As the novel coronavirus pandemic persists, celebs like Rihanna, Jay Z, Jessica Alba and more have donated to help those in need. Here is how the stars have made a difference during the current crisis.
With financial resources at their disposal, these stars are doing their part to make a major difference during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s donating directly to organizations or providing information and resources for their social media followers, a number of stars have made an effort to make a difference. Here, we’re taking a look at what a few celebs have done to alleviate the financial burdens and stresses of a number of medical professionals and citizens.
Jay-Z and Meek Mill are the latest celebrities to give back during the COVID-19 crisis. The rappers leveraged their criminal justice reform organization REFORM Alliance to send 100,000 surgical masks to prisons and jails across the United States on Friday, April 3. “WE JUST DONATED 100k MASKS TO PEOPLE BEHIND BARS 🙌🏾 that includes 50k to #Rikers, 40k to @TNTDOC1, and 5k to #ParchmanPrison,” the organization tweeted.
Jessica Alba revealed her Honest Company would give back to families in need during the coronavirus by donating three million diapers. The actress called into The Tonight Show‘s at-home edition on April 2, and revealed that the company which she co-founded had made a sizable donation because many “families who are out of work” are having “to choose between diapers and a meal and they shouldn’t have to.” The 38-year-old said, “We’ve donated 3 million diapers, 20,000 wipes, 20,000 personal care products. That is the No. 1 need for families right now who are living in poverty but also families who are out of work.”
On April 2, Oprah Winfrey made a $10 million donation to COVID-19 relief efforts across the country. Her funds went to various individual organizations represented by each state, along with $1 million going to America’s Food Fund. On the same day, the Chief Executive Officer of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, sent a Patriots plane all the way to China to receive protective gear and necessary equipment for the nurses and medical staff in Massachusetts working endlessly to take care of COVID-19 diagnosed patients. The plane is meant to land back in Boston some time on Thursday, April 2. On April 1, legendary country singer Dolly Parton took to her Instagram account to share that she made $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University as they continue to research the coronavirus in the hopes of finding a cure. “My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Dolly said in a statement she shared on the social media platform. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
Just one day before Dolly’s donation, on March 31 Rihanna‘s Clara Lionel Foundation donated another $1 million to COVID-19 response efforts that will be matched by rapper JAY-Z’s equally thoughtful donation from his Shawn Carter Foundation. The total $2 million will support undocumented workers, the children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles. This is the second large donation that Rihanna has made amid the coronavirus pandemic. On March 23, the singer’s foundation donated $5 million to various organizations to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The money went to a number of worthy groups, including Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the International Rescue Committee, among others. Like Rihanna and Jay-Z, Amazon CEO gave a generous $100 million contribution to Feed America amid the crisis. “Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, getting food to those countless families who need it,” he wrote in a statement.
Taylor Swift is one of many stars who is also making a difference for those struggling during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The “Lover” songstress, 30, has been quietly giving upwards of $3,000 away to complete strangers who need help either paying their rent, bills, or buying groceries and other necessities during the strenuous lockdowns and stand stills in various parts of the world. Although Taylor hasn’t publicly commented on her philanthropy, fans have taken screenshots of Taylor’s messages to them, thanking her for the tremendous support. Further more, Taylor has been keeping a Nashville record store afloat by giving its employees three months worth of healthcare. “Taylor generously offered some direct relief to my staff and to cover three months of our healthcare costs for our group insurance plan,” a source shared with sister site Rolling Stone. “It’s a huge deal to us and now I have some peace of mind as we apply for [Small Business Association] loans to pay rent, vendors, and other expenses. This assistance from Ms. Swift helps give us a real shot at coming back on the other side of this.” Much Like Taylor, singer Ariana Grande has also been extending financial aid to her fans on the down low. The “Thank U, Next” singer, 26, used Venmo and other resources to send her fans anywhere between $500-$1,500 to help cover various needs during this time.
On March 25, 22-year-old mogul Kylie Jenner made a $1 million donation to a Los Angeles physician in order for the money to be spent on face masks and other protective gear for those working on the front lines of this global crisis. Kylie’s personal physician, Dr. Thais Aliabadi revealed in her emotional statement on Instagram, “I made a wish to the Universe to gather protective masks for our brave healthcare workers and today my dream came true.” Because of Kylie’s donation, “hundreds of thousands of masks, face shields, and other protective gear” would be made available to healthcare workers, and would be “delivered directly to our first responders, as too many masks at hospitals are disappearing before making their way onto the faces of our front line heroes.”
Also on March 25, Oscar winner Angelina Jolie made a $1 million donation to No Kid Hungry, ensuring that not a single child from a low-income family will go without a meal. “As of this week, over a billion children are out of school worldwide because of closures linked to coronavirus,” the actress, 44, said in a statement. “Many children depend on the care and nutrition they receive during school hours, including nearly 22 million children in America who rely on food support. No Kid Hungry is making resolute efforts to reach as many of those children as possible.”
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Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly. Non-profit food banks and food pantries rely in large part on surplus food from a range of food businesses. For example, many restaurants donate excess food. But during this time of social distancing, restaurants are closed, and many other normal channels of excess food have also shut down. To make matters worse, as supply is dwindling, demand for food bank services is going up. Today, I want to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food with a $100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica. Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, getting food to those countless families who need it. Feeding America is the largest non-profit focused on food security. Millions of Americans are turning to food banks during this time. If you want to help, the link to Feeding America is in my bio. They’d be excited and grateful for donations of any size.
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Former Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel also leaped into action. Bethenny, who was already making coronavirus kits, complete with hand sanitizer gel, immunity boosts, and cash cards for the impoverished, added face masks to the package as well upon coming to a vital realization. “Because the idea of a doctor or a nurse who is risking their life and not to mention firefighters, and police officers, and people working at Publix and Kroger and Whole Foods, and all those people that are interacting with people all day, they all don’t have masks,” Bethenny shared EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife. “But on the forefront, the medical workers that are going in to intentionally interact with people with the worst crisis that we have ever seen in our lifetime, not having masks, being told to recycle masks, wash their masks, is a horror show.”
While Hollywood has stepped up to do their part in providing support to medical professionals, the entertainment industry has already been hit hard by the novel coronavirus. Stars like Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Idris Elba are just three of the many stars who have been diagnosed with the virus. Furthermore, TV productions, films, and concerts have been suspended or rescheduled do to the global pandemic. As of April 1, there are well over 186,00 confirmed cases in the United States with over 3,600 lives being claimed by the virus.