Jon Bon Jovi's Charitable Restaurant Puts Other Celebs to Shame

Jon Bon JoviAttention, charity celebrity spokespeople: Jon Bon Jovi is putting your paltry (if well-meaning) efforts to shame.

Sure, lots of celebrities lend their names and faces to various causes, from breast cancer to bullying and beyond -- making the odd public-service video or attending an event, appearing in an ad campaign, putting out a press release, or wearing a T-shirt in support of their cause -- burnishing their own "caring" bona fides as well as raising awareness for some noble cause. But rocker Bon Jovi is doing way more than just putting on a concerned face for the cameras. He's putting his money where his mouth is.

He's also putting food into the mouths of lots of hungry people.

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Working with his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, the New Jersey rocker has used his rock star cash and fame to start a foundation that, over the past few years, has built 260 homes for people who cannot afford them. And his latest effort may help far more people in need: He's just opened a pay-what-you-can restaurant called the Soul Kitchen, which offers healthy gourmet meals (with good linens and silverware -- not the plastic stuff) not only to people who can afford it, but also to those who need it.

Diners at the Red Bank, New Jersey, restaurant can either leave money for their meal on the table (market rate, or above, if they can afford it), or they can pitch in and work in the restaurant in exchange for a voucher they can cash in for a free meal. In other words, everyone who eats there supports the project in some way.

Also, you can't tell who's getting a "free" meal and who's paying for it, so there's no shame in eating there! How great is that?

And so inspiring. It really makes you wonder why more celebrities don't use their power and money in tangible ways to make a difference in people's lives. Raising awareness is one thing. Feeding and housing the hungry and homeless? That's something else again.

Do you think celebrities should do more to help people than just acting as "spokespeople"?

 

Image via David Shankbone/Flickr

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