The Hamptons might be the height of luxury, but it’s also home to those who share the wealth and are capable of providing immense generosity to those in need. And now the East End has two more heavy-duty philanthropists in the neighborhood since Beyoncé and Jay-Z have officially put down roots at Georgica Pond.
The musical duo, who now have a home in East Hampton, have been in the news of late almost as much for their charitable efforts as they have for their day jobs. Through her non-profit, BeyGood, Beyoncé has donated to a number of relief efforts around the world, most recently to Hurricane Harvey. In 2016, the Houston-born songstress topped DoSomething.org’s list of the most charitable celebrities. Her husband, born Shawn Corey Carter, recently headlined the Tidal X benefit concert at Barclay’s Center in his hometown of Brooklyn. He has also lent his name and considerable resources to provide funds and necessary items to those affected by the latest string of devastating natural disasters.
Not to be outdone, Water Mill’s J-Lo, who was born Jennifer Lopez in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, cut a $1 million check for Hurricane Maria relief efforts last month. Additionally, her Lopez Family Foundation, which she founded with her sister, Linda, supports a number of causes related to improving the health and well being of women and children across the globe.
And of course there’s Alec Baldwin, who has made a point to always give a portion of his income to charity and whose philanthropic efforts are widely known here on the East End. The Alec and Hilaria Baldwin Foundation aids a number of important causes, including arts and culture, environment and animals, education and youth, health, and human rights. The Long Island-born actor shares his wealth locally—Guild Hall of East Hampton, The Hamptons International Film Festival, Peconic Land Trust, and Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center and the East Hampton Library to name a few East End charitable recipients—and globally. The Amagansett-based thespian recently earned his third Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on “Saturday Night Live.”
Earlier this month, Baldwin and HIFF feted Montauk resident Dick Cavett with the inaugural Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award, which will be given every year in honor of a person who has made significant contributions in support of the arts. The talk show pioneer and three-time Emmy winner, who originally hails from Nebraska, supports Guild Hall, the East Hampton Library, Montauk Playhouse, and more.
Jerry Seinfeld is another heavy hitter who puts his money where his mouth is. The Long Island native supports a number of charities and causes, including Autism Speaks, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, David Lynch Foundation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Stand Up For A Cure and the National Parks Conservation Association. His wife, Jessica, is the founder of the Good+ Foundation, which has donated approximately 35 million items to more than 155 anti-poverty programs. In September, the East Hampton resident launched his latest Netflix special, “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” which chronicles the time from his childhood to his early days in stand-up.
And Mariska Hargitay might play a tough crime fighter on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” but she’s a real softie when it comes to giving and helping those in need. Her Joyful Heart Foundation helps survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. This season of her long-running hit NBC series will focus even more on these core issues, as her character spends season 18 battling against wrongful accusations relating to her own family.
A key figure in the fictional shake up has been whispered to be Southampton-based Brooke Shields, who will play the role of adversary this season. In real life, the Manhattan-born actress is an advocate for several charities, including the American Cancer Society, American Foundation for AIDS Research, Keep America Beautiful, V-Day and the World Smile Foundation, among others.