Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead is credited with saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
As COVID-19 spreads, we continue to feel powerless. Yet at the same time, many thoughtful, committed citizens have been motivated to take action, one act of kindness at a time. Over and over, individuals are doing what they can to help foster a safer environment for all of us. That small group of people pitching in isn’t so small anymore.
So, what can you do to help? Actors, musicians and athletes have been asking the same question. Their responses have not only been heartening, they inspire others to pick up the proverbial baton.
Take the epic All In Challenge created by Fanatics Founder and Executive Chairman Michael Rubin and launched this week. Its goal is to be the largest digital fundraising initiative on the planet and will help feed those in need via Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry and America’s Food Fund. “Being stuck at home with no sports and watching way too much news, my heart bleeds for everyone affected by this horrible virus and I keep thinking, what else can we do and where can we make an immediate impact?” said Rubin in a video on Twitter and Instagram.
Rubin, businessman Gary Vaynerchuk, and entrepreneur Alan Tisch are devoted to raising tens of millions to feed children, the elderly and frontline workers. Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Pink, Madonna and countless others have already been enlisted.
Joe Dornoff, President of the online gourmet bakery BakeMeAWish.com, whose celebrity following and endorsements have included Robert Herjavec, Ellen DeGeneres and Rachael Ray, believes the increase in celebrities and other high-profile industry leaders using their platforms to help fight the pandemic stems from a need for human connection. And a desire to benefit the greater good.
“Not only do we recognize the need to help people, but there is a deep thirst for human connection,” says Dornoff. “Those in positions of power or prominence are uniquely positioned to bring us together while also raising money for our most marginalized communities,” he added.
Recently, BakeMeAWish.com teamed up with Meals on Wheels America to support the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund. Their 360 giving program allows customers to send any items from the company’s website as 5% of the proceeds will go to support services for seniors who are at risk and further isolated due to COVID-19.
Many celebrities have been motivated to perform acts of kindness, serving as role models during a global crisis.
Lady Gaga worked with Global Citizen to raise $35 million for the World Health Organization, but she didn’t stop there. The singer is curating a two-hour television special airing April 18 called One World: Together at Home. Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, John Legend, Chris Martin, Lady Antebellum, Paul McCartney and loads of others will perform, while Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert serve as hosts.
Actresses Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams launched the Save With Stories on Instagram and Facebook to benefit Save the Children and No Kid Hungry. With millions of children home from school many cannot get the meals they rely on each day. Celebrities read their favorite children’s books offering entertainment and education as parents donate $10 to help ensure that children have the food and resources they need. The program is so successful, it is a global movement that is up and running around the world in India, Australia, South Africa, South Korea and other locales.
Elton John hosted the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, which is said to have raised more than $10 million for Covid-19 relief efforts. He also announced a $1 million donation via his Elton John Foundation.
Twice a day since March 16, SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley have been streaming a show featuring actors in their homes, appropriately titled Stars In The House. Among those featured: Kristin Chenoweth, Tina Fey, the cast of Barry, reunions with the casts of Glee, This Is Us, Frasier and Desperate Housewives and countless others. Proceeds benefit The Actors Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to people working in the arts around the country.They also offer vital social services, health care and insurance counseling and housing.
Matthew McConaughey logged in to Zoom to host a game of Bingo for quarantined seniors at an assisted living facility near Austin, Texas. He also announced a bandana face mask contest. Not to be outdone, Tyler Perry surprised shoppers at 73 stores in New Orleans and Atlanta by purchasing groceries for thousands of seniors.
A who’s-who list of celebrities celebrated Passover by streaming a Saturday Night Seder fundraiser online. The event―featuring Rachel Brosnahan, Bette Midler, Jason Alexander, Shaina Taub, Debra Messing, Billy Porter, Cynthia Erivo, Henry Winkler and others―raised $2.8 million for the CDC Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund.
Oprah Winfrey recently announced on Instagram that she would donate a total of $10 million toward various Covid-19 relief efforts across the country.
Angelina Jolie Rachael Ray, George and Amal Clooney and Ellen DeGeneres are some of the many celebrities who have pledged financial support during the crisis. George and Amal Clooney have given more than $1 million in relief. Rachael Ray pledged more than $4 million. DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi are donating $1 million to Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry and America’s Food Fund. “I usually don’t talk about my personal donations. It’s something I keep private,” said DeGeneres in a recent video she posted on Twitter and Instagram. “But I’m really hoping this inspires anyone in a position to help. Because there’s a lot of need out there.”