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How the rich and famous are giving back to communities

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The rich and famous — from celebrities to CEOs and pro athletes — love to give back as much as any Americans, and it's a nation that set a record last year for charitable contributions, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

But for every Bono attempting to save the entire planet, there are other celebrities targeting causes that might otherwise fly under the radar — issues in the communities where they were raised or with populations they once counted themselves among, such as at-risk children, minorities and military veterans.

"I'm like anybody else," said Kevin O'Leary, "Shark Tank" celebrity investor and founder of O'Leary Financial Group. "I want these investments to mean something to where it's going; I want to see my dollars work. But I think it's important for everyone to give back," he said.

Celebrities serve as spokespeople, boards members and executives for charities — and of course, giving back some of their riches. Notably, many celebrities make it a point to give all year long rather than just around the holidays.

Here are 10 members of America's VIP class on how they give back.

By Angela Johnson, special to
Posted 27 November 2015

This story is part of NBCU's Season of Kindness. Follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #ShareKindness

Catherine Lane | Getty Images