Brazilian model, activist, and businesswoman, Gisele Bündchen is one of the highest-paid models in the world and the 89th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes. But for the 41-year-old Horizontina native, her success, fame, and money have a bigger purpose, to help others.
Since the 2000s, Bündchen‘s primary focus has been social and environmental causes, including supporting the Breast Cancer Campaign to educate women on how to perform a breast self-exam. Among her charitable activities, we could find that the model donated $150,000 to Brazil’s Zero Hunger program and designed a limited necklace edition to raise money for St. Jude Children‘s Research Hospital.
After becoming the face of American Express‘s Product Red-affiliated card in 2006, the model and company donated a portion of the earnings to people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Later she became a member of the I am African fundraising campaign to make AIDS treatment accessible to all the countries in the continent.
To start empowering girls and help them deal with self-esteem issues, Bündchen founded The Luz Foundation. “She’s always trying to find ways to use her celebrity to a good cause, and we talked to them about media images and the effects on young girls,” Gisele‘s yoga teacher, Amy Lombardo, told Vanity Fair. “Gisele is a natural yogi; she’s constantly trying to find new ways to learn, and she has a genuine desire to better herself as a person. Yoga provides her with a way to be who she is, not the image in the media. I think she’s going to be a role model for young women. She’s very passionate about the idea of helping people have access to raising their own level of awareness. We’ve only begun to see what she’s capable of.”
According to Bündchen‘s manager, she donates a portion of the profits from her flip-flops line to protect the Amazon rainforest. She also supports other Brazilian programs. With her family, she has started Projeto Agua Limpa (Project Clean Water) to improve water quality in the Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, the region where she was born.
Bündchen and her husband, Tom Brady, are also Goodwill ambassadors. Gisele “has her heart set on making the world a better place,” says Brady, as reported by the publication.