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Philanthropic People: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift Philanthropy
Taylor Swift IMG: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Wholesome musician Taylor Swift might be known for her status as pop music icon and “America’s Sweetheart,” but did you know that she’s also a dedicated philanthropist? At just 24 years old, Swift has contributed greatly to many international charities, and has used her celebrity status to raise awareness about important causes.

The reason Swift is such a model philanthropist is twofold: she is both generous with her money when it comes to donating to charities and relief efforts, and she is genuinely hands on. Swift has donated personal items to charitable auctions such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, UNICEF, Oxfam International, Feeding America, Donate My Dress, and many others. In 2008, when she was only 18 years old, Swift donated $100,000 to the Red Cross in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help displaced flood victims. From this point forward, Swift has immersed herself in philanthropic efforts; she is loveable as a pop star and philanthropist because of how genuinely she wants to connect to others in both areas.

Swift does far more for charitable initiatives than simply writing a check. She has performed at many benefit concerts including BBC’s Children in Need concert, which generated thousands of dollars in donations. She has lent her voice to various social justice initiatives, such as PSAs that address hate crimes and discrimination. She even takes time out of her busy touring schedule to spend time with children in hospitals, like on her recent visit to Boston where she sang and danced with 6-year-old Jordan Lee Nickerson. These kinds of efforts to improve the quality of life of people around the world are what make Swift such a model philanthropist.

In the world of philanthropy, Swift’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized by the Do Something Awards, The Giving Back Fund, and the Tennessee Disaster Services for her willingness to help others in need. In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama presented her with the “Big Help Award” for her dedication to helping those and need and her ability to inspire others through action.

With no signs of slowing in her philanthropic efforts, it seems as though Taylor Swift is committed to both making music, and making the world a better place.

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Elton John & Billie Jean King Raise $700K for AIDS Support

Elton John Helps Raise $700K for AIDS Support
anyamuse / Shutterstock.com

The 21st Annual Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits charity event had many famous faces this year: Venus Williams, Elton John, Billie Jean King, Andy Roddick, Marion Bartoli, and more. The celebrities participated in a variety of singles and doubles tennis matches on Nov. 17th in Orlando, FL, to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.

A total of 3,662 guests were in attendance at the event, which raised more than $700,000 for the two organizations. And though there were pros like Williams and King playing in the matches, the event was lighthearted and fun.

“It’s not your typical tennis match, said John Isner, who is the top-ranked American male tennis player. “It’s more of a basketball game type feel.”

“It brakes the monotony of just going out there and playing a typical match with your typical crowd, where it’s very quiet,” he added. Indeed, music played between points, the crowd cheered, and players egged each other on throughout the day. And celebrities like Elton John might not have been up to par with the pros, but the crowd went just as wild for his big plays—like hitting the ball for the first time.

The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida aims to save lives through treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Central Florida. It was established in 1988 and today has eight locations throughout Florida. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established by Sir Elton John in 1992, and has headquarters in both New York City and London. The U.S. and U.K. organizations function as separate entities with the same mission: “to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS” through various prevention programs, treatment, support services, and more.