So, basically, Brad Pitt is doing a lot more than "maybe dating" Elle Macpherson and Sienna Miller at the same time.
Actress Azie Tesfai's kindness has no bounds - literally. While playing Nadine Hanson in the hit series, Jane The Virgin, she has also been helping thousands of people around the world, from Africa to Asia and South America.
Her latest role is that of ambassador for SupportKind - an organisation started by Angelina Jolie to help refugees and provide legal services to children facing deportation.
Since 2014, it's estimated 200 thousand refugee and immigrant children have entered the US alone and 60 percent of them don't have attorneys to back them up. It means many kids are returned to countries where they face violence and even death.
It's a cause close to Azie's heart - her parents were immigrants from Eritrea and Ethiopia who went to the US on political asylum.
Azie's important work doesn't stop there. She's also been helping to educate children in Ethiopia, provide books and equipment to schools in Mexico, care for survivors of sex trafficking in Cambodia, give homeless Americans sanitation kits and so much more.
How has she possibly been doing all this while trying to track down Sin Rostro with Detective Michael Cordero Junior? Good question.
She's been doing it through her jewellery line Fortuned Culture which gives its proceeds to those who need it most -
One bracelet gives a child in Ethiopia 60 breakfast and lunch meals.
One necklace gives survivors of sex trafficking in Cambodia access to health clinics and psychological care.
A set of earrings gives a child in Mexico safe access to school for 6 months by bus, van or a designated chaperone.
It all started more than ten years ago when Azie travelled from the US back to her parents homelands in East Africa. She was volunteering for a charity in Ethiopia at the time, which was about to have its kids meal program cut due to lack of funding. Azie ended up selling some jewellery she had made to friends in LA and gave the profits to the charity.
It wasn't long before she had more people wanting to buy her accessories, each time donating the proceeds to charities. And soon after she had her first bulk order lined up - 12 thousand pieces for TOMS.
Fortuned Culture has now helped thousands of women and children in 8 different countries including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Cambodia.
Azie often refers to her acting career as her "passion" and her desire to give back to communities in need, her "purpose". Earlier this year, she spoke at a LifeIsBeautiful event, encouraging others to pursue their passion, but also, to find their purpose:
A friend of mine - let's call him Richard - recently pointed out that I "should be shouting Oliver's name from the rooftops rather than Winfrey's."
He was referring to English comedian and "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver.
At first, I was all, pffffff! Come on Dickie! No one compares to Oprah! But then I looked into it, and John Oliver certainly is impressive.
I'm not sure shouting his name "instead of" Oprah's is the right way to put it though. Perhaps, "as well as" would be more appropriate, because when it comes to kindness and philanthropy, it doesn't matter how big or small or widespread the act of giving may be. As long as it's happening, I will happily shout names from rooftops.
So here I am, Dickie, shouting* JOHN OLIVER, just for you.
*the babies are asleep, so I had to whisper.
This whole thing came up after Dickie sent me an article about John Oliver paying off $15 million in medical debt for nearly 9000 people in the US. See for yourself above. Pretty amazing stuff.
It all happened last year, when Oliver decided to shame the companies who buy up collection agency debt then use predatory and often shady tactics to collect the money. He did this by starting his own debt collection agency online, called CARP - Central Asset Recovery Professionals. It cost just $50 and within weeks of being in the business, CARP was offered nearly $15 million in medical debt for a $60,000 payment.
Of course, Oliver's collection agency bought the $15 million debt and was given the personal info of close to 9000 people who owed the money in the process. But unlike the dodgy companies who usually buy agency debts, CARP "forgave" them - essentially paying off the multi-million dollar debts for just $60 grand!
(So yes Dickie, this technically beats Oprah's record of $8 million when she did that whole "YOU GET A CAR! AND YOU GET A CAR!" thingy a few years ago, making Oliver's giveaway, the biggest in television history. But like I said, the dollars don't matter. The act of giving does.)
And then there was that time Oliver raised thousands of dollars for Médecins Sans Frontières.
He wanted to make a point about televangelists dodging taxes and ripping off their followers, so he decided to set up his own fake church. As a joke, he encouraged his viewers to send in cash donations to Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption and he would offer "blessings" in exchange - but viewers actually did send in cash! The amount was never fully disclosed, however, he made sure all donations were forwarded to the relief organisation.
Earlier this year, he partnered up with the Kids Wish Network (sort of like our Make-A-Wish Foundation here in Oz) to help out one of his fans. Teenager Josh Danielpour, who suffers from a life-threatening illness, was flown from Ohio to New York to meet Oliver and spend some time with him on set. Think that smile on Josh's face says it all really.
I have to say, after writing this post, I've become a bit of a John Oliver fan! Still an Opraholic, but expanding my taste.
You can forget about Johnny, Turtle and E! Adrian Grenier has a new "entourage" these days - the amazing men and women at the United Nations.
The actor has just been appointed UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador. His mission is to raise awareness about some of the biggest issues facing our planet today and generate some action. Things like, reducing the amount of single-use plastic that's consumed every year, protecting marine species and reducing our overall environmental footprint.
So basically, everything you see on Entourage - the excess consumption, the lack of consequences? Yeah. The total opposite of that.
When I started looking into Adrian's involvement in environmental issues, I was shocked by 2 things:
1. This guy has been doing so much for the planet - SO MUCH - for years now. And,
2. He's 40-years-old! 40! (Adrian, you look like a teenager!)
But back to the bit about doing so much for the environment. Much like fellow UN Environment Ambassador Gisele Bündchen, Adrian has well and truly earned his position as Ambassador:
- In 2015, he co-founded an organisation to clean up our beaches and oceans, and protect its marine life. Since then, The Lonely Whale Foundation has been making waves. BIG waves. If you haven't already seen some of their social media campaigns, you are missing out my friend! They're the ones behind the #StopSucking movement, a campaign to ditch single-use plastic straws (which is not only a waste of plastic, but also ends up polluting our oceans.) They want to remove at least 500 million straws in the US this year alone:
- Also in 2015, he became computer giant DELL's first Social Good Advocate, aiming to make "conscious consumption sexy" and to raise awareness about sustainability in business through things like responsible recycling of electronics.
- Last year, he teamed up with Richard Branson for a 3.3km swim off the coast of Sicily for his #MakeASplash campaign. They were highlighting the importance of working together to improve ocean health. They asked their social media followers to explain how much they appreciate the ocean and everything it provides. The campaign was a mega success with 265 million social media impressions and 9,000 posts, proving the message is getting out there.
- Adrian has spoken out about environmental issues on a number of occasions including the 2016 US State Department Conference on ocean conservation. My favourite line?
"In the reality of television, there are no consequences. But in the real world, there are."
His concern was that society is so disconnected from the ocean, that people no longer care what they throw into it.
- Earlier this year, he was in Bali with the UN Environment team to help launch its #CleanSeas campaign which is all about stopping plastic pollution in our oceans.
- He started SHFT.com, a platform to help us incorporate things that are good for the environment into everyday life, be it through music, film, food or other things.
The list goes on and will, no doubt, continue to grow as he takes on his new role with the UN.
So Adrian's "entourage" these days involves the likes of UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim, but really, we can all be a part of his entourage by doing our bit for the environment, can't we?