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Matthew McConaughey Named THR's Philathropist of the Year for His Just Keep Livin Foundation

Matthew McConaughey Named THR's Philathropist of the Year for His Just Keep Livin Foundation

Matthew McConaughey is receiving a major honor.

THR writes that the 52-year-old actor has been named their philanthropist of the year for his work with his foundation just keep livin, which has contributed $7.7 million for Texas storm relief.

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The actor recalled visiting at-risk kids at Sam Houston High School, who had recently lost their beloved teacher Rebecca Pfleger. She had been a long time partner with the just keep livin Foundation.

“They just got a slap in the face, a reminder that life’s not permanent,” Matthew explained.

He continued, “It’s not constructive to say something isn’t fair and shouldn’t have happened. As hard as it is to lose somebody, it can really galvanize people and make us question what’s important in our lives. We can really concentrate on what we’re thankful to that teacher for. What was special about them? And can we double down on what that was [in order] to be a better son or a better daughter?”

He went on to say that the foundation was inspired by the loss of his father in 1992.

“I thought my dad was invincible,” he said. “I miss him all the time. But I also maintained my relationship with him, spiritually. I say to the kids: If you want to talk to your teacher and they’re no longer here, do it anyway — say it out loud. Do it for as long as you want to. Keep the spirit alive of that person. That’s how you pay the ultimate respect. Show in your own life what they taught you. That’s how they’re always alive, that’s how you ‘just keep living.’ Make what they taught you immortal.”

Matthew and his wife Camila Alves have been running jk livin since 2008 and expanded it to 40 Title I schools in 14 cities. According to THR, “nearly 100 percent of its 3,000 participants per year graduate in schools where the typical dropout rate can be as high as 50 percent.”

He’s also harnessed his star power to host impressive philantrhopic events, such as his virtual We’re Texas concert in March. The concert raised $7.7 million for the victims of the winter storm Uri.

Matthew said that his philosophy is to “prevent before cure,” leading him to his focus on helping young people.

“I settled on high school kids because it’s the last bridge before you cross into adulthood. So then the question was: Which high schoolers need help the most? That’s when we settled on Title I lower-income schools, a lot of single-parent homes. There’s a real need here. We started in Los Angeles with a couple of schools, with physical fitness goals — two hours after school, twice a week,” he shared.

Another important facet of the program is the gratitude circle, which encourages participants to gather in a circle and share whatever they’re grateful for.

“I believe that gratitude is a reciprocal process where the more we’re grateful for in life, the more we’ll create to be thankful for,” Matthew explained.

He also revealed that he sold the first exclusive photo of his first child with Camila, 13-year-old Levi , in order to seed the foundation.

People magazine offered a pretty penny to have exclusive photos of us and our first child,” he said. “Someone’s getting the picture anyway. Do we want it to be the paparazzi parked out front who gets it for free? Or do we want to do an exclusive, burst their bubble, and get the foundation off its feet? Let’s outhustle the hustle here.”

Matthew was also asked about rumors he’s going to run for governor this year.

“I’m a storyteller. I’m a CEO. But being CEO of a state? Am I best equipped for the people in the state, and for my family and myself? There’s great sacrifice that comes with a decision. That’s what I’ve been doing, and there’s no tease to it. There’s me doing my diligence, and I will let you know shortly,” he said.

The actor addressed the rumors in a separate interview earlier this year as well.

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Matthew McConaughey

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