You don’t have to be Ashton Kutcher to change the world! Here’s how

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You probably know Ashton Kutcher from romantic comedies and that TV show about the 70’s. But — apparently — there’s a hidden side of him everyone should know about.

The 39-year-old actor is working on a project that’s giving life back to hundreds of people. He’s the chair and co-founder of Thorn, a human rights organization that builds software to fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

Kutcher gave a must-watch testimony at a Senate hearing last month. During the hearing, he explained to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the right to pursue happiness for so many “is stripped away, it’s raped, it’s taken by force,” and urged them to take action.

The “Dude, Where’s My Car?” star said that, as part of his work, he’s met with victims from Russia, India, Mexico and the United States: “I’ve been on FBI raids where I’ve seen things that no person should ever see. I’ve seen video content of a child that is the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia.

Watch Ashton Kutcher’s complete testimony:

But, because we’re living in the digital era, he was — not surprisingly — criticized by internet trolls that insisted he should stick to his day job.

And Kutcher had a great response — “My day job is being the chair of Thorn. My other job is being a father of two. And as part of that job, I believe it is my duty to defend their right to pursue happiness.”

How can you help?

Yes, Ashton Kutcher and many celebrities like Bono, Oprah or George Clooney are changing the world, but you don’t need millions of dollars or a face that’s recognized worldwide to make a difference. You can improve your community, country or even the world with small — yet very effective — actions.

Here’s a list of actions you can take right now:

1.- Sponsor a child: For about $30 a month you can change the life of a child in need in the U.S. or around the world. They’ll even let you exchange letters, photos or visit the child.

If you’re interested, check these non-profits out:
Children International
Child Fund International 
Plan International

2.- Volunteer for nonprofits: Did you know that in 2014, 25% of Americans volunteered for a cause-related organization? What’s your excuse?

Here’s an organization that helps connect volunteers.

3.- Give to charitable organizations: This one is as simple as it sounds. Just be sure to do some research on the organization beforehand. The Federal Trade Commission has a manual that you must read before giving.

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4.- Lend money to low-income entrepreneurs: With Kiva, for only $25, you can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. According to Kiva, the beneficiaries return the investment as soon as they can.

5.- Rescue an animal: There are millions of abandoned pets around the world. It might be time consuming and a big commitment, but rescuing a pet is very rewarding. You can go to your local shelter or find a pet on websites like PetFinder.

6.- Help a homeless person: Every city has them. Helping is as easy as giving a meal, money or clothes. Here is a link to a guide that shows different ways to help the homeless.

7.- Buy products from socially responsible companies: Corporate responsibility is “a set of values and principles, integrated into business operations.” But not every big compnay is responsible.

How do you determine if a company is socially responsible? Take a look at Good Guide, an organization that measures companies’ social responsibility.

Sure, most of the actions above involve money or time, but there’s always an alternative. You can always spread the word on good causes, reduce your carbon footprint or you can just be kind to others.

Originally published at