‘Celebrity Wheel of Fortune’: James Pickens Jr and Brooke Burns Opens Up About Their Charities

by Taylor Cunningham

After the last Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, two of Outsider’s favorite actors sat down with Maggie Sajak to talk about their chosen charities.

During each episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, stars from every walk of life meet up to spin the famous wheel in hopes of winning big for a charity of their choosing.

December 12th’s episode brought Brooke Burns and James Pickens Jr. to the screen. And they had very warm words to share about their charities, Just Keep Livin Foundation and Hands4Hope.

Fashion model turned actress Brooke Burns chose to play for the Just Keep Livin Foundation. The non-profit was founded by Camila and Matthew McConaughey with the hopes of helping teenagers around the country.

Currently, the foundation works with 40 inner-city high schools. And it holds programs that “encourage students to make positive life choices that improve their physical and mental health through exercise, teamwork, gratitude, nutrition, and community service.”

Shallow Hal’s Brooke Burns noticed the Just Keep Livin Foundation during the pandemic—because it made her realize just how much all of the lockdowns affected teenagers.

“I really wanted to help support kids,” she told Maggie after the show. “And I think the hardest age range, like the young kids, are home with their families, that’s been great. But that high school-age kid, it’s like so many things got taken away from them, and so that’s why I chose that.”

James Pickens Jr. Spun for At-Risk Kids on ‘Celebrity Wheel of Fortune’

The Conner’s star James Picken’s Jr played the game for Hands4Hope. The organization teaches children in California “to make a difference in their communities.” And it does this by offering special after-school programs.

“An amazing woman Lydia Floyd started it 20 years ago,” Picken’s shared with Maggie. “And it’s an at-risk youth and it’s an after-school program and they do the STEAM projects.”

“It gives them someplace to go after school,” he added.

And more importantly, the Grey’s Anatomy actor believes that Hands4Hope hones in on helping “that real tenuous age between 8 and 18, where they’re very susceptible to what’s out there.”

“It’s an amazing, amazing non-profit,” he said.

Johnny Weir Won Over $65K for the Special Olympics

In the end, Olympic figure skating champion Johnny Weir won the show. While showing off some impressive puzzle-solving chops, he wracked up $65,350 for the Special Olympics.

The Special Olympics helps children and adults with intellectual disabilities compete in sports all over the globe.

“My life has forever been changed by sport,” he told Maggie Sajak when asked why he spun for the charity. “And if I can help people in any way to pursue sport, to find an outlet for their energy…. I love to do that. And the Special Olympics has the same goals.”