Did you see that George Michael doc on HBO Canada a few months back? Freedom was the late star’s final work, giving us insight into who he was as a singer and as a person. In it, he spoke about his first love, Anselmo Feleppa, who lost his life to HIV/AIDS. It was Anselmo’s death that forever changed George, who in turn used that loss to channel his anger and grief to make arguably the best music of his career. But it also moved him to do something else.
Turns out, George secretly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the charity Project Angel Food. He gave $25,000 every year, from 1993 when Feleppa passed, until he himself died in 2016.
Project Angel Food’s executive director Richard Ayoub recently revealed George’s charitable act — nearly $600,000 once you add it all up.
“He was so supportive and is the single largest donor in our history,” Ayoub told the Mirror. “He sent a $25k donation to us religiously every year to the tune of more than half a million dollars. His passion and love and support was felt here every single year.”
And he didn’t just donate money; Michael spent time working in the kitchen, helping to feed those suffering from AIDS and HIV who were too sick to shop and cook for themselves. He also gave the charity a Mercedes for volunteers to use and got other celebrities to pitch in and help the cause.
Project Angel Food shared a sweet tribute to the singer this past Christmas, the one-year anniversary of George’s death.
Since Michael’s death, many of his charitable acts have come to light, from helping a woman who wanted IVF treatment to the millions he gave to Childline, a 24-hour counselling service for young people. He also contributed generously to the Terrence Higgins Trust, which helps fight HIV/AIDS in the U.K., and played a free concert for the nurses who took care of his mother during her battle with cancer. Those are just some that have surfaced. Who knows how many other charities he secretly donated to.