VH1’s latest awards show had all the trappings of a standard Hollywood affair –- A-list celebs, glitzy gowns and headlining acts. But, instead of celebrating the talents’ leading roles and steamy on-air kisses, the night centered on ways in which actors, and lesser-known activists, are changing the world.
The Do Something Awards, which aired Tuesday night, brought to the stage at Santa Monica’s Airport some of the biggest names in entertainment, who are making a huge impact among communities in need.
Ben Affleck won the “Facebook" award for using the social networking site to share news about his humanitarian work in the Congo. Two-time gold medalist Hope Solo walked away with the "Athlete" award for donating her time to some of her fans’ favorite causes and Will.i.am got a nod for transforming one of Los Angeles’ worst neighborhoods. Kristen Bell was honored for using Twitter to encourage her followers to get fit.
“This is the awards show where Will.i.am going off on politics and Giuliana Rancic speaking from the heart for a long time -- that’s encouraged,” Do Something CEO Nancy Lublin told Entertainment Weekly. “This is where you can wear your cause loud and proud. I think those are some of the best moments of the night.”
In addition to recognizing the ways in which celebs use their star power –- and passion –- to change the world, the awards show recognized five relatively unknown activists, under the age of 25, who have established impressive charities and were vying for a $100,000 grand prize to push their initiative forward. Katia Gomez, a 24-year-old determined to bring more education opportunities to Honduras, took home the esteemed “Do Something Award” and the hefty cash prize for her efforts.Click through the slideshow below to find out which other celebs walked away with trophies at the Do Something Awards. SLIDESHOW:
Kristen Bell won a Do Something award in the Twitter category. She uses her account as one means of inspiring her 700,000-plus followers to get involved in charitable work, namely for PETA and other Do Something initiatives. On her birthday, the "House of Lies" star even asked her followers to fulfill her wish of donating money to a 25-year-old battling leukemia.
Lea Michele won a Do Something award in the TV Actress category. The 'Glee' Star recently premiered in PETA's campaign exposing animal rights violations within the horse-drawn-carriage industry. In an undercover video, she exposed the poor conditions horses endure. She asked the audience and viewers last night not to take carriage rides in New York City. Learn more about the campaign here.
Ben Affleck won a Do Something award in the Facebook category and also hosted the award show Tuesday night. The actor, activist and HuffPost blogger created The Eastern Congo Initiative and detailed his political and activism efforts on Facebook. His initiative includes fostering public and private partnerships that will create public policy change for eastern Congo. Learn more about the Eastern Congo Initiative here.
Cory Monteith won a Do Something award in the category of Male TV Star. Among other efforts, the "Glee" actor supports homeless young people through Richard Branson's Virgin Unite. Monteith, better known as "Finn," was in good company after his (former) on-screen and off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele also won an award Tuesday night for her animal rights activism. Learn how to get involved with Virgin Unite here.
Katia Gomez won a Do Something award and a $100,000 grant for her cause. The 24-year-old created Educate2Envision to educate youth in Honduras. While on a volunteer trip to the country, she was affected by the extreme poverty, where children live on only $2 a day. It spurred her to now provide education for more than 450 students. Learn more about Educate2Envision here.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon won a Do Something award in the Couple category. The famous duo donated $21,000 to the Urban Arts Partnership in order to provide underprivileged students with arts-integrated educational services. Read more about the initiative here.