At 41 years old, Jennifer Hudson has accomplished more than just her fame. She came onto the scene in 2004 as a contestant on the hit television show, American Idol, and since then has used her talent in singing, songwriting, acting, and producing. Hudson, however, gives the public many other reasons to be admired for—one of her biggest being her philanthropy.
Throughout her career, Hudson has been involved in and donated to 31 charities. Her commitment to making the world a better place does not go unnoticed in the Hollywood scene. One of her most personal and well-known causes is the Julian D. King Foundation, which she created in 2008 along with her sister after the tragic passing of her nephew, Julian King. The goal of this foundation is to support children’s health, education, and overall well-being in lower-income families. Specifically based in Chicago, each year Hudson and staff hold large giving events for families who may not have access to different resources on their own.
On August 14th, 2009, Hudson created Hatch Day in honor of Julien’s birthday, which has since become an annual tradition. “Hatch Day” was a saying Julien used to use to describe his birthday, so Hudson wanted to keep the memory alive and use that day to give back to other children in need. The foundation donates school supplies to Chicago residents to support their children for the upcoming school year. Hatch Day has now become one of the largest charitable events in Chicago, all thanks to Hudson.
Another way the foundation gives back to the Chicago community is through its annual Holiday Toy Drive, where low-income families can collect toys and gifts to give to their children for Christmas and other holidays. Along with the toy drive, Hudson and staff also hold a Holiday Wish Dinner in which children are nominated and awarded for their academic achievements. The winning students are granted their top holiday wish along with a private dinner with Hudson and her family. To Hudson, this foundation is about providing a support system and encouragement for the families and children of the city of Chicago. In December 2021, Hudson partnered with Kendra Scott to support the Julian D. King Foundation. Kendra Scott donated 20% of each purchase of the Madelyn Gold Statement Earrings to the foundation, as a way to help make children’s holiday wishes come true.
Hudson’s charity work does not stop with helping children in need. She has also donated to causes such as HIV/AIDS, cancer research, civil rights, sexual abuse, and hunger—just to name a few. Using her platform in a positive way is something that is important to Hudson, and her selfless acts of kindness go a long way. Just this past May, Hudson partnered with Mastercard for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, which uses select credit card payments towards cancer research. In the past, this foundation has donated up to $65 million to cancer research, and they plan to raise another $5 million in collaboration with Hudson.
Throughout her life, Hudson was taught to give back to others. She is not only a role model to many, but an inspiration for how to use a platform as large as hers in a beneficial way. Her charity work displays the compassion Hudson holds, and has brought awareness to many causes and organizations. It is clear that Hudson will continue her philanthropic work in the future, as well as encourage others to do so. With both a successful career as an artist and a philanthropist, Hudson inspires the public to always give back the blessings you receive.
Edited by Lauren Lombardi