SEATTLE — For many celebrities, fame is not just a means of filling bank accounts but a tool that can be used to bring awareness to various causes. Eighteen-year-old actress Bailee Madison is one of these philanthropic celebrities who strives to make a difference and uses her platform to inspire and encourage others to get involved. From as early as nine years old, Bailee Madison has made it a point to mention how passionate she is about giving back to communities and addressing the most important global issues. As a result, she is an active supporter of causes such as abuse, AIDS, animals, youth, cancer, health, women and human rights.
Bailee Madison’s Philanthropy Began with Children in Need
Her first stop on her journey was Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation that specializes in raising money for cancer research, which Madison has been affiliated with since 2010 as a national ambassador. As an ambassador, she fundraised through her own lemonade stands, became a spokeswoman, visited hospitals and interacted with individuals directly affected by cancer. During one such fundraiser, she raised $2,650 in three hours at the BLUEDOG School of Acting for Kids and was later recognized by Variety, who presented her with the Power of Youth Philanthropy award for her dedication to the organization.
From here, Bailee Madison’s philanthropy took another stop where she raised awareness of chronic and terminal illnesses through the Starlight Children’s Foundation. She lent her voice to the Play in May campaign, which explains the importance of play for children who are healing and encourages individuals to play for 15 minutes for 15 days to raise money.
Madison Expands Her Focus to Include Global Poverty
More recently, Bailee Madison’s philanthropy has grown. In the past year, Madison started work on a secret project that was eventually revealed on April 3, 2018. This project marks Madison’s first step towards fighting global poverty. In this project, she (with the help of Me To We and Call It Spring) unveiled a handmade jewelry collection as a way of encouraging purposeful spending. This collection was designed in order to provide support for three global, poverty-relevant issues: clean water, education and opportunities for women. Each item is handcrafted by Maasai Mamas, which are typically women leaders of Kenyan or Tanzanian communities that are also involved in the process of making all the accessories sold by Me to We.
Madison’s role in this collection was to design a necklace for Me To We which represented the organization’s focus on opportunity; the sale of each necklace pays for one woman’s financial literacy training. The proceeds from the collection support training communities in Kenya, where women learn how to take control of their future in education, employment, leadership and their basic rights. In support of poverty elimination efforts, Madison hosted a beading circle in her home with a Maasai Mama and close friends, where she got to understand how important her role is as a public voice.
While only 18 years old, Bailee Madison proves that even at a local level one can promote change. Using her wide-ranging acting ability, bubbly personality and celebrity platform, Bailee Madison’s philanthropy not only allows her global endeavors to be successful and motivates others to get involved but also leaves one curious as to what she will do next.
– Stephanie Singh