Sandra Bullock: Fun, Glamorous, and Charitable

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She’s gorgeous, she’s positive, she’s funny and she’s absolutely charitable. One of the top celebs with killer qualities, yet she’s done a ton of good work for charities; she even does her own home renovations, like tearing down walls with her bare hands. When you’re a Hollywood darling, it’s easy to fall into the deep temptations of film industry, but a couple of months ago, Forbes Magazine announced that Bullock was one of the top paid Hollywood actress, but wait, she turned out to be fully aware of the ‘give and take’ concept that prevented her from sweeping away from the real world, making her a celebrity for a cause.

One of Bullock’s first charity and community service involvements was giving away a million dollar check to the American Red Cross after 9/11. Other involvements included the 2004 Tsunami in Asia, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti relief as well as other small-scale projects like playing guitar for charity or collaborating with the purse brand ‘coach’ to give home-bound patients and their caregivers free in-home beauty treatments to help them feel beautiful during illnesses. She also supports many charities for cancer, pediatric AIDS and PETA.

One of the best investments she ever made was helping re-built a school in New Orleans that got damaged by hurricane Katrina. The high school suffered over $4 million damages after Katrina struck in August 2005, but funds were boosted when Bullock donated tens of thousands of dollars for a scholarship program, new band uniforms and renovations to the auditorium. Although the city’s school board decided not to reopen the school, a group of alumni petitioned in 2006 to open it as a charter school. She was later honored by the school for her involvement.

In an interview for Glamour magazine, Sandra stated that she was mainly concerned with New Orleans because she wanted to change the perception that it is a place with ‘no business’. She also said that she had deep-rooted connections to the south, since she herself was born and raised in Virginia.

Though this might seem as a new-found interest of hers, one could see traces of that philanthropic side of her from her youth. On her website it says that she was voted “most likely to brighten up your day” in high school.

Other than the community service, her choice of  roles started changing into a more philanthropic direction and one could see that in her award-winning film ‘The Blind Side’, a movie based on the 2006 book ‘The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game’ by Michael Lewis, which is based on a true story. For her performance, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for the best actress in a leading role, the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. The film itself also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. It also made over $200 million at the box office. The film tells the story of a Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy, who doesn’t know his father and can’t find his drug-addicted mother. He suffers academically yet has the body of a potential athlete. Leigh Anne, who is played by Bullock sympathizes with him and soon adopts him to become part of the Touhy family, He later accomplishes success in football.

When Sandra Bullock read the script, she immediately fell in love with it, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to work closely with the real Leigh Anne Touhy. Bullock wasn’t sure of Leigh Anne’s intention, a wealthy republican and devout Christian white woman. She felt that many give out charity for their own benefit and for personal gain. However, when Bullock met her, she knew that she misjudged her and described her as honest and forthright.

In the face of the American Gulf oil spill, and in response to ongoing coastal restoration needs, the ‘Women of the Storm’, a non-partisan, grassroots organization formed in New Orleans and South Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, announced the launch of a campaign to Restore the Gulf. A grassroots initiative to secure long-term funding to restore and protect the Gulf Coast and area wetlands, Restore the Gulf features the viral distribution of a celebrity-studded video, “Be the One,” designed to capture signatures to an online petition in support of this cause. The Restore the Gulf effort was designed to communicate the importance of the region to the entire country, giving Americans in every state a concrete way to show their support for the Gulf Coast. It was sponsored by America’s Wetland Foundation, which works closely with oil companies and helps them with taxpayers through campaigns as such.

Bullock was first contacted by her attorney to be part of the campaign, not knowing about the affiliation between it and the oil companies such as BP. After finding out, she demanded that her part would be cut out from the video. 

After ‘The Blind Sight’, Sandra Bullock has been ranked as the highest paid actress in Hollywood, which puts a little irony to the situation. But she chose New Orleans as the location of the film’s premiere and gave the money earned from the event to the school she helped re-building.

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