For most people, birthdays are a day to celebrate one’s life with their favorite foods and favorite people. They receive gifts fulfilling needs they might not have even known they had and go to bed thinking about what their next trip around the sun will be like.
Selena Gomez took a slightly different approach on her birthday this year. Instead of asking fans to think of her on her 29 birthday, she asked them to think of others. She took to Instagram to thank people for their birthday wishes, only to encourage them to donate to the Rare Impact Fund, an organization she founded in 2020.
Selena Gomez. Credit: Allure.
“Thank you for all of the birthday love already,” she wrote on the post. “You guys are the best! …For my birthday this year, I would be so grateful if you’re able to donate to the Rare Impact Fund which helps to provide mental health services to those who need it most.”
The Rare Impact Fund is a charity found in conjunction with Gomez’s clean beauty brand, Rare Beauty. The campaign works to bring mental health awareness into schools. Despite self-harm activities becoming increasingly common among teens, only 16% of children receive mental health assistance in school.
Mental health is a topic that is near and dear to Gomez. Like so many of her childhood-star cohorts, Gomez has had to overcome personal battles during her rise to fame. In recent years, she opened up about her struggle with bipolar disorder.
“I know first hand how scary and lonely it can feel to face anxiety and depression by yourself at a young age,” she says. “If I had learned about my mental health earlier on– been taught about my condition in school the way I was taught about other subjects– my journey could have looked very different.”
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Though the goal of the Rare Impact Fund is to raise $100 million over the next 10 years for mental health services, Selena Gomez has made a point to make an impact now. In a GoFundMe Fundraiser, the Rare Impact Fund has pledged to match $200,000 of donations. The money will then be distributed to organizations that have “created evidence-based programs that address social and emotional learning in schools, strengthen youth support networks through mental health trainings, and provide more suicide prevention and crisis response in educational settings ranging from K-college.”
As of today, the fund has reached $222,968 since April. This proves that, like Selena Gomez, many realize the importance of advocating for mental health across all ages, and truly want to make a difference.
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