George Michael secretly donated thousands of dollars to a Los Angeles charity that helps people battling critical illnesses every year until his death, after he lost his first love, Anselmo Feleppa, to HIV/AIDS in 1993.
Project Angel Food’s executive director Richard Ayoub recently revealed the charitable act — totaling more than $685,000 in donations over the years — according to The Mirror, and said, “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.”
The generous “Faith” singer — who died on Christmas Day 2016 at the age of 53 — started dating Feleppa in 1993, but six months later, Feleppa learned he was HIV-positive, and died later that year of complications from the illness. Michael’s song “Jesus to a Child” was about his late partner and he dedicated the song to Feleppa in concerts. Michael started donating to the Los Angeles charity shortly after Feleppa’s death.
Ayoub also told Us Weekly that the late singer gave a Mercedes to the volunteers of Project Angel Food, which was auctioned off and raised $20,000. The star also visited the organization’s kitchen once to bake a cake for the center’s clients. The organization shared a sweet tribute to the singer on December 25, 2017, on the one year anniversary of his death.
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Many stories of Michael’s charitable acts have surfaced since his death. British TV personality Richard Osman revealed that the “I Want Your Sex” singer had once helped a woman who appeared on Deal or No Deal with money she needed for IVF treatment. He was also credited with giving millions to Childline, a 24-hour counseling service for young people, as well as helping raise more than $24 million for relief in Ethiopia with his participation in the Band Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
Michael’s philanthropy didn’t end there, however — he also contributed generously to the Terrence Higgins Trust, which helps fight HIV/AIDS in the UK, and played a free concert for nurses who took care of his mother, Lesley Angold Panayiotou, during her cancer battle.
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