Oprah Winfrey is a shining example to us all of a woman who worked hard to get to where she is today. Coming from beginnings of poverty she turned her life around through hard work and determination. Now she has all anyone could ever dream of: the wonderful boyfriend, the glittering career and a genuine need to help others. Winfrey is special because she thinks of others. So many people make the breakthrough in the career world and never give back. She is an example of a woman who cares deeply about making a difference to the world around her. So many people who are as rich as Winfrey simply write cheques and while that can’t be dismissed because it is a major help to people in their lives it is clear that Winfrey gives more than just cheques. She gives her time, her energy and her passion to the causes she believes strongly in. I admire her so much and I know that a lot of other people out there admire her too.
In 1998, she created the Oprah’s Angel Network, a charity which gave fantastic support to charitable projects and ensured grants were available to nonprofit organizations all over the world. Oprah’s Angel Network raised more than $80,000,000. $1 million of this was donated by generous rocker Jon Bon Jovi. Winfrey herself personally covered all administrative costs associated with Oprah’s Angel Network and this ensured that 100% of all funds raised went directly to charity programs. The charity stopped accepting donations in May 2010 and sadly was later dissolved but it helped many people while it was a charity.
After Hurricane Katrina, Oprah created the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry which managed to raise over $11 million for relief efforts. Winfrey herself donated $10 million to the fund. Houses were built in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and prior to the one-year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Almost 300 houses were built or restored in eight communities across the four states.
In the year of 2004, Winfrey and her crew recorded an episode of her show, Oprah’s Christmas Kindness. In the episode, Winfrey made the journey to South Africa to highlight the struggle young children affected by poverty and AIDS have to endure on a daily basis. During the trip which lasted 21 days, Winfrey and her team went to schools and orphanages affected heavily by poverty and gave Christmas presents to 50,000 children. There was dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys. They also gave school supplies to help with their education. During the episode, Winfrey asked viewers to give money to Oprah’s Angel Network for children affected by poverty and AIDS in Africa. From just one episode, viewers across the globe gave more than $7,000,000. south of Johannesburg, South Africa. The school set over 22 acres, opened in January 2007 with an enrollment of 150 pupils (increasing to 450) and features state-of-the-art classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre and beauty salon. Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for overcoming her own disadvantaged youth to become a benefactor for others.
Winfrey was the first African-American philanthropist who made the prestigious BusinessWeek Top 50 list in 2004. After her win she gave an interview in which she said, “So many things in life inspire philanthropy, such as your faith in humanity and your belief in the human spirit to overcome. As far as a role model, I’d say there were moments with generous people that stand out for me. I will never forget when I was about 12, and my mother told my siblings and me that we would not be receiving Christmas gifts because there wasn’t enough money.”
Her kind heart ensured that she stayed on the list until 2010.
President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom later that same year.
“These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us,” Obama said in admiration during a ceremony at the White House, echoing President Kennedy’s reasons for founding the award.
Winfrey has always seen education as a important tool to improving one’s life and by 2012 she had donated around $400 million to educational causes.
Winfrey also donated $12 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture this year. She also gave $1 million in 2007. This is the most that any one person has given as a donation to the museum and the museum have honoured this by deciding to place her name will on a 350-seat theater in recognition of her genorisity. Since 2004 the chairwoman and chief executive of the Oprah Winfrey Network has been a member of the museum’s advisory council.
“I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps. By investing in this museum, I want to help ensure that we both honor and preserve our culture and history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come.”, Winfrey explained of her involvement with the museum south of Johannesburg in South Africa. The school is set over 22 acres, an enrollment of 150 pupils which increased to 450 pupils and features stunningly decorated classrooms, a library, computer and science laboratories, a beauty salon and a theatre. Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for overcoming her own disadvantaged young days to become someone who used her skills and gifts to help others.
Winfrey spoke about having maternal feelings towards the girls at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
“For many years, people always asked me why didn’t I have children? Why didn’t I have children? Now I know why I didn’t have children. Because I now have all of these daughters, all of these daughters and I want you to know that these are now our daughters.”, she has said in the past.
Winfrey also takes time to teach a class at the school via satellite and helping to impart some of the wisdom she has to the pupils she calls “my girls”.
However, Winfrey always manages to look stylish despite her clearly busy schedule. She has been pictured wearing many stunning style options including sequin gowns and simple white dresses accessorised with belts but she is never one to shy away from colour and has been pictured wearing a splash of bright colours such as red, pink, yellow and her favourite colour green.