Ellen DeGeneres is in the midst of the 12 Days of Giveaways and Greatest Night of Giveaways, which is a bit of a misleading title because the special spans numerous nights, perhaps because it’s impossible to fit all of DeGeneres’ philanthropy into a single evening. The daytime host is being so generous this year in her efforts to recognize deserving members of the community that she’s enlisting the help of her famous friends, including Jennifer Aniston, Robert Downey Jr, and Michelle Obama. The former FLOTUS took a break from her fulltime work of traveling the world to inspire others and help improve conditions for girls, women and members of the military and their families to help Ellen.
There’s so much goodwill in this story and we haven’t even gotten to the video yet.
Along with some financial assistance from DeGeneres, Obama surprised a group of deserving students and teachers at Randle Highlands Elementary School in Washington, DC. The school is in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the state, where 65 percent of the students who attend Randle are either in the foster care system or homeless and school principal Christie Edwards also shared that many of the teachers at Randle use their own money to help buy groceries, school supplies and more for students and their families. The school has a free lunch program and a garden to help ensure students are fed, as well as a washing machine and dryer where students can do laundry, but it’s lacking in basic needs like computers and a playground, which is where DeGeneres and Obama come in.
Surprising Edwards as well as the teachers and students at Randle Highlands Elementary, the former first lady held an assembly where she revealed the incredible gifts that are being donated to help everyone involved in the school. It’s an emotional surprise that will make you want to immediately find a teacher and hug them.
The longtime friends are supporters of one another, with Obama a frequent guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show(weekdays at 3ET on CTV) over the years and even co-hosting in 2016. Most recently, DeGeneres celebrated the announcement of Obama’s Becoming Journal by making up a song. Not a great song, but a song, nonetheless. The journal is a companion to Obama’s best-selling autobiography Becoming, which inspired a sold-out arena book tour and helped land Michelle on one of the covers of People Magazine’s People of the Year issue.
DeGeneres and Obama also share a link through their mutual friend George W. Bush, who Ellen recently came under fire for posing with during an October NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. Obama is currently in Vietnam with Julia Roberts, helping to raise awareness for the lack of access to education for young girls. While there, she spoke with Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager, saying that although the FLOTUS and former President don’t agree on policy, like DeGeneres, they have the same values. “I had an opportunity to sit by your father at funerals, the highs and the lows,” said Obama during her Today Show interview. “We shared stories about our kids and about our parents. Our values are the same. We disagree on policy. But we don’t disagree on humanity.”
Michelle and Ellen also see eye-to-eye when it comes to helping those in need and their generous surprise meant Christmas came early for these schoolkids in Washington.