VOL. 131 | NO. 2 | Monday, January 4, 2016
Ellen Degeneres Steering Donation to St. Jude
By Andy Meek
Ellen Degeneres is behind another big donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The talk show host is getting a humanitarian award from the People’s Choice Awards that comes with a $200,000 donation from Walgreens, according to news accounts. Degeneres, who will be honored at a ceremony Wednesday broadcast on CBS, is steering that award to the Memphis hospital.
It’s not the first time Degeneres has supported St. Jude. Her viral Oscar selfie in 2014, for example, likewise resulted in a big award for the hospital. More than 3 million people retweeted Degeneres’ photo that was packed with A-list stars, and ceremony sponsor Samsung said as a result it would donate $3 million to two of the talk show host’s favorite causes: the Humane Society of the U.S. and St. Jude.
Degeneres’ new gift for St. Jude is also the latest Memphis-related contribution from the celebrity in a matter of months.
Whitney Achievement Elementary School in Frayser got a $50,000 surprise gift from Degeneres in late October. The school got the money from sponsor Shutterfly, which also donated more than $5,000 worth of rain gear for the school’s students.
The school had made national headlines because of its community of teachers who began voluntarily walking their students home every day, regardless of the weather. No buses run within a two-mile radius of the school, and most of the students were making the walk home unsupervised.
Degeneres Skyped with Whitney’s students and gave them the news of the funds live on her show.