SEATTLE, Washington — The Grammy and Oscar winner is not only a talented songwriter, singer and actress but also a philanthropist. Lady Gaga made significant contributions to COVID-19 relief efforts and multiple epidemics prior. Raising $127.9 million through a global broadcasting event, Lady Gaga helped support various humanitarian organizations in the fight against COVID-19.
Lady Gaga’s Charitable Efforts
On April 18, 2020, Gaga and the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with Global Citizen to make One World: Together at Home, an eight-hour broadcast special for an audience of more than 270 million people. The event aired on large television networks like ABC, iHeartMedia, NBC and ViacomCBS Networks.
Some of the numerous celebrities featured in the One World: Together at Home broadcast event include John Legend, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Stevie Wonder.
It was a historical event—not only musically, but also philanthropically. The event resulted in a united effort of hundreds of thousands raising awareness and money for WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and local charities such as Education Cannot Wait, United Way, Feeding America and Direct Care. Lady Gaga helped raise $127.9 million, out of which $72.8 million went to smaller charities and local responders. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund received $55.1 million.
The Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and United Nations Foundation helped launch the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on March 13. The fund directly helps organizations such as WHO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to effectively track and contain the spread of COVID-19, continue vaccine development, supply COVID-19 tests and ensure the safety of frontline healthcare workers. Due to Gaga’s phenomenal fundraising and organizational efforts, she successfully lobbied 68 corporate CEOs to provide the necessary funding and support for the global broadcasting event.
Lady Gaga’s contributions to the One World: Together at Home broadcast and COVID-19 relief fundraising provided people worldwide with a sense of global community and essential COVID-19 relief support. Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert hosted One World: Together at Home, while multiple corporate partners and world philanthropists issued their support for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
What is WHO and Where Does the Money Go?
The World Health Organization has more than 7,000 staff workers across 150 countries. The organization’s focus to lead global health responses has led to hundreds of WHO frontline workers assisting people living in impoverished countries with weaker healthcare systems to fight Ebola, HIV/AIDS and dengue fever.
Founded in 1948, WHO’s headquarters is located in Switzerland and its parent organization is the United Nations Economic and Social Council. WHO is responsible for international public health and the effective execution of the COVID-19 Strategic Response Plan. WHO also established international health guidelines and standards, and continues to install intensive care units, provide test kits and protective medical equipment and share research data with the public through its World Health Survey.
Donations to WHO are distributed by WHO and its partners—UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)—to countries that are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and other global health emergencies.
WHO donated more than 800,000 surgical masks, 1.5 million diagnostic kits, 873,000 pairs of gloves and 24,000 face shields to 126 countries and created six multilingual COVID-19 online courses, featuring simulation exercises for first responders. It is convenient for both large corporations and individuals to donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund because it ensures that vaccine development and assistance to the most affected communities remain a priority.
Lady Gaga’s Philanthropic History
Lady Gaga helped raise $127.9 million in a joint effort with WHO and Global Citizen, which may be the biggest fundraising project she has ever conducted. In January 2010, Gaga raised $500,000 for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake from the proceeds of her January Monster Ball concert. Gaga also teamed up with MAC AIDS Fund’s VIVA Glam campaign, raising $160 million in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In 2011, Gaga also opened her Born This Way Foundation, which seeks to revolutionize the topic of mental health and empower young individuals to speak up. The foundation, first established at Harvard University, soon conducted classes on teen mental health to over 20 high schools across the U.S. Co-founded by Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta, the foundation partnered with the National Council for Behavioral Health and established a five-step plan, providing Mental Health first aid training to participating youths.
By leading the global broadcasting event One World: Together at Home that raised about $127.9 million to date, Lady Gaga was able to contribute to the global COVID-19 relief efforts led by humanitarian organizations working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and help frontline workers assist those in need. Lady Gaga’s efforts demonstrate how the power of a unified front can make a positive change for the betterment of society.
– Anna Sharudenko
Photo: Wikimedia Commons