Oprah Winfrey recently talked about all of the people who are struggling because of the COVID-19 crisis, and she believes it’s crucial for those of means to assist, starting with those who are closest.
On Wednesday, May 20, the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation announced a $12 million COVID-19 relief fund to be given out to underserved areas in Nashville; Milwaukee; her birthplace of Kosciusko, Mississippi; Baltimore; and Chicago, all places that Winfrey has once called home.
In Chicago, where Winfrey became a megastar through “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she’ll donate $5 million to Live Health Chicago, an organization that helps seniors and high-risk groups impacted by COVID-19.
Winfrey lived in Milwaukee for a period with her mother Vernita Lee during her youth. So organizations Saint A and The Nia Imani Family, Inc, which focus on assisting the Black community, received $100,000 to help provide mental health care and housing.
She’s also donating $2 million to NashvilleNurtures, a foundation that teamed with Winfrey’s alma mater Tennessee State University and Mount Zion Baptist Church to help with their mission of feeding 10,000 families.
Winfrey once lived in Tennessee with her father Vernon Winfrey and was the first Black woman news anchor on Nashville’s WTVF-TV.
Others who will receive part of the $12 million fund include The Boys and Girls Clubs of East Mississippi, which launched a drive-thru food giveaway, and the Center for Urban Families and Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore.
Winfrey lived in Baltimore when she was a news anchor on WJZ-TV.
“There is going to be a need for people of means to step up,” she told The Associated Press this week. “I mean, this thing is not going away. Even when the virus is gone, the devastation left by people not being able to work for months who were holding on paycheck to paycheck, who have used up their savings — people are going to be in need.”
“So my thing is, look in your own neighborhood, in your own backyard to see how you can serve and where your service is most essential,” she added.