Twitter lit up Wednesday morning with a false report that Leonardo DiCaprio had given $10 million to Ukraine’s defense, because it is the birthplace of his maternal grandmother. While a person close to DiCaprio told MovieMaker the report is fake, the actor is supporting Ukraine in plenty of other ways.
The Daily Mail helped spread the fake news of DiCaprio’s pretend $10 million donation, citing a website called polishnews.co.uk. The Daily Mail subsequently deleted the article. The false story seems to have originated earlier this week, according to the fact-checking site Snopes.
And though the report was fake, here is the truth, according to our DiCaprio source: The actor has made several donations to humanitarian groups— CARE, IRC, Save the Children and UNHCR, for which he is a messenger for peace. He has not made any donations to the military.
“The donations were all humanitarian and in support of Ukraine and it’s people,” the person close to DiCaprio told MovieMaker. “He has been watching things unfold and wanted to support Ukraine as best he could. He will continue to support the humanitarian groups on the ground helping the people of Ukraine.”
The previous reporting about his supposed family ties, and of a $10 million donation, are false, the person added.
What is true, the person said: “He stands with Ukraine.”
If you’re interested, CARE was founded at the end of World War II to rush food to war-torn Europe. It now works to help people in peril all over the world, and provides food, water and other help to victims of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.
The IRC, short for the International Rescue Committee, reports that it is on the ground in Poland helping many children and families among the 2 million refugees who have been forced to flee Ukraine. It is also a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.
Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund is providing children and families with “immediate aid, such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance” to help with the Ukraine crisis. It is also a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. (Full disclosure: my household has donated to this.)
Finally, UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, provides “lifesaving aid including food, shelter, medicine and clean water” in Ukraine, and other places in great need. It is also a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.
If you’re uncertain about a charity, you can always click around its website to verify its veracity — but the four above are well-regarded and trusted.
Main image: Leonardo DiCaprio, courtesy of Shutterstock