Celebrities who donated money and supplies in the COVID-19 crisis
Many celebrities bring out their most supportive side in difficult times, and the COVID-19 outbreak is no exception. Madonna donated 100,000 masks to American prisons, with the help of REFORM Alliance, to make sure inmates were better protected against the virus.
Justin Bieber was one of the first celebrities to express his concern and donate to victims of the pandemic. In February 2020, he addressed his fans in China with a video on Instagram and announced a $29,000 grant to the Beijing charity organization Chunmiao.
The Canadian artist of Ethiopian descent donated no less than $1,000,000 to MusiCares and health workers in the Scarborough Health Network. Each received half of the singer's donation.
The Rachael Ray Foundation donated $4 million together with the Yum-o! Organization. The money not only went to food programs for families and children, Delish.com reported, but also to animal welfare organizations. All vulnerable beings in society, human or not, need a little extra help in times of coronavirus.
American football player and philanthropist Colin Kaepernick worked together with Impossible Foods and Know Your Rights Camp. They worked to distribute more than 1 million meals in the regions of Los Angeles and New York by the end 2020, Delish.com reported.
The band from Colorado livestreamed a concert in May 2020 to raise money for the state's restaurant businesses and MusiCares. With their "Ho Hey" and other songs they gathered over $600,000.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gave 1,000 meals to the USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, so that healthcare workers would be decently fed and feel supported. His partner in this effort was Buca di Beppo. In addition, the Terminator used his After-School All-Stars organization to deliver food to local families with the help of TikTok.
Lil Nas was very generous towards his fans when the virus started to spread globally. "Hey guys drop ur cashapp," he told them on Twitter. "Gonna send some of u some money to go get some food then stay inside." A very nice and personal gesture of the 'Old Town Road' rapper.
Celebrities in South Korea showed a strong solidarity with the victims of the outbreak. Bong Joon-ho, director of 'Parasite', donated more than $164,000 to fight the coronavirus in his home country.
Rapper Suga from K-Pop group BTS donated more than $164,000 to the fight against the virus in his native South Korea.
The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, donated 700,000 bottles of water to health workers across the United States. He wanted to support the doctors and nurses as they are fighting the pandemic in the frontlines.
Lady Gaga also joined the fight against the pandemic. A portion of the proceeds from her cosmetics store, Haus Labs, went to local food banks in Los Angeles and New York. In addition, she organized the livestreamed 'One World: Together at Home' concert in April 2020 to raise awareness for the crisis and solidarity with the victims. Finally, she donated $100,000 to World Central Kitchen in cooperation with Postmates, Delish.com reported.
Justin Timberlake made a donation to the Mid-South Food Bank in his hometown of Memphis. As many Americans lost their jobs in the coronavirus crisis, donations like his and Lady Gaga's helped families with few resources survive the pandemic. "Start small and support your local communities by getting food out to those in need," he said on Twitter. "Every. little. thing. helps."
Shawn Mendes' Foundation sent a check of $175,000 to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto. The money was spent on emergency treatment facilities and support of the families of COVID-19 victims.
Metallica spent the entire month of May 2020 raising funds for COVID-19 relief organizations. Drummer Lars Ulrich (left) made that pledge on behalf of the charitable band in the beginning of the month, Billboard reported. Fans also contributed to the good cause since Metallica merchandise's proceeds went on to support vulnerable groups and COVID-19 relief.
Usher joined others in donating food, but in his case the food was vegan. He teamed up with the company Veganaire to give 2,000 meals to households and shelters in Atlanta, Georgia. This way, the singer combined his concern for the environment with that for the victims of the pandemic.
Haute couture designer Giorgio Armani expressed his solidarity with Italy, one of the countries that was initially severely affected by the coronavirus. He donated $1.3 million to help control the outbreak and support the country's health services.
Rihanna donated $5 million through her Clara Lionel Foundation. The money went to food banks in communities at risk of exclusion, the purchase of tests and materials to care for the sick in Haiti and Malawi, and protective equipment for health workers.
