Feel Good Friday: How Stars Are Helping During Coronavirus Pandemic

1:45 PM 5/8/2020

by Katherine Schaffstall

Kerry Washington, Ryan Murphy, Skylar Astin and more have been helping those in need and providing entertainment amid the global crisis.

Steve Granitz/WireImage; ANGELA WEISS/AFP; Getty

As many people remain stuck at home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a number of Hollywood stars and public figures have made generous donations and found ways to keep people entertained.

Skylar Astin, Julian Edelman, Dolores Catania and Isiah Thomas teamed up to teach a body-conditioning class for charity. The purpose of the class was to raise funds to deliver meals to Holocaust survivors who are unable to leave their homes during the pandemic.

Ryan Murphy Television has partnered with Charitybuzz to auction off memorabilia from the company's projects, including Hollywood, American Horror Story, Pose and 911: Lone Star. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Actors Fund COVID-19 efforts.

In an effort to keep her fans entertained, Kerry Washington teamed up with her father, Earl, to launch the web series Dad Jokes. The first episode featured guest Tina Knowles, who spoke about her love of corny jokes with the hosts.

Barbra Streisand thanked essential workers for their hard work during the global crisis by releasing a new music video for the song "You'll Never Walk Alone," which is featured in the musical Carousel. The recently released recording is from the singer's performance at the 2001 Emmy Awards.

Meanwhile, Blake Shelton and Hoda Kotb teamed up to surprise a duo of mother-daughter nurses. In an effort to thank them for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic, the singer dedicated a performance of "God Gave Me You" to the nurses on Today.

Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Anne Hathaway, Megan Rapinoe, Danai Gurira, Arianna Huffington and more stars joined the #TogetherForHer initiative. The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), CARE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) launched the movement, which has the stars stand in solidarity with women and girls who are struggling during the pandemic.

Last week, Trevor Noah, Emilia Clarke, Josh Gad and Chuck Lorre were among the stars to help those in need by donating to charities and launching web series on social media platforms. 

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

  • Skylar Astin and Julian Edelman Teach Workout Class to Raise Money for Holocaust Survivors

    Gary Gershoff/Getty Images; John Lamparski/Getty Images

    Skylar Astin, Julian Edelman, Dolores Catania and Isiah Thomas joined forces to raise money to deliver meals to Holocaust survivors who are unable to leave their homes due to the novel coronavirus crisis.

    Partnering with 333 Charity and the UJA-Federation, the stars and athletes taught a virtual total body conditioning workout class with Trooper Fitness. The class cost $20, with all proceeds benefiting survivors who reside in New York.

    According to 333 Charity, 36,000 Holocaust survivors live in the New York area. Nearly 40 percent of the survivors are living in poverty and are in need of help during the pandemic.

  • Kerry Washington Launches ‘Dad Jokes’ Series With Her Father

    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

    Kerry Washington and her father teamed up to launch the Dad Jokes series on her Instagram account.

    In the first episode, Washington and her father were joined by Tina Knowles to discuss their shared love of corny jokes. After Knowles gave the show her blessing, the group discussed the origin on Knowles' love of dad jokes.

    After Earl set up a joke, Knowles shared her own take on a dad joke during the episode. "What did one eye say to the other?" she asked. "Between us, something smells."

  • Ryan Murphy Television Auctions Off Memorabilia for The Actors Fund

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    Ryan Murphy Television partnered with Charitybuzz to launch an auction with memorabilia from the company's projects. The proceeds from the auction will go to the Actors Fund COVID-19 efforts.

    Items that will be auctioned off include signed memorabilia, wardrobe items, scripts and posters from Ryan Murphy-produced shows. Fans can bid on a hat worn by Darren Criss in Hollywood, a signed poster of Lady Gaga's character from American Horror Story: Hotel, a jacket and top hat worn by Billy Porter in Pose, a shirt worn by Rob Lowe on 911: Lone Star and more.

    The Actors Fund of America is a charitable organization that supports performers, as well as behind-the-scenes workers in the performing arts and entertainment field.

  • Blake Shelton and Hoda Kotb Surprise Mother-Daughter Nurses With "God Gave Me You" Performance

    Gregg DeGuire/WireImage; Slaven Vlasic/WireImage

    Blake Shelton and Hoda Kotb teamed up to surprise a duo of mother-daughter nurses. To thank them for their hard work during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the singer performed "God Gave Me You."

    Kotb explained during a Today segment that nursing assistant Bridgette Robinson tested positive for COVID-19 in April. She was put on a ventilator at the hospital where her daughter, Sylvia Johnson, works as a nurse. Robinson eventually recovered after spending weeks in the hospital.

    Shelton's song choice is especially appropriate given that Johnson credited her mother's recovery to God, prayers and Robinson's "fight for life."

    "The whole time I heard you guys talking and you keep throwing it back to God...I want to dedicate this song from me to you guys as nurses and being out there on the front lines," Shelton told Robinson and Johnson. "I think this song really speaks to your relationship with each other if you ask me."

  • Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Anne Hathaway and More Join #TogetherForHer Campaign

    Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images; LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage

    Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Anne Hathaway, Megan Rapinoe, Danai Gurira, Arianna Huffington and more stars joined the #TogetherForHer initiative. The stars stand in solidarity for women and girls who are struggling during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

    The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), CARE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) launched the Together for Her movement April 22. The campaign fights to deploy funds, addresses the need for resources and supports the global response against domestic violence during the crisis.

    Since announcing the campaign, more than 50 women in the entertainment industry — as well as sports, fashion and business — have pledged to donate a financial gift to help women in need during this vulnerable time.

    Other women who stand in solidarity with the campaign include Alyssa Milano, Courteney Cox, Kristen Stewart, Kristen Wiig, Mariska Hargitay, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman, Octavia Spencer, Olivia Wilde, Regina King and more.

  • Barbra Streisand Thanks Essential Workers With "You'll Never Walk Alone" Video

    Barry King/FilmMagic

    Barbra Streisand paid tribute to essential workers by releasing a new music video for the song "You'll Never Walk Alone," which is featured in the musical Carousel.

    The recently released song is a recording of Streisand's performance from the 2001 Emmy Awards. The video includes a montage that highlights essential workers including health care workers, grocery store employees, delivery drivers and more as they continue to work during the novel coronavirus pandemic. She also encourages viewers to donate to DirectRelief.org at the end of the video. The nonprofit provides protective gear to health care workers fighting the spread of COVID-19.

    "I sang this song almost 20 years ago after 9/11," a message from Streisand reads at the beginning of the video. "Today we face another crisis, but I think the words still apply."