We all recognise the action hero for his blockbuster movie roles, but for the past 20 years, Jackie Chan has devoted much of his time and energy to charity work.
Jackie Chan: Affirmative Action Man
Many will know Jackie Chan as one of the most memorable action movie heroes of our generation. His seemingly impossible stunts have captivated audiences for decades. Though his roles as an action hero may be what springs to mind at the mention of his name, what is less known is how fame has transformed Chan into one of Asia’s leading philanthropists. His tireless dedication to charity work is just as astounding as his hair-raising stunts. Forbes Magazine once described him as "Philanthropy’s Hardest Working Man".
Forbes Magazine once described Chan as “Philanthropy’s Hardest Working Man”
Jackie Chan was born in Hong Kong on April 7, 1954 to parents so poor they had to borrow money to pay the doctor for his delivery. At the age of seven Jackie was enrolled in the China Drama Academy where he spent the next 10 years training in the art of Peking Opera.
It was at the Academy that Jackie learned the acrobatics, martial arts, acting, and singing that would later help him to become an international superstar. Life was tough at the Academy, and students were severely disciplined and beaten if they disobeyed or made mistakes.
When Jackie left the Academy at the age of 17, the Peking Opera was no longer popular and many of the graduates turned to stunt work in Hong Kong movies. Jackie soon gained a reputation as a talented and fearless stuntman and over the next few years he swiftly climbed the ladder of success and was soon acting, directing, and choreographing stunts for dozens of films.
In 1988, Chan founded The Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation — a foundation that aides Hong Kong’s occupants by offering scholarships, medical services, and assisting with natural disasters and illness.
In October of 2002, Jackie also founded The Dragon Heart Foundation. The foundation is driven to fulfil the needs of the less fortunate populations in China. Since the foundation’s birth, it has helped build over a dozen schools. The organisation also raised over one million dollars toward the education of poor children and reached out to the elderly by donating warm clothes and wheelchairs.
In 2011, Forbes Magazine described Chan as "Philanthropy’s Hardest Working Man"
A typical year of Jackie Chan’s charitable activities in aid of China
Jackie Chan’s long list of charity work is truly one of the more amazing things any man could do for his country. Below is a list of charity work and events he has sponsored from 2010 to 2011. This is just one year. Every year, Chan’s diary is full as he selflessly adds the leverage his name and celebrity can bring to fundraising.
- Organised “Love Without Borders 3/11 Candlelight Gala” to benefit Japan earthquake/tsunami victims.
- Donated books to poor children in Qindao, China
- Raised US $2 million for the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation in Hong Kong
- Ninth Annual Bazaar Charity Night sold Jackie Chan’s Dragon’s Heart
- Richard Mille watch for US $800,000
- Attends Wuhan Charity Concert
- Hosted the “Believe in Love” charity event in Beijing
- Sponsored Dragon’s Heart Summer Camp in Beijing
- Donated 5 million RMB (US $732,000) to help Haiti earthquake victims
- Worked with WildAid to support preservation of endangered tigers
- Donation of school supplies to “Charming Schools” in China
- Raised US $5.2 million in donations for the Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution
- Helped raise US 29 million for drought relief in China
- Visited Qinghai, China to bring food, water, and supplies to victims of the April 14, 6.9 magnitude earthquake
- Participated in the “Artistes 414 Fundraising Campaign” concert to raise money for victims of the April 14th earthquake in China
- Charity mission to Tongren in the Guizhou province of China to bring much-needed water and supplies to the drought stricken area
This list can’t even begin to sum up the hard work and dedication that Jackie Chan has put into charity. It gives you some insight on what change he has made in only a small period of time. Jackie Chan’s dedication to charity is still as strong has it has ever been.
The star’s high-speed activity doesn’t stop when the cameras do.
Chan is an enthusiastic supporter of hundreds of charities including UNICEF, Operation Smile and his own Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation.
In the homespun wisdom of Jackie Chan, the way forward is simple:
“I do small things. I try to do good things every day. If everyone does some good, think of what a good world this will be.”
How to Be More Charitable Year-Round
We know how it goes — you always intend to volunteer more or send that money to your local charity, but then another month goes by and, well, it just hasn’t happened. Check out these useful steps to become more strategic with year-round giving.