One of Hollywood's hottest couples, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively contributed $1 million to 'Feeding America' and 'Food Banks Canada'. This way, they helped seniors and low-income people in both nations. In addition, Reynolds donated 30% of the proceeds of his gin brand to bartenders who'd lost their jobs in the crisis.
Ariana Grande gave money to The Bail Project, Fund for Families, and The Mental Health Fund, among others.
Jay-Z's organizations, the Shawn Carter and Clara Lionel Foundations, supported the most vulnerable people of all: "undocumented workers, the children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles." In addition, Jay-Z's REFORM Alliance sent thousands of safety masks to prisons. It was the same initiative that Madonna contributed to.
Billy Ray Cyrus supported a particularly vulnerable group in the coronavirus pandemic: Native Americans. Together with Genies, he donated 20,000 masks to Native communities in the U.S.
Cyrus's daughter also got involved in the fight against the coronavirus and its repercussions. Together with her then-boyfriend Cody Simpson she bought 120 tacos and delivered them to a local hospital in support of its health workers. Simpson posted about it on his Instagram account. "So grateful for these true legends of our time dedicating their lives to battling this pandemic," he said. "Show some love to yours in your community!"
The Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin could not stay aloof in the face of the pandemic. "In a situation like this, I need to do stuff," he said on Instagram. The singer organized a fundraiser with 'Charity Stars' and 'Project Hope', an organization that used the money raised to produce health supplies.
Together with his wife, the bassist of Guns N' Roses donated 1,000 safety masks to the staff of the Seattle-based UW hospital. The masks were especially meant for people who had to take care of children in the hospital.
'Modern Family' actor Eric Stonestreet donated 200,000 food rations to his hometown of Kansas City. The money went to the association 'Harvesters' which supplied the most vulnerable citizens with resources.
Rapper Eminem raffled a pair of his rare, custom-made sneakers to benefit the COVID-19 relief effort. The shoes were Eminem X Carhartt Air Jordans and had an estimated worth of $20,000 a pair. In addition, the artist "donated cups of his 'Mom's Spaghetti' to Detroit-area healthcare workers," Billboard reported.
Cardi B gave away $1,000 checks to people writing her about their needs. She did so in cooperation with Fashion Nova and they continued until they reached $1 million. "Tell us how the $1,000 can help you during these times. We’ll be reading your submissions and selecting stories everyday," the singer said on Instagram. "I will also personally be looking thru these submitted pages."
MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi also contributed to the support of those struggling in the pandemic. He donated enough money to enable a hospital to get twenty ventilators and assist hundreds of patients in the ICU.
The creative director of the famous luxury firm Versace donated more than $143,000 to the Red Cross Society of China. She did so with her daughter Allegra. In addition, they gave $216,000 to the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan to help the institute battle the shortage of medical supplies, especially in the intensive care section.
Kristin Bell and her family donated $150,007.96 to the organization 'No Kid Hungry'. The $7.96 came especially from Bell's children, who emptied their piggy bank to make the donation. "I couldn't have been prouder to add that extra and important 7 dollars and 96 cents,” she told her followers on Instagram.
Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19. He donated more than $500,000 to support the club's employees and health services fighting the outbreak. Of that half million, $100,000 was for families affected by the pandemic in Utah and the same amount went to those in Oklahoma.
Oprah Winfrey donated $10 million to organizations helping victims of the pandemic and its repercussions. $1 million of her donation went to America's Food Fund and the rest to other charitable organizations.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $105 million to organizations to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts, as well as to protect at-risk populations and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics during the coronavirus pandemic.
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo donated medical equipment to various Portuguese health centres. He followed in the footsteps of his representative, Jorge Mendes.
Nine Inch Nails and its frontman Trent Reznor became involved in COVID-19 relief after their concerts for 2020 had been cancelled. "Since NIN already had merchandise ready for the tour, all proceeds would benefit the food banks of the cities the band had booked shows in," Billboard.com said.
Country star Brad Paisley has had a charitable organization - 'The Store' - in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, for a while now. When the pandemic started spreading, he announced that his store would not only give free groceries to poor people as usual, but also deliver the food to the elderly so they wouldn't have to risk their health by going outside.
