The pop star may cover funerals. A nonprofit offers free plastic surgery. And more.
Pop stars, billionaires and donors of all stripes are helping the victims and first responders of the Manchester Arena bombing however they can.
Beverly Hills nonprofit Face Forward is offering victims wounded and disfigured by the blast free facial reconstructive surgery, including airfare, accommodations, anesthesiologists, medicine and an after-care nurse.
Ariana Grande has reportedly offered to cover the funeral costs of the 22 people killed by the blast following her concert on Monday night. A fan page with the handle @ArianaDailyWWW tweeted Tuesday that “Ariana has reached out to the families who’s loved ones died last night (sic)… she is gonna pay for the funerals!” That has not been confirmed by the artist yet, but Grande tweeted she was “broken” after the tragedy, and suspended her world tour.
Perfect strangers opened their homes to stranded and separated concertgoers with the hashtag #RoomForManchester. The British Red Cross Society has set up a We Love Manchester Emergency Fund to support those injured and bereaved by the attack, which has raised more than $5 million from public donations and generous windfalls by professional football clubs. The Manchester Evening News, working in partnership with the British Red Cross, has also raised almost $2 million in just over 24 hours.
And the online community has raised $150,000 and counting to help two homeless men hailed as heroes for aiding bombing victims on Monday night. Chris Parker was panhandling in the foyer when explosion went off. He wrapped one traumatized little girl in a t-shirt, and cradled an older woman with leg injuries while she died in his arms. And Steven Jones, who had been sleeping nearby, told ITV News about pulling nails out of kids’ arms and faces, and tending to a bleeding woman until the ambulance arrived.
— ITV News (@itvnews) May 23, 2017
Diane Moore, 48, from Leeds, was inspired to create a JustGiving.com page for Jones after seeing Jones’ interview on TV. She learned on Thursday morning that a distant relative of hers is one of the deceased. “When I heard his initial interview, it really tugged at my heartstrings: A man who has literally nothing, putting himself in the line of danger to help people he didn’t know,” Moore told Moneyish. She had hoped to raise about $650. Now her donation page is at almost $40,000.
Another JustGiving page for Jones, organized by Graeme Seddon, has raised another $54,000 and counting.
“I was initially hoping to raise around £300 for him, which would have went towards the cost of a hotel, food and water, but to exceed that amount by so much is an absolute dream,” Seddon told Moneyish. “That amount of money will change his life, and hopefully others, too.”
Both pages are working with Manchester’s Booth Centre, which services the homeless community, and a local radio station to get in touch with Jones. “I understand people being skeptical [that we’re giving Jones the money],” Moore said. “But one way or another, I will get the money to him.” Seddon also vowed that in the event they can’t give the money to Jones, he will return the cash or distribute it to charities around Manchester.
Park has inspired a GoFundMe by U.K. resident Michael Johns that has pulled in $60,000 and counting. Johns hasn’t responded to requests for comment yet, but his page notes that he has spoken with Parker through a homeless outreach service, and “We’re going to have another phone call with him tomorrow to try and get the ball rolling!”
“This whole horrific situation has left a lot of people feeling frustrated and helpless,” Moore said. “But the situation highlights the fact that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”
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