It is impossible for the Real Housewives shows to include all aspects of the women's lives. There would be simply too much footage and not enough episodes to show how well-rounded all of the cast members actually are. So, as expected, the social and family drama usually takes center stage. Every once in a while we see the women at charity events during an episode, but that usually just serves as a back drop for the plot instead of being an actual story line itself. Nevertheless, a lot of the Real Housewives cast members give back when the cameras aren't rolling.
Plenty of the women have charitable causes that they are extremely passionate about and they work hard to raise both funds and awareness for the issues that they hold close to their hearts. Sadly, a lot of this philanthropy work is not heavily featured on the TV franchise, but the exposure of being on such a popular show definitely provides a big platform to do some great things for the world.
Many Real Housewives cast members have used the show to do more than just sell products on Instagram or sell jewelry on a home shopping channel. A lot of these women are genuinely involved with some very important causes.
1. Yolanda Foster — Lyme Disease Awareness
We all know how passionate Yolanda is about finding a cure for Lyme disease. It was a major part of her story line for the past couple seasons of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills . She is constantly posting about her journey on social media and sharing the effect of different treatments on her body, and she once gave a speech for the Global Lyme Alliance. Yolanda has basically become the unofficial spokesperson for Lyme disease awareness and now she is writing a book about it all.
2. Lisa Vanderpump — LGBT & Animal Rights
Reportedly, Lisa was considering not returning to RHOBH but after some negotiation, LVP did end up deciding to come back (which we all knew she would anyway). TMZ claimed Lisa's caveat for returning was that the show feature her work for the LGBT community and help with animal rights. Bustle reached out to Bravo for comment on this claim, but did not receive a response.
3. Camille Grammer — Women's Cancer
Camille Grammer is very involved as as spokesperson for the Foundation for Women's Cancer. She also has her own team: Camille's Crusaders. She works to raise awareness and funds for the foundation's education and research programs. The former Housewife is very passionate about the cause because she had endometrial cancer herself.
4. Heather Dubrow — Second Harvest Food Bank
On her official website, Heather Dubrow writes, "Terry [Dubrow] and I are so grateful to have all that we have that we love to give back. For me personally, I really enjoy working with the Second Harvest Food Bank." She also says, "People think of Orange County as a very affluent area, which it is, but there are so many children who don't get food and to be able to give back to our own community that way has been incredible."
5. Phaedra Parks — Flint Water Crisis
In an interview with Bustle, Phaedra talked about her efforts to help victims of the Flint Water Crisis through her own organization, The Phaedra Foundation. Her foundation is running Camp Joy for kids affected by the Flint Water Crisis, and she explained how involved she is: "I am definitely going to be there because my name is on it and being a part of it is important to me. Yes, I’ll be there to oversee it, but I will really be a part of it and be hands on with all of the campers."
6. Kandi Burruss — Kandi Cares Foundation
Kandi has her own foundation called Kandi Cares, which has a mission to provide three important things: "Education, Empowerment & Enrichment to the lives of single parents, and children who are the product of single parent homes."
7. Teresa Giudice — The NephCure Foundation
On her official website, Teresa explains her devotion to the NephCure Foundation after meeting a boy named Matthew with a kidney disease, and she raised money for the organization while she was on Celebrity Apprentice. Teresa writes, "We raised $70,000 for NephCure on the show, but I'm in this for life. I will go anywhere at any time to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for Matthew and others with FSGS [focal segmental glomerulosclerosis] and nephrotic syndrome. I want to help find a cure for these two devastating kidney diseases that destroy kidney’s [sic] lives and families in its path."
8. Dina Manzo — Project Ladybug
Dina doesn't just contribute to charitable organizations, but she actually has her own called Project Ladybug. Dina started Project Ladybug in 2007 to "bring financial and emotional hope to children and their families undergoing rigorous medical treatments."
9. Jacqueline Laurita — Autism Awareness
Jacqueline Laurita has a son with autism so it makes sense that she is very passionate about spreading awareness and helping others. Jacqueline shares her family's story on her website and provides many resources for people who may need them. She continues to be very vocal about the therapies that work for her family and has been very active in raising both funds and knowledge about autism.
10. LeeAnne Locken — AIDS Awareness
Pretty much the only thing LeeAnne talked about (when she wasn't stirring the pot) was charity, so of course she is on this list. She is very involved with many causes, but one that is very close to her heart is AIDS Services of Dallas. Her website describes her as being someone who "is always willing to lend her name & talents to as many charities as she can by either emceeing, hosting, walking the runway or chairing to bring attention to causes she is passionate about!"
11. Stephanie Hollman — The Family Place, Dress For Success Dallas, Big Brothers Big Sisters, AIDS Services Of Dallas, UNICEF, & More
Stephanie Hollman is all about giving back. She is very involved with many charitable foundations. Stephanie explains the importance of giving back on her official website: "They are rare, but when I find a quiet minute to myself, I'm amazed to think about how incredibly fortunate I am to have the chance to live this crazy, busy, full life. It is very important to me that I share my many blessings to the best of my abilities." She lists a plethora of organizations that she proud to be involved with on her site, as well.
Real Housewives do more than fight at dinner parties and scream at reunions. A lot of them use this public platform to bring attention to and raise funds for many worthy causes.