Behind Taylor Swift’s Massive GoFundMe Donation

Taylor Swift seems more like television magnate Oprah Winfrey each day — well, at least in regards to magnanimous gestures of goodwill (she’s just missing the talk show, interview with British ex-royals, watching Tom Cruise leaping on the couch). In August 2020, while Swift didn’t hand out multiple free cars, the three-time Grammy “Album of the Year” winner gifted a young U.K. woman enough money to afford her tuition to an elite college, Page Six reported. After reading on the woman’s GoFundMe page that she was accepted into but unable to pay for the university, Swift donated $30,000. “Victoria, I came across your story online and I am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turn your dreams into reality. I want to give you the rest of your goal amount,” Swift wrote on the student’s GoFundMe page, per Page Six.

In fact, 2020 was quite the year of largesse from the pop queen. As Vogue reported in March 2020, Swift sent a myriad of fans struggling with COVID-19 shutdown-related financial woes $3,000 each on PayPal. A Swift-devoted Twitter account posted fan screenshots of Swift’s direct messages asking if she could help out after reading their social media posts detailing money troubles. Billboard confirmed the existence of at least ten such payments by Swift.

One year later in March 2021, Swift again heaped a huge donation upon a stranger. Read on for the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) details behind this particular act of kindness.

Taylor Swift donated big money to a mother of five who lost her husband to COVID-19

According to USA Today, Taylor Swift and mom Andrea “quietly” donated $50,000 on March 23, 2021 to help out a widowed mother of five whose husband died of COVID-19 in December 2020. The recipient of Swift’s donation, Vickie Quarles, had a GoFundMe campaign coordinated by a friend after Quarles’ husband, Theodis Ray, died on Dec. 18, 2020 — one day after being hospitalized for COVID-19-induced respiratory problems, per Yahoo! News.

According to her GoFundMe page, Quarles was forbidden by quarantine restrictions from accompanying her husband to the hospital. Tragically, the paramedics’ arrival at their home was the “final engagement with her best friend,” and that “she later received a call… that Theodis had succumb[ed] to this awful virus,” according to the GoFundMe.

Quarles thanked Taylor and Andrea Swift for their “thoughtfulness and generosity … and the sweet personal note.”

Swift’s lyrics in her song “Epiphany,” off her critically-acclaimed July 2020 album Folklore, echoed the isolating sentiment felt by many forced to separate from loved ones in the wake of COVID-19 hospitalizations. “Hold your hand through plastic now / Doc, I think she’s crashing out / And some things you just can’t speak about,” she softly sings on the ballad. While producer-singer-songwriter Aaron Dessner revealed to Vulture, per Cheat Sheet, that the track was written in part from Taylor’s grandfather’s perspective in war, it was also told from the point of view of doctors and nurses.

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