SEATTLE, Washington — Though it was her music that made her famous, award-winning singer-songwriter, Alicia Keys has a long history of success as an activist and philanthropist. As the co-founder of Keep a Child Alive, Keys has used her platform as a celebrity to help children across the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Keys is helping COVID-19 relief through a food basket campaign in El Salvador and an auction to help struggling musicians.
What is Keep a Child Alive?
Keys and Leigh Blake founded Keep a Child Alive in 2003, to help children around the globe, especially those impacted by HIV/AIDS. As of 2016, Keep a Child Alive (KCA) has helped almost 90,000 children and young adults throughout Africa and Asia. Over the years, the charity has expanded to help communities with maternal and child mortality, leadership training and the prevention of child sexual abuse. KCA is currently active in multiple countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and India.
COVID-19 Relief in El Salvador
Keys is helping with COVID-19 relief in El Salvador. A video posted to the Keep a Child Alive YouTube channel in May, explains how the charity is helping with COVID-19 relief in El Salvador. In the minute-long video, KCA Chairman & CEO, Antonio Ruiz-Gimenez, outlines the charity’s COVID-19 relief efforts and its pledge to provide necessary food supplies to over 5,000 impoverished families in El Salvador, so that at-risk children can continue to survive and thrive. For its COVID-19 relief plan, KCA partnered with Puro Surf, a hotel and surfing academy based in La Libertad, El Salvador. Puro Surf’s “Waves of Help” program is dedicated to feeding impoverished families in El Salvador. Puro Surf volunteers deliver food baskets funded by the KCA to various locations in the La Libertad region, where the baskets will help the most vulnerable families who are struggling to feed themselves.
So far, KCA has received more than $230,000 worth of donations for its COVID-19 relief campaign. All donations go to creating food baskets for impoverished families in El Salvador. Each basket contains staple food items such as rice, beans, salt, sugar and more. Donations received for food baskets ensure families have food to survive during the pandemic and help prevent violence within families by reducing stressors in the home.
Piano Auction for MusiCares
Additionally, Keys is helping COVID-19 relief in the area of musicians. MusiCares, a nonprofit dedicated to helping struggling musicians, has partnered with the Recording Academy to create an emergency fund for musicians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Keys is also raising money for MusiCares, to help artists struggling to make ends meet as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a partnership with U.S. piano brand, Steinway & Sons, Keys is auctioning off a signed Steinway piano previously used by Keys in a live stream for Amazon Music and a promotional video for the U.S. Census. All money raised from the auction will benefit MusiCares COVID-19 Relief.
“I can’t wait for whoever gets this piano to feel the magic inside of it,” Keys says in a video posted to the Steinway & Sons website. “And for us to continue to support and love each other.”
With her consistent charity work and dedication to helping children around the world, Keys is an example of how a celebrity in the public eye can use their platform to advocate for people living in poverty across the globe.
– Jackie McMahon
Photo: Wikimedia Commons