Actress, model and singer Vanessa Hudgens also donated money to a food bank. 'Feeding America' especially supports seniors and people at risk with limited resources. “Let’s help each other out rather than freaking... out," she wrote on Instagram.
Willie Nelson may be a veteran in the music business (born in 1933!) but he can still shake up the internet. In April 2020, the musician gave a virtual concert and raised over $500,000 for American farmers impacted by the pandemic, Billboard reported.
John Mayer made a call to the Livingston Healthcare facility in Montana to ask them what they needed most in this crisis. The singer-songwriter then proceeded to donate money for ventilators.
The founder and leader of Amazon gave $100 million to Feeding America "to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food." He made his announcement on Instagram.
The president of the Italian football club Inter Milan donated 100,000 euros to the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences of a hospital in Milan. He also supported research activities in order to find a vaccine against COVID-19.
Kid Rock, the Honky Tonk School, and other music organizations decided in April 2020 to jump onto the bandwagon and organize an event for COVID-19 relief like many others. The rocker / rapper / restaurant owner undid part of his effort in June, however, when his Honky Tonk steakhouse failed to comply with Tennessee's coronavirus regulations and risked becoming a breeding spot for infections.
Selena Gomez gave money to the Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, she said on Twitter, "as they are low on masks and ventilators." Gomez had a personal bond with the hospital, because she got an essential kidney transplant there in 2017.
My Chemical Romance had taken a break for a few years (this photo is from 2011), but they were about to get together again in 2020. Their new tour was interrupted by the pandemic. In response to the crisis, they began selling special face masks, named "My Chemical Romance Desert Screening Device," to raise money for the MusiCares relief fund.
Shakira is from Barranquilla, Colombia, and she decided to donate ventilators and masks to health care workers in that city. Latin American countries, including Colombia, have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
British reggae band UB40 made a great cover of the late Bill Withers' hit 'Lean on Me' for the COVID-19 relief effort. The proceeds of the track's sales went to the NHS' Charities Together Urgent COVID-19 campaign.
Rapper Ice Cube also used an old song to help in the struggle against coronavirus. His hit "Check Yo Self" from 1993 is now on a T-shirt to make people aware of the risk of infection. Its sales helped to raise money for hospitals in underfinanced urban and rural areas in the U.S., Billboard reported.
Among the celebrities of the world of sport, the Argentinian coach of Atlético Madrid, Diego Pablo Simeone, also used his influence to launch a fundraising campaign for the Red Cross. The money was used for protective equipment for the health workers who were fighting against the coronavirus in Spain and abroad.
While his Nashville bar was temporarily closed, country star Dierks Bentley gave $1,000 to each of his employees to help them get through the quarantine.
Elton John's Foundation focuses especially on people with HIV and AIDS who are particularly vulnerable to severe forms of coronavirus. In April 2020, he tweeted a video message about his help during the pandemic: "Distributing medicines, testing and preventative treatment is not as simple as it was a few weeks ago, so our new COVID-19 emergency fund will help frontline partners to prepare for, and respond to, the pandemic and its affects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities."
New Orleans Pelicans player Zion Williamson helped cover the salaries of employees at his stadium, the Smoothie King Center, for thirty days during the quarantine.
New England's famous singer-songwriter James Taylor and his wife Kim donated $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital, Billboard reported. “Kim and I want to be part of this fight," he announced. "We have been so inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the health care heroes in the trenches who are working so hard to protect us all.”
Chinese technology billionaire and founder of e-business Alibaba donated 13 million euros, as well as 2 million masks, 400,000 test kits and $100 million through his company to fight the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak and for the development of a vaccine against the virus in Latin America.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, the singer Ciara, donated one million lunches to those affected by the outbreak. In a video on Twitter, the couple said they were working together with Seattle's Food Lifeline organization.
Adam Lambert, the flamboyant singer who also tours with Queen, has his own foundation: Feel Something. To help the LGBTQ community during the pandemic, he auctioned 15 of his most beautiful stage costumes.
The 'Tonight Show' host has also joined the celebrity effort and made a donation to 'Feeding America.' He encouraged his followers on Instagram to do the same. "Any donation is GIANT," he said.
