Actor breaks ground on 12 new foster homes for transitioning teens.

We often hear about actors’ high salaries and lavish lifestyles or follow them on social media as they hock brands and products they love. But celebrities can also give back in meaningful ways, using their money and platforms to inspire real change.

That’s exactly what Batman, a.k.a. Christian Bale, decided to do with his privilege after he learned about the number of foster children living in California.

A Big Dream

Following the birth of his daughter Luka in 2005, Bale began to think about how her life would be affected if he and his wife, Sibi, weren’t around. It led him to learn more about the foster care system in California, and he was shocked to learn that the state has the largest number of foster kids in the country.

Not only that, but Bale discovered that many siblings who go into the foster care system are forced to separate and are unable to grow up together. He and Sibi knew they wanted to create some good and inspire change, and learning about these circumstances inspired the couple.

Bale decided to create a village where foster siblings could stay and grow up together.

“Imagine the absolute pain and the trauma of losing your parents or being torn from your parents, and then losing your brothers and sisters on top of that. That’s no way to treat kids — and so, we will be the hub for that,” Bale told The Hollywood Reporter.

A Plan in Action

Bale decided to create this village 16 years ago, but crews finally broke ground on the location earlier this year. To get this far, Bale teamed with the non-profit Together California and found a location near McAdam Park in Palmdale, LA.

“I had the very unrealistic idea that within one year I’d have created a miniature Sound of Music with kids singing on hills in an endlessly joyful environment,” Bale explained.

“But I discovered no, it takes an awful long time and really well-motivated people. It’s complicated and tough to help kids,” he continued. “It should be a hell of a lot easier than it was, but I didn’t flinch for one second.”

“I would have done it all if it was just me by myself here,” Bale added to The Associated Press. “It’s way more complex. These are people’s lives. And we need to be able to have them land on their feet when they age out. There’s so much involved in this.”

Once complete, the village will consist of 12 three-bedroom townhomes, each capable of housing six children. A full-time professionally trained foster parent will live in each one to offer care and support.

There will also be a 7,000-square-foot community center for programs and services and studio apartments for family visits. The apartments will also serve as transitional housing for children who are aging out of foster care.

“I hope that this village will be the first of many, and I hope that people, Californians and Angelenos, know to come join us in opening our eyes to what’s happening right under our noses,” Bale added to The Hollywood Reporter. “These are our children, and we must help our children.”

Doing Our Part

It’s inspiring to hear about actors, sports stars, and other celebrities giving back, especially since they tend to have more money and followers who can make a big difference. However, their actions also remind us that anyone can — and should — give back when they can.

Giving back doesn’t have to look like building a village for foster children. It can be volunteering at a center or with a cause that matters to you. Or, it can be even smaller acts, like donating extra food, making drop-offs at a local charity, or participating in a fundraiser.

Or, if you are in a position to do more, consider fostering a child or getting involved. There are more than 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system who are in need of a loving parent, and plenty of organizations, like Foster America, that are committed to making a difference through education and volunteerism.

No matter how you help out, giving back to the community enriches your life and allows you to connect with others in deep and meaningful ways.