As celebrities, including Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, help battle coronavirus with massive donations to organisations providing aid during the global pandemic, two stars are reportedly giving back in more personal ways. Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift are reportedly sending money directly to fans who require financial assistance as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.
Grande, according to TMZ, is sending money to fans on Twitter via cash transaction app Venmo. Reportedly, Grande is choosing which fans to donate to based on her interactions with them on Twitter, providing those in need with anywhere between $500 (£403) and $1,500 (£1,210). The singer is also paying extra attention to those who have lost jobs in retail, per the site.
Swift, who shared on Instagram that she is donating to Feed America and the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, is also reportedly sending money to fans, per Associated Press. Swift allegedly sent a fan named Holly Turner $3,000 (£2,421) after she expressed on Tumblr that she may have to leave New York City due to her freelance music photographer and graphic design work drying up. Music venues are closed in New York City due to calls for social distancing.
“Holly, you’ve always been there for me. I want to be there for you right now. I hope this helps,” Swift reportedly wrote to Turner.
It isn’t the first time that Swift has gifted fans cash: In 2019, she helped a fan pay off her student loan debt by sending her $4,800 (£3,873). She did the same for a fan struggling with debt in 2015, sending her $1,989 (£1,605) as a nod to her album 1989.
Neither Grande nor Swift have publicly discussed these donations, but I think we can all agree that this will likely get a far better public reaction than, say, a bunch of celebrities singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” (Though I have to admit, John Mayer’s version with Grande’s much-different “Imagine” did help me get through another day of social distancing.)
Are you a celebrity who wants to help those in need right now? Write a check — or follow Grande and Swift’s suit and get at your fans on Venmo.
Refinery29 reached out to Grande and Swift for comment.
The World Health Organisation says you can protect yourself by washing your hands, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing (ideally with a tissue), avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and don't get too close to people who are coughing, sneezing or with a fever.