The Academy Award winner will be working with her Born This Way Foundation and DonorsChoose.org to fund 14 classroom projects in Dayton, 23 in Gilroy, and 125 in El Paso.
It is quite common for celebrities to express their condolences and extend help to those affected by tragedy. We saw the same in the aftermath of the series of mass shootings that terrorized the nation earlier this month, with several notable personalities speaking out in support of those who have been scarred by the senseless shooting sprees. While such words are undoubtedly comforting, renowned singer and philanthropist, Lady Gaga, is going one step further to help those affected by gun violence in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, California.
The Academy Award winner announced via a touching Facebook post on Friday that she will be fully funding classroom projects in the terror-stricken cities, so as to give them "access to the support they need to inspire their students to work together and bring their dreams to life." Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is taking on this ambitious venture in association with DonorsChoose.org and her Born This Way Foundation. Together, they will provide financial aid to 14 classroom projects in Dayton, 23 in Gilroy and 125 in El Paso.
Gaga began her emotional post with a note of support to the communities affected by the mass shootings, writing, "My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones, and communities who are left to grieve. Everyone has the right to laws that make them feel safe in their communities. In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves."
Lady Gaga announced that she will fully fund classroom project needs in Dayton, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; and Gilroy, California, after mass shootings in the cities in the past two weeks.https://t.co/NfmXqMBld7— CNN (@CNN) August 10, 2019
An avid advocate for mental health care, Gaga went on to urge those struggling in the aftermath of the tragedies to seek help, as well as reminding others to reach out and check on their loved ones. "Surviving and recovering from these tragedies also mean prioritizing your mental health and checking in on your loved ones. If you’re struggling, please be brave and tell a trusted someone. Don’t be scared to ask for help, I beg you. If you see a loved one struggling, please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok and listen to them. We cannot turn away from ourselves. We cannot turn away from our loved ones. We need each other. Don’t turn away," she wrote.
The singer's post also includes a donorschoose.org link for those wanting to contribute to the cause, which according to a counter on the website has raised $3,603 so far. This amount is said to have helped 2,902 students across 9 schools and supported 9 teachers. Social media users were incredibly moved by Gaga's gesture, with many from El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy thanking the A Star Is Born actress for her kindness. One grateful comment on the Facebook post came from a user named Gina Rodriguez-Nunez, who identified herself as the "principal at one of the schools of one of the teacher recipients." Rodriguez-Nunez commended the singer on her "compassionate gesture" for bringing "hope that there is still kindness out there."
Another Facebook user from Gilroy, named Diane Kormondy Stone, thanked the singer for not forgetting the Californian city which was shaken by a mass shooting incident on July 28. The user rightfully pointed out that while most media outlets have stopped reporting about the violence inflicted on the community, Gilroy residents are still recovering from the shock and pain caused by the attack. Morgan Gecking Hemler from Dayton expressed her gratitude to the singer for making the back-to-school experience more enjoyable for kids who were "displaced by the tornados" and now impacted by the tragic shooting.
Gaga's generous initiative comes at a time when America has hit a new grim milestone of 251 mass shootings in 216 days. While the rising number of gun-related violence increases at an alarming rate in the country, lawmakers are yet to put into place effective gun control reforms that could potentially prevent more tragedies of the likes witnessed by El Paso, Dayton, Gilroy, and many others. Despite calls for immediate action, this worrisome epidemic continues to go unchecked and raises serious questions about where our priorities lie. Are gun rights more important than innocent lives? It's way past time our leaders answered this question.