Giving Back


Riley-Kate Pappas

Many people and companies are giving back during the difficult  times that America and the rest of the world is going through. They are using their fame and fortune to do good and help those in need. The ones who are on the frontlines, which are doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are risking their lives every day to help treat those in need. While on the other hand, we are not able to supply them with the necessary materials in the absurdly growing amounts in order to keep them safe and healthy. The amount of gratitude and respect that these healthcare workers deserve are immeasurable. While we may not have the means to show our appreciation for them, here are some well known celebrities from almost every industry who are doing it on a much bigger scale to help fight this battle.

Many athletes are giving back to the community to help amid the pandemic. New Orleans Pelicans player, Zion Williamson, announced that he would pay the salaries of the workers at the Smoothie King Center, where he plays. After the call to end the NBA season indefinitely, he wanted to give back to the workers who heavily depend on their salary. Zion said “My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days.” Another NBA player, Kevin Love, who is a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was one of the first athletes to propose providing money for the stadium workers during their unemployment. He promised to give $100,000 to benefit workers at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Defensive end on the Houston Texans, JJ Watt, and his wife, who is a forward on the Chicago Red Stars, Kealia Ohai, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank. Food banks during this time are struggling immensely. Since there are a lot of people out of work, this puts personal spending on hold and some are unable to buy enough food necessary to feed them or their family. There is an overwhelming amount of people going day by day on meals provided by food banks. Their contribution will provide over one million meals to those in need. Seattle, Washington, was one of the earliest and hardest hit states in the United States. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback,  and his wife, Ciara, donated one million meals in Seattle via Food Lifeline. Ciara said “Rally with us and support your local food bank @FeedingAmerica We can all make a difference together. Let’s all keep the Faith during this difficult time.” Blake Lively and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, donated $1 million dollars to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. It will be split between the two charities that helps provide meals to elderly and low-income families. They encouraged, via social media, for their followers to donate as well. These are some of the celebrities who are bringing light to the struggling food banks and how it is important that everyone gets fed.

Many celebrities are giving back to their roots in the efforts to help one another. In one of the hardest hard countries, Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra Versace Beck, gave 200,000 euros to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital to address supply shortages and limited supplies. She is an Italian native and took her fortune and put it towards a good cause. In Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira donated ventilators to local hospitals and thousands of N95 masks that health care workers need in order to be safe. Prisons are unfortunately a breeding ground for illnesses, especially Covid-19. Music artist, Madonna, teamed up with REFORM Alliance and donated 100,00 masks and to jails and prisons in the effort to flatten the curve behind bars. Earlier in the month, REFORM also donated 100,000 masks to those at Rikers Island in NYC. Singer-songwriter, Halsey, also donated 100,000 FDA-certified three-ply face masks to four different Southern California-based hospitals: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Providence Saint Joseph, LAC+USC Medical Center and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. Halsey said “This is for the medical professionals and non medical hospital staff who are working to put a stop to this pandemic and help millions of strangers they will never meet.”

Also, some of these celebrities are giving back to the hospitals and front line workers who are risking their lives every day. James Taylor and his wife donated $1 million dollars to Massachusetts General Hospital. MGH is in one of the hardest hit areas of the virus, and he knows that the hospital represents pride for New Englanders and wanted be a part of the fight. Along with the rest, Paris Hilton and The Hilton Foundation pledged $10 million to help benefit organizations supporting the homeless population in Los Angeles and the other half will go to African countries preparing for a COVID-19 outbreak. While MLB players are still being paid, although the season is at a halt, Justin Verlander decided to take his paycheck and donate it to a different organization each week. He is doing this in order to support their efforts and highlight the great work they’re doing during the COVID-19 crisis. Verlander wrote on Instagram last month saying “Everyone around the world is affected by this virus, and we hope to contribute to the families and jobs affected, the healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines and the many others in need of basic necessities, medical supplies and support at home,” Along with donating $1 million dollars to America’s Food Fund, Oprah Winfrey is also donating $10 million dollars to help American’s during this pandemic. She is donating the money in cities across the United States and in areas where she grew up.

Despite the obvious negatives brought upon by this virus, there is a silver lining amongst us. When in times like this, it brings together the people in our country. People from all ends of our country are donating their money and time to others because they are using their fame and fortune to raise awareness and ensure hope for those who are struggling. They are doing this out of the kindness of their heart because in times like this, we have to be there for one another. When life is put to a dramatic stop, it is important to have hope that one day it will all go back to normal. Thanks to those who are doing so because it allows support at all ends to establish security and allowing the citizens of our country to have everything they need in times of crisis. And for that, we should be eternally grateful for the group effort to help fight the virus together.