Feel Good Friday: How Stars Are Helping Others During Coronavirus Pandemic

1:45 PM 4/24/2020

by Katherine Schaffstall

Michelle Obama, Idris Elba, Kristen Bell and more are doing their part to help those in need amid the global health crisis.

Michelle Obama, Idris Elba and Kristen Bell - Getty - Split - H 2020
Getty Images

Hollywood stars have continued to find ways to spread positivity during the coronavirus pandemic. While a number of luminaries have made generous donations, others have used their platforms to entertain those locked down in their homes.

Michelle Obama on Monday announced that she will read stories to children stuck at home. In a partnership with PBS Kids, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books, the former first lady will read stories every Monday on PBS Kids' YouTube and Facebook pages.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis made it possible to help those in need while enjoying a glass of wine when they announced their partnership with Nocking Point Wines and Battle Creek Vineyards to launch their own Quarantine Wine. The couple shared that 100 percent of the profits will go charities they selected that are helping with coronavirus relief.

Another couple that is working to help those impacted by the virus is Idris and Dhowre Elba. They have teamed with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development to launch a new $40 million fund through their roles as U.N. Goodwill Ambassadors. The fund aims to help people in rural and poor areas that have a high risk of suffering due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, actors Jodie Whittaker and Danny Dyer were joined by broadcaster David Attenborough, professional soccer player Sergio Aguero and professor Brian Cox in a partnership with BBC to educate children during the coronavirus pandemic while schools are closed.

Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have decided to end their lighthearted feud for 24 hours to participate in the All In Challenge. They will work together at a lemonade stand for the child of a randomly chosen bidder, while they also nominated fellow stars to partake in the initiative.

Additionally, Kristen Bell will have a virtual game night with a randomly chosen winner and four friends that donate to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles through Omaze.

Read on to see how stars gave back over the past week.

  • Michelle Obama Launches Weekly Children's Book Reading Series

    Michelle Obama took to Twitter on Monday to share that she will read stories to children stuck at home. The former first lady partnered with PBS Kids, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books for the initiative.

    Each Monday, Obama will read some of her favorite children’s books. The series provides an opportunity for children to practice their reading skills while giving parents a break during the pandemic.

    "I can't wait to share the magic of storytelling with kids everywhere by reading a beloved children's book every Monday," she tweeted.

    Obama launched the program this week by reading The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Children can watch Obama read books each Monday on PBS Kids' YouTube and Facebook pages.

  • Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Launch Wine to Raise Money for Coronavirus Relief

    Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis on Sunday announced that they partnered with Nocking Point Wines and Battle Creek Vineyards to launch their own Quarantine Wine.

    In a video posted to Twitter, the couple shared that "100 percent of the profits will go to a handful of charities that we have vetted for you and are so proud of during this time."

    The charities that Kutcher and Kunis will donate to include Give DirectlyDirect ReliefThe Frontline Responders Fund and America’s Food Fund.

    Kunis noted that they had fun testing the wine and they raised a glass to those fighting the spread of the disease. She also shared that bottles are "interactive," allowing users to write what they are toasting on the label.

  • Idris Elba and Wife Launch $40M Fund to Help Others

    After testing positive for COVID-19, Idris Elba and his wife Dhowre Elba teamed up with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development to launch a new $40 million fund through their roles as U.N. Goodwill Ambassadors.

    The fund will help those in rural and poor areas that have a high risk of suffering due to the pandemic. The couple hopes to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on farmers and food producers in rural areas.

    "If you imagine being in a village where no one even knows the name of your village or your population, and that you live in a slum where there is one room and six of you live in it, social distancing is almost laughable," the actor told the Associated Press.

    "What we are really worried about at the moment, and why we are launching this fund is that those people are being forgotten," Dhowre added. "While health, you know, is so important at the moment ... we don't want people to forget about what comes after that."

  • Jodie Whittaker Becomes a Teacher for BBC Education Program

    Actors Jodie Whittaker and Danny Dyer, broadcaster David Attenborough, professional soccer player Sergio Aguero and professor Brian Cox joined forces with BBC to educate children during the coronavirus pandemic while schools are closed.

    The BBC recruited the star-studded teaching staff to collaborate with real teachers for Bitesize Daily episodes. The episodes are made for British children between the ages of 5-14 and will be available to watch on the streamer iPlayer, offering 14 weeks of curriculum-based learning.

    Whittaker was enlisted to help illustrate certain subjects by dropping into daily lessons, while Attenborough will teach kids about a number of subjects such as oceans and mapping the world. Meanwhile, Cox will host lessons on the solar system, Dyer will provide lessons about Henry VIII and Aguero will teach classes in Spanish.

  • Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds End Feud for All In Challenge

    Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds pledged to get along for 24 hours on Monday as part of the All In Challenge. The two have joked about their feud since appearing together in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    Started by Fanatics founder Michael Rubin, the initiative has stars auction experiences to raise money to feed the elderly, children and front-line workers that are working to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Once a star accepts, they have to challenge others to join the cause.

    In a video posted to Twitter on Monday, Jackman and Reynolds said they will work together at a lemonade stand for the child of a randomly chosen bidder.

    Jackman nominated NFL star Drew Brees, Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann to participate in the initiative, while Reynolds nominated retired astronaut Chris Hadfield and soccer star Ashley Lawrence. 

  • Kristen Bell Auctions Virtual Game Night With Friends

    Kristen Bell is auctioning off the chance to win a virtual game night with the actress and four friends.

    By donating to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles through Omaze, the donators will be entered into a contest to win the opportunity to virtually play games with Bell. The actress will call the winner and their friends to play a game over video chat.

    The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to facilitating the public-private partnerships that are necessary to solve challenges in Los Angeles. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization is working to support families and small businesses, while also providing hospitals and front-line medical workers with critical resources and services for the homeless and older residents.