There are few celebrities out there who practice what they preach when it comes to charitable giving. A lot of times we see the one or two posts on their Instagram pages (with the telling #ad in the caption), and it's hard to actually feel their energy towards the cause they're promoting. It's true that they might care deeply, but how much of it is legitimate.
Well if you've ever scrolled through Sophia Bush's page, her fiery passion radiates from almost every post. The world may know her as Brooke Davis from 'One Tree Hill', or Erin Lindsay from 'Chicago P.D.', but she is quickly rising in fame as one of Hollywood's Most Charitable Celebrities - a heavy title which she bears with grace and poise.
So if we had to talk to someone on Giving Tuesday - obviously it was going to be Bush.
Seattle Refined: Happy Giving Tuesday!
Sophia Bush: Happy Giving Tuesday! It might be my favorite holiday of the year.
Most of our readers and viewers will remember you from "Chicago P.D." or "One Tree Hill", but I'm seeing here in your bio something that might be a little more impressive - that you've been called one of the most charitable celebrities in Hollywood. Holy Cow!
Thanks! It's kind of cool when you're out there volunteering for things, and hitting people up for money and raising funds and building schools, it's nice that people care. Awesome! Because those are the things that actually are the most important to me, and it's nice to see that it resonates with other people certainly - and can sort of add to a day like Giving Tuesday.
We've had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday - why is it so important for us to keep up the energy and motivation for Giving Tuesday as well?
I think it's incredibly import. Yesterday (Cyber Monday), I think they've said that people spent six and a half billion dollars on Cyber Monday. That's wild! And when you think about what that could do for the charitable space, even a percentage of that kind of money - that's the idea behind Giving Tuesday is to say, could you take a little bit of what you might be spending on holiday gifts, or travel or a surprise for your family, and turn it into something that you do as a family on behalf of a loved one, maybe even for yourself. All of those micro-donations, whether it's $5, $10, $20, $50 those things really add up, and they can change the world for people. And if not now, when? This is the season of family, community, neighborhoods - it's important I think to remember that we got to put our money where our mouths are and really get out there and support people.
It can be incredibly overwhelming - especially these days - to look at the world and see everything you want to do to change or help. What are your suggestions for a beginner who just wants to give but has no idea where to start?
I think it's important first and foremost to recognize what you're passionate about. What lights you up? What makes you excited? In some cases, what makes you angry? What injustice do you see in the world that makes you say 'That's not OK, I want to fix that'. Get out there and figure out how to give, be it time or money, to one of those organizations, and if you want to give back today on Giving Tuesday or through the end of the year - and you want your money to go a little farther, and you want to know how much of your money is going to the charity of your choice, that's actually why Paypal creating The Giving Fund. They add a percent to every charitable donation that comes through it, and last year they drove $48 million in charitable donations. That's amazing. So you know that you're jumping into something that's bigger, and you're guaranteeing where your money is going. So if you don't know where to start, I think that's a great place. Go to paypal.com/giveback, and type in what's important to you! Is it cancer research, is it education access, is it the environment? And get started. Read about some of these charities, see which one lights you up, and donate what you can because it'll add up to something pretty major.
What's something that you're passionate about? What's something that fires you up when you look at the world?
Anywhere that I see inequality or injustice, that fires me up. That's part of the reason I'm an advocate for women's education access around the world, because when you look at - not just the moral imperative and the emotional response to saying 'Yes of course, all women and girls deserve equal access', you also have to look at what that means financially, how we better the world. And when global leaders are telling us that by creating gender parity we would literally solve half of the millennium development goals, that is an indicator. That comes from data, that's backed up by financial motivations as well. If we created gender parity by snapping our fingers tomorrow, we could raise the global GDP by 12 points. So it's not just emotionally the right thing to do, or on the basis of equality the right thing to do, it's also the right thing to do for the future of the planet, the well-being of the planet, for eradicating poverty and suffering. So for me, yeah - I know any issue that effects women, also effects men. it effects the quality of life on the entire planet. And so those are issues I want to really dedicate my time to, and work on helping to solve. in whatever way I can.
Looking beyond Giving Tuesday - when are we going to see you again? Behind the camera, in front of the camera?
I'm working on all of it! I'm developing over at 20th Century, they're such an incredible studio, and they produce for all of my favorite networks. After all these years of starring on shows, and being a director, I was just ready for more. For more responsibility, I'm excited to step into the role of both an actor and an executive producer, I think we need more women in producorial roles in leadership roles in executive roles, in all industries. So I'm ready to do that in mine.