Amy Adams announced on Instagram that, together with Jennifer Garner, she was raising funds for Save the Children and No Kid Hungry. She felt that it was necessary to "shine a spotlight on kids... during this difficult time."
Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and his wife, Chicago Red Stars player Kealia Ohai Watt, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank. The donation helped provide more than one million meals to the people and families most in need.
The singer-songwriter's Joel Foundation contributed $500,000 to help buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel, Billboard reported. "So many of these heroic healthcare workers are risking their own lives," the piano man said on his website. "We cannot begin to express our gratitude for them and our concern for their well-being."
The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that his company would donate up to $10 million to its COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and another $10 million to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The Golden State Warriors player and his wife posted a video calling for citizen participation in raising funds for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. For their part, they donated more than one million lunches to underprivileged students in Oakland, California.
Tyler Perry has his roots in New Orleans and feels a bond with several states in the American south. In April 2020, he offered to pay all groceries of people shopping in the special 'senior hours' in supermarkets across Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia.
Kanye West made sure that seniors in Los Angeles could eat a good meal provided by the Dream Center. They must have eaten a lot of chicken, because the artist worked together with the restaurant Chick-fil-A to provide the 300,000 meals.
The Cleveland Cavaliers forward donated $100,000 to support staff members at the Cav Arena, his team's stadium. The coronavirus outbreak and the cancellation of games put many employees of the stadium out of work.
The Chicago-based band Fall Out Boy gave $100,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny donated $10 million to various organizations and health care facilities to help with the pandemic.
Frontman of the band Slipknot, Corey Taylor auctioned thirteen of his own guitars to raise money for Direct Relief via eBay.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes donated $100,000 to local organizations, as well as 15,000 meals to public school food programs, to help families during the pandemic.
Leonardo DiCaprio is at the center of America's Food Fund, an organization providing meals for people with low incomes, children, and the elderly. They raised more than $12 million, Delish.com reported.
Matt Berninger and his band The National raised money for their live crew members who could not work during the pandemic. They saved the proceeds of their merchandise for the staff because they considered them "the lifeblood of our touring operation," The National tweeted.
Country heroine Dolly Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University for research of a COVID-19 vaccine. Thanks to her and other donors' help, the university could develop one of the first effective vaccines in the world.
Detroit Piston player Blake Griffin donated $100,000 to help the workers at his team's stadium the Little Caesars Arena during the time it was closed.
Bernard Arnault, owner of company that runs luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Dior and Loewe, bought 40 million protective masks in China to be used in France. Arnault himself paid the first shipment of 10 million masks (5 million euros) out of his own pocket.
The Saudi owner of the Spanish club Almeria Sports Union donated 500,000 euros to the city of Almeria for health equipment.
The COO of Facebook and other Silicon Valley figures launched a fundraising campaign that raised $5.5 million for the region's food banks. In addition, she herself donated $100 million in Facebook shares to support organizations in the United States that battled the social repercussions of the pandemic.
Italian soccer player at Juventus, Federico Bernardeschi, helped to raise funds the AREU foundation facing the coronavirus emergency in Lombardy, the most affected region in northern Italy.
Amancio Ortega, founder of the company that brought the world Zara and other fashion chains, donated 300,000 masks and made all of his company's logistics available to the Spanish Government for the fight against the outbreak. In addition, he sent at least one shipment of medical material to Spanish hospitals each week of the crisis.
The Napoli football player spent much of his time during the quarantine to tell his followers on social media to stay at home. He also donated 100,000 euros to help the Italian health system fight the coronavirus.
German soccer player Joshua Kimmich donated one million euros to the relief efforts in the pandemic. Together with other colleagues in the European football scene, he created a platform to collect more donations.
Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, donated one million dollars to the fight against the coronavirus, especially in the form of protective masks for health professionals.
Among the supportive NBA players making donations, there was also Milwaukee Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo who gave $100,000 to the employees of Fiserv Forum, the Bucks' stadium.
Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and his wife Anna Stachurska donated one million euros to a number of health centers. The player announced his donation on social media.