Stephen Baldwin is a man of many hats. He has starred in numerous Hollywood films including “Bio-Dome” and “The Usual Suspects.” He has produced and directed, and most recently he penned a book titled “The Unusual Suspect: My Calling To The Hardcore Movement Of Faith,” in which he recounts his religious conversion from “hardcore party boy to hardcore man of faith.” In addition to all of his career successes, the native Long Islander also understands the importance of helping others.
One cause that hits home for Baldwin is the fight against cancer. His father died of lung cancer in 1983, and in 1990 his mother Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy, Carol Baldwin decided to help others struggling with the disease. With the support of family, friends and health professionals, she formed The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Stephen Baldwin became actively involved with the charity in 1998. He primarily lends his support by appearing at fundraising events such as celebrity golf tournaments and social gatherings. In addition, he uses his name to bring attention to both the cause and the organization.
Youngest of the Baldwin brothers
At age 41, Stephen is the youngest of the celebrated Baldwin brothers, the others being Alec, Daniel and Billy. He also has two sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. The entire family is involved to some extent in their mother’s charity, but Carol Baldwin, the chairwoman of the board, is the driving force behind it all.
The Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund has two main goals: Increase awareness for early detection of the disease and raise money to support research into the causes, prevention and treatment. Since its founding, the fund has awarded 57 grants totaling $3 million to researchers in upstate New York and Long Island.
Stephen Baldwin recalls that it was almost embarrassing how well the fund initially did without any help from the matriarch’s famous sons. For instance, his mother was able to book Rosie O’Donnell for a fundraising event at a time when he and his well-known siblings would have had trouble doing the same.
Stephen is moved when strangers approach him and tell him about what his mother has done for them. “People will often say things like, 'Your Mom went out of her way to come and visit my family.' It blows my mind to meet all of these people whom my Mom has touched in some way,” he said in a recent interview with NBC News.
Stephen stresses the importance of giving time and money to charitable causes, saying the “unseen things that we do can create enormous impacts on society.” His philosophy is simple: “Giving is a very spiritual act and it is essentially who we are and how we exist; therefore, the greatest way to have a high-quality spiritual life is to give back.”
Generosity is a family affair with the Baldwins. In addition to his mother's charity, Stephen, along with producing partner Alex D'Andrea, is involved with a variety of other causes, including Perspectives International, which advocates for culture, art, education and health care. Alec and Billy serve on the board of their mother's organization, and Billy also supports Project A.L.S., an organization that funds research into Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Daniel participates in events such as the World Poker Tour in order to raise money to fight breast cancer.
For more information, visit the Web sites for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund and the .