by Jade Small

Sandra Bullock, dubbed America’s Sweetheart for being friendly and unpretentious despite her fame, also has a heart of gold.

During the horrific California fires in November 2018, Sandra Bullock made headlines when she donated a total of $400,000 to Red Cross for California wildlife relief, as well as a $100,000 donation to the Humane Society of Ventura County, California. Bullock stated at the time, “The untold destruction from these fires is heartbreaking, especially following the tragedy at Borderline in Thousand Oaks. I’m glad to be able to help. We’re all family in this, whether it be human, furry, or feathered.”

Her humanitarian past may not be as well-known but this Hollywood star has been quietly donating to natural disasters and humanitarian causes for many years and continues active involvement in many.

Svend Peterson

In 2017 Svend, eighty six at the time and previously pool manager at the Beverly Hills Hotel for more than forty years, ended up homeless and living in his car. A close friend of Peterson set up a GoFundMe page to help him get off the streets. He explained that, “[Peterson] used to own the house I lived in Hollywood and was my landlord. I received a call from one of the few friends Svend has left to inform me that he is homeless and has been taken advantage of by realtors who sold his house.” The local community supported him and Bullock went out of her way to donate $5,000 to the campaign and ultimately helped save Peterson.

The Art + Practice (A+P) Foundation

Established by artist Mark Bradford, philanthropist and collector Eileen Harris Norton and social activist Allan DiCastro, The Art + Practice (A+P) Foundation is a private operating foundation based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles that supports the needs of local foster youth while also providing their community with free access to museum-curated contemporary art.

In 2015, Bullock wore a pair of custom designed Rupert Sanderson shoes to the premiere of Bullock’s movie Minions. Afterwards, an auction was held with ten similar pairs of shoes, all autographed by Bullock. All proceeds were donated to the A+P Foundation.

Warren Eason Charter High School

After being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ oldest public high school, Bullock help rebuild the school. The disaster caused more than $4 million in damages, Bullock donated $25,000 and went on to adopt the school in 2007. In 2010 she helped in the development of a health clinic on and a 100% graduation in 2011. Bullock is still actively involved in the school’s development.

Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan

In 2011, the most powerful earthquake to have ever hit Japan, struck off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku, rated a magnitude of 9.0 to 9.1, unleashing a devastating tsunami. 15,894 deaths caused by the earthquake were confirmed and 2,500 considered missing as of June 2016. Bullock donated $1 million to the Red Cross to aid relief efforts.

Haiti Earthquake

On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti in the Caribbean. Official Haitian government reports claimed more than 300,000 citizens died in the event while thousands of survivors were displaced. A new version of “We Are The World” was recorded to aid Haitian quake relief and Bullock helped the relief efforts by donating $1 million to Doctors Without Borders.

Hurricane Katrina

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst environmental disasters ever witnessed in the United States affected the states of Florida, Louisiana, and New Orleans. Killing over 1,800 citizens and causing catastrophic damage from central Florida to eastern Texas. The resulting emergency relief response was the largest ever conducted by the Red Cross to date. An estimated 68 million meals and snacks were provided and emergency financial assistance to 1.4 million families. To further assist in their efforts, Bullock donated $1 million.

Indonesia Tsunami

On 26 December 2004, Indonesia was hit by a devastating Indian Ocean earthquake which caused a series of large tsunamis up to 100 feet high. Government officials from Indonesia estimated the death toll exceeded 200,000. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies raised more than 3.1 billion Swiss Francs. Bullock added to this figure by making a donation of $1 million.

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