In times of crisis, instead of pulling apart and pointing fingers, most of humanity has proved that there is an innate sense of goodness in each and every one of us. Whether donating lunches, time at a hospital, or simply just checking in on a neighbor, everyday people are coming together to produce a positive impact on the world in these hard times.
But some people have more means than others to make a difference. Many celebrities with millions of dollars in the bank and high connections just a phone call away are using their resources to come to the aid of medical workers, researchers, and even the average person with donations or a well-deserved distraction.
Celebrities have taken to their social medias to spread awareness in a variety of ways. Some make posts about staying home, to thank the essential employees working during this crisis, or to share something funny that makes things a little easier. Some talk to the camera for a few minutes, reminding their fans to stay home and stay safe. Others upload videos of themselves washing their hands for an extended period of time– many of them, to their own music. Legends like Dolly Parton and Gloria Gaynor have shared renditions and parodies of their most iconic songs while washing their hands. Parton parodied her classic “Jolene,” and Gaynor provided inspiration with her disco ballad, “I Will Survive.”
The most common method celebrities use to show their devotion to curbing the spread of the virus and finding a cure is in the form of donations. Hundreds of celebrities have sent money to research, philanthropic foundations, and more. Justin Timberlake donated to the Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis, his hometown, as low-income families are most affected by this crisis. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are donating one million dollars to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada, and they urge others to do the same. Ariana Grande has even reportedly provided fans financial support by sending them money through Venmo. Queen of fashion Donatella Versace and her daughter, Allegra, pledged 200,000 euros to a hospital in Italy.
“In times like this, it is important to be united and support however we can to help all those who are in the front lines, fighting every day to save hundreds of lives,” Donatella said on Instagram.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) March 16, 2020
Some celebrities are getting a little more creative and finding ways to donate supplies to hospitals. “Real Housewives” star Bethenny Frankel plans to donate one million face masks through her disaster relief foundation, BStrong. Country singer Brad Paisley’s free grocery store in Nashville opens early for the elderly and delivers groceries to their elderly patrons. Modern Family star, Eric Stonestreet, is donating 200,000 meals to Harvester’s, a community food network, in Kansas City. Jared Leto released a shirt inspired by his self-isolating film club that reads “May the forced quarantine be with you.” Leto plants to donate 100% of the profits made off the shirt, and vows to match all the money raised.
On top of financial donations, some celebrities are providing the world a little light through entertainment. Lady Gaga has not only joined with Global Citizen to raise $35 million to benefit the World Health Organization, but has banded the entertainment world together to develop an event to help fight the virus. The televised event titled “One World: Together At Home,” is set to air on April 18 at 8:00 P.M. EST, featuring performances from Elton John, Lizzo, Andrea Bocelli, and so many more.
This event is meant to purely be a distraction, not a fundraiser. “Put your wallets away … and sit back and enjoy the show you all deserve,” Gaga says.
With his current projects put on hold due to isolation, heartthrob Matthew McConaughey is using his now free time to entertain residents of an assisted living community in Round Rock, Texas. The facility regularly puts on bingo games for its residents, and last year asked McConaughey to join them for a game. While in lockdown, McConaughey took up their offer via Zoom. With the assistance of his mother, wife, and children, McConaughey acted as the caller for this bingo game, and followed up the game with answers to questions posed by residents about anything from his ancestry to his favorite drink.
“It gave them hope and was the boost that they needed to get through this lonely, challenging time,” Molly Davis Nedley, a sales director at the facility, said.
Actor and director John Krasinski shared just how sick he is of seeing the same, awful stuff in the news. While it is important to be informed, seeing negative story after negative story is positively draining. Krasinski took it upon himself to find inspiring stories of incredible people doing wonderful things, and compiled them together in a news-like show– Some Good News. Watchers are delighted by his news-anchor parody, light stories, and celebrity cameos.
“..Because I am very well aware I am only delivering the good news. You are the good news,” Krasinski says in his latest episode.
No matter what country, race, religious, or socioeconomic status, no one wants to be in the midst of a global crisis. People across the world are taking their own steps to make a difference in this difficult time. Whether its through the donation of funds, resources, or time, this crisis is showing us that we are more than what divides us. Though we are physically distant, we are coming together socially more than we have in previous years.
Though most people are approaching the virus with a more serious outlook, it is important that we continue moving down this path. We must continue keeping our distance from others, washing our hands, and staying home not until things start to look better, but until they are better.
Things won’t, and can’t, go back to normal. Things have to change, and it is possible we are beginning to see that change through the actions of the average person and celebrities alike. People want to make a positive impact on the world. People are pushing one another up as opposed to pulling them down. That is the one positive we can take from this difficult situation.