Celebrities are intervening to help fans make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic
All the government-forced shutdowns are (hopefully) curbing the spread of coronavirus, but they sure do suck — especially if your primary source of income stems from the service industry. Unless your sector is essential right now or you’re doing curbside, you’re likely out of a job. Luckily there are (famous) angels among us.
Page Six revealed Ariana Grande has been secretly supporting her fans financially amid the global pandemic that has the world on lockdown. More than 20 people have received payments between $500 and $1,000 from the singer on Venmo this week. “She reached out and took care of my salary for the month,” one grateful fan said.
Taylor Swift stunned at least two fans by sending them $3,000 each to help pay the bills during the coronavirus shutdown. Samantha Jacobson is a longtime Swift fan and cocktail server at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, who lost her job after the bar she worked at closed due to COVID-19 concerns.
She wrote on Tumblr on Tuesday (March 24): "I wish so badly that I could donate to the link Taylor provided [to the charity Feeding America] but because of COVID-19 my job, my only source of income, is closed for a minimum of 30 days. I have no job, no income, no way to pay my bills rn. If anyone happens to be able to donate and has it in their hearts to do so, anything really really helps with bills right now."
Swift evidently saw the post, because she reached out to Jacobson — and sent her three grand on PayPal.
Holly Turner, another longtime fan who’s a music photographer and graphic designer living in New York, likewise said she got a $3,000 payment from Swift on Wednesday (March 25).
"I saw that she had just started following me on Tumblr, so I was jumping around and screaming about that, and then I saw that the top post on Tumblr was about the fact that I was financially struggling and I thought, 'There's no way she's following me because of that,’” Turner told E! Online.
“Then I started losing my mind even more. [...] I wasn't going to be able to stay in my apartment after May, if it weren't for this. [...] I have been working my entire life to be able to live in New York City and I thought that was going to be taken, and she saved that for me. So, I am just so, so, so grateful."
Kylie Jenner donated $1 million to buy hundreds of thousands of face masks, shields and other protective gear for Los Angeles-area healthcare workers. The doctor who delivered Jenner’s daughter Stormi, Dr. Thais Aliabadi, thanked the beauty mogul for her generous gift on Instagram Wednesday (March 25) writing, "I am speechless, my eyes are filled with tears of joy and my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. I made a wish to the Universe to gather protective masks for our brave healthcare workers and today my dream came true.
“I have never felt more blessed to be a doctor, as helping our brave ER and ICU workers feels just as gratifying as helping my own patients. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU Kylie Jenner. You are my hero. This generous donation will help save many precious lives. Our world is a better place with you in it. I love you so much."
Jenner, Swift and Grande are just a few of the names on the growing list of stars making serious contributions to battle coronavirus. Arnold Schwarzenegger — safe and cozy at home with his pet donkey and mini horse — also donated $1 million to the pandemic relief effort. Companies like Apple and Yelp are contributing masks and money to the fight, too.
These gestures of goodwill are wonderful. In a lot of ways it’s sad, though, that celebrities and corporations are the ones who’ve had to intervene and help folks make ends meet during tough times. So many people are being left out to dry by the shutdown and the American government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, in the grand scheme of things, these charitable contributions are a drop in the bucket for these stars, who are worth millions of dollars (or in Kylie’s case, billions). While the people in charge get their act together, more celebrities could follow suit. Or follow the lead of Ralph Lauren, a true fashion hero, who donated a whopping $10 million of his fortune to coronavirus relief efforts. Right on, sir. Take a spin, take a walk, take a bow on the catwalk. You deserve it.