey. Cook traveled to Ethiopia with the United Nations Foundation, where he visited the Biruh Tesfa (Bright Future) Project in the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa. It wasn’t at all what he expected. more…

America Ferrera practices writing letters with 8-year-old Maimouna at the Diassadeni village school in the Sikasso District of Mali. (Photo/Joshua Roberts for STC)

On January 2nd, when most people were still getting over their New Years’ hangovers, America Ferrera was on a plane to Mali with Save the Children. After two years as an education ambassador for the organization, the star of “Ugly Betty” had the opportunity to visit the West African nation, where STC has been implementing health and education programs since 1987. “We visited schools that they’d already put in and community centers and early education centers,” she says. But Ferrera also witnessed firsthand how much work is still needed in the country where almost 800,000 children are out of school, and those who are able to attend are in dire need of better facilities. more…

Kris Allen talks to a community leader in Haiti (Photo/Stuart Ramson)

Kris Allen doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Even before the American Idol winner became famous, he was doing his part to help out those in need by participating in missionary work around the world. So when the producers of American Idol suggested a trip to Haiti, shortly after the devastating earthquake in January 2010, Allen jumped at the chance. “I was actually going to do the telethon and [executive producer of AI] Simon Fuller was like ‘How would you feel about going to Haiti?’ I was like, ‘That sounds way better.’  I owe this to him,” he says. more…

Gary Sinise in Afghanistan

Gary Sinise with OIC in Afghanistan

Ask Gary Sinise about an upcoming mystery on his hit show CSI:NY and he’ll perfectly politely take you through the twists and turns of the sinister ‘whodunit’. But mention his organization Operation International Children, and it’s like you are talking to another guy altogether. Sinise could not be more passionate about the organization he set up with author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) to bridge the gap between the US Armed Forces and local children in war zones around the world, and his reasons are more personal than you may think. more…