It’s always nice to hear of major celebrities putting some of their time, and even money into supporting charity, or causes they share with their fans, and Gisele Bundchen is just one example of a celebrity who cares.
HIV/AIDS is one of the causes Gisele has most actively got behind, in 2006 when she joined David Bowie, Sting, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lenny Kravitz, Richard Gere and many others in painting her face in front of the camera to declare solidarity with people in Africa who suffer this terrible debilitating disease. Organized by Keep a Child Alive, the photoshoot was published in several Conde Nast magazines such Vanity Fair, Vogue and GQ.
Earlier that year she had also been the face of the American Express Red Card, an initiative of Bono and Bobby Schriver who teamed with AMEX and their card holders to provide regular hassle free funding for HIV/AIDS by simply going about their normal business. A percentage of the profits raised by AMEX in offering the card was used to buy anti-retroviral medications for sufferers in Africa.
At the same time, Gisele agreed to a photoshoot with RED, the parent organization set up by Bono and Bobby Schriver, wearing clothing supplied by corporate backers of the project, and shown using or endorsing products supported by RED. The photoshoot was featured in Elle magazine globally, and Gisele appeared on the front covers of 20 Elle magazines internationally, and becoming the first model in history to appear on some many front covers simultaneously.
Other causes dear to Gisele’s heart include cancer research, a disease that Gisele has been unlucky enough to experience first hand, both of her grandmothers passed away from cancer, and Gisele is on record as a supporter of cancer research and the pink ribbon campaign.
In 2003, Gisele Bundchen worked with one of America’s top jewelry companies, Gumuchian Fils in association with Harper’s Bazaar, to design a platinum heart with six diamonds that was sold in limited quantities to raise funds in support of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Gisele bought five, giving one each to her sisters.
In addition to her work with St Jude Cancer Research Hospital, Gisele has also been a spokeswoman for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, as well as their face in television commercials, and is credited with helping Saks Fifth Avenue contribute $6.1 million from record sales of products.
Supporting the hungry and starving in her native Brazil, Gisele stood alongside Brazil’s President Lula, during the 2003 Sao Paulo Fashion Week in aid of Zero Hunger, and handed over a check for $150,000 equivalent to a week of income for Brazil’s highest earning supermodel.
For the environment, Gisele Bundchen has been a long time supporter of protecting the Amazon rainforest and Brazil’s fresh water rivers, to the extent that her own website is primarily geared towards promoting various projects being funded by Gisele, or supported by her such as recycling in the home.
Her wealth and popularity have been credited with making a small difference in Brazil, Gisele set up the Agua Limpa foundation in association with several Brazilian government agencies. Projects such as these are raising awareness amongst Brazilians of the preciousness of their natural resources, and Gisele regularly appears on television talking about her aims.
Some of the funds received from the sale of Gisele’s line of footwear, Ipanema Gisele Bündchen, go toward supporting the Atlantic Forest, and Amazon Rainforest. Gisele has personally sponsored 15 hectares of new forest, known as Gisele Bundchen Sementes, which has been planted with over 25,000 new native trees on the Atlantic side of Brazil.
Reforestation, particularly to halt the spread of desertification is a project dear to Gisele’s heart, not just in Brazil, but also in neighboring countries and Central America. Gisele owns a house in Costa Rica near to a rainforest so that she can experience nature close at hand and promote cross border communication.
Most recently, Gisele was a featured celebrity in Tonic.com’s Hurricane Katrina fundraiser, along with other celebs such as Beyoncé, Cher, Ellen Degeneres and more who autographed a limited number of iPods which were then auctioned to raise funds for Music Rising, a music and cultural awareness charity in Louisiana.