SEATTLE, Washington — The coronavirus pandemic has brought devastation around the world. Many countries have simply not been able to handle the number of sick people their hospitals are seeing. Many people are unable to work and, therefore, unable to take care of their families. COVID-19 does not discriminate. Everyone has been affected in many ways, regardless of location, class or career. Though these times of fear and uncertainty have certainly challenged the lives of millions, it’s also important to see the goodness and generosity in humanity that this pandemic has shown. There are many celebrities assisting in coronavirus relief efforts by spreading awareness, providing entertainment as well as making sizable donations.
In the United States and Beyond
Actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were two of the first A-listers to donate to coronavirus relief. After donating $1 million to food banks in both the United States and Canada, the two also donated an additional $400,000 to be shared among four New York City Hospitals. Lively and Reynolds also encouraged fans on social media to donate as well.
Actresses Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner have launched a campaign partnered with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry that assists vulnerable children in the United States and around the world. The campaign, called #SaveWithStories, encourages fellow celebrities to read children’s books in social media videos while simultaneously encouraging fans to donate to both organizations.
The campaign will assist schools and communities to ensure children have the learning materials and food that they need in order to succeed at home during the quarantine. This is a new approach that has garnered attention from other celebrities such as Kate Winslet, Steve Carrell, Laura Dern and Jake Gyllenhaal. Each of them has posted videos of themselves reading children’s books on social media.
Italy and Europe
- Fashion designer Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra teamed up to donate 200,000 euros to the intensive care department of the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, one of the areas hit hardest by the coronavirus.
- Influencer Chiara Ferragni and her husband also made a donation of 100,000 euros to the same hospital. They also created a Go Fund Me campaign for coronavirus relief in Italy that raised more than 3.6 million euros. At the time of donating, Italy had the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases after China. The San Raffaele hospital had called for help after receiving an immense number of COVD-19 patients.
- Tennis star Roger Federer along with his wife Mirka donated 1 million Swiss Francs to help families in Switzerland who need it most. The couple announced their donation via Instagram while encouraging followers to come together and donate, saying “These are challenging times for everyone, and nobody should be left behind.”
Musicians Coming Together
Singers Jay-Z and Rihanna have joined together as both of their respective foundations have donated $1 million each to coronavirus relief efforts. Jay-Z’s The Shawn Carter Foundation and Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation are centering their donations around undocumented workers, first responders and the homeless and elderly populations of New York and Los Angeles. The funds will be offering educational resources, supplies and necessities for these vulnerable populations and their families.
Singer Rita Ora went a different route to help those in need. She announced via Instagram that she had released a line of merchandise in support of both the United Nations Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO). One hundred percent of the proceeds from #StopTheSpread will go to WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The line features hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts with a cartoon “virus” being covered by a red peace sign.
WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund helps medical professionals around the world acquire proper protective gear as well as assists in the effort to create a successful coronavirus vaccine. In addition, Ora urged fans to spread awareness of the line, providing sources that fans could reach to learn about coronavirus prevention and how to donate to other charities.
Lady Gaga’s Six-Hour Livestream Concert
Lady Gaga’s fundraising efforts have gone above and beyond. From urging world leaders to donate to research funds on Twitter to encouraging CEOs and philanthropists to make donations, Gaga, along with Global Citizen, has raised more than $35 million to date towards coronavirus relief and the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. A notable donor is Apple CEO Tim Cook.
To celebrate the success of this fundraising campaign, along with the work of doctors and nurses on the frontline, Gaga organized a six-hour Livestream concert on April 18. It featured dozens of high profile stars, including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, John Legend and more. The concert, entitled “One World: Together At Home,” is solely for entertainment, Gaga says. “When we do go on air, put your wallets away, your credit cards away and enjoy the show.”
In times of devastation, it is important to look at the love and kindness that can come from out of it. The celebrities assisting in coronavirus relief efforts in different ways have given hope to those currently struggling amid this pandemic and have used their platforms for good causes.
– Alyson Kaufman
Photo: Wikimedia Commons