Michael Jackson would’ve turned 60 this week. To remember the King of Pop, we’re looking back at some of his philanthropic efforts. FYI – the actual list is so epic, we’ve narrowed it down to our top 5. But really, he must’ve done just as many hospital visits, and good deeds as he did concerts! Funny how this stuff only sometimes made it into the papers or magazines, and if it did, was usually buried behind page after page of gossip or articles ridiculing his appearance.
So, do you remember the time Michael Jackson did these things?
- He went to orphanages and hospitals around the world putting smiles on the faces of sick children and their families. He did this A LOT and in 1994, when Michael met a little boy in a Budapest hospital who desperately needed a liver transplant, he got the boy a liver transplant! Michael recounted Bela Farkas’ story in “Michael Jackson: The Private Home Movies” documentary explaining how he employed a group to track down a liver for this little boy. Years later Bela revealed that Michael not only paid for his operation, but also covered his treatment for the next 10 years. Speaking to Hungarian magazine Story, Bela says: “The treatment cost $15 thousand a year. Michael spent over 50 million forints on me – just because he happened to meet me in the hospital.”
- That time in 1985, when Michael teamed up with Lionel Richie to write “We Are The World”. The single wasperformed by over 40 major artists and raised over 63 million dollars for disease and famine relief in Africa.
- That time in 1992 when Michael started the Heal The World Foundation to promote children’s rights, fight child abuse, and provide food and medicine for underprivileged communities. In the 10 years it was active, the foundation sent 46 tons of humanitarian aid to Sarajevo, provided thousands of children in Bosnia with school supplies and toys and supported education, health and food programs across the globe.
- That time in 1988 when he released the song “Man In The Mirror” and donated ALL proceeds to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times to support children suffering from cancer.
- He helped hundreds of teenagers get through college and university. In 1986, Michael put US$1.5 million to set up a scholarship fund. Aimed at students who major in the arts and attend a United Negro College Fund school or university, the scholarship is still helping students today.