According to reports, George Michael gave away roughly $500,000 to a charity in Los Angeles and spent significant amounts of time helping feed people too sick to shop and cook.
He also donated a Mercedes-Benz to various volunteers at Project Angel Food.
— RichardAyoub (@RichardAyoub) January 16, 2018
According to the charity’s Executive Director Richard Ayoub:
“We can’t thank him enough. He was so supportive and is the single largest donor in our history. 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.”
He first began donating to Project Angel Food in 1993, the same year his 36-year-old lover Anselmo Feleppa died of AIDS.
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According to The Mirror:
After his lover’s death, George dedicated himself to philanthropy and raising awareness about the disease.
And Project Angel Food, founded in 1989 by volunteers worried by the malnutrition struggling HIV sufferers faced, came to his attention.
Richard, an Emmy Award-winning producer, said: “He did a lot of things for us very quietly.
“He did it without fanfare and without credit. George really did not want to bring the spotlight to him.”
He told how in later years the singer would spend hours with his art dealer boyfriend Kenny Goss at the charity’s base – with George one day helping out in the kitchen like other stars who back the charity – such as Kelly Osbourne and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie.
“He wanted to work as a volunteer and our kitchen manager met him, and George made rice cakes,” he said.
“It went well. He had a really great time. He and Kenny both volunteered. But when he came the paparazzi were chasing him and there were helicopters. The staff couldn’t come through the door because the paparazzi were yelling.
Michael didn’t let Project Angel Food reveal his participating during his lifetime, although the charity commemorated the pop icon last year with an “award for leadership” at the annual Angel Gala in Hollywood, Towelroad reports.
“We tried to honor him multiple times when he was alive,” says Ayoub, “and he was never interested, so when he passed away we thought, ‘OK, we’ve got to do it now’.”
Here’s a scene from the documentary George Michael: Freedom: