During a time when it can become very easy to focus our efforts internally and in our immediate households, there are some people who are also looking further abroad, finding ways to help complete strangers in a time of wild uncertainty.
Not all of us have the means to help build shelters and feed large groups of the hungry, but celebrities with cash at their disposal do, and some of them are.
Alex Trebek and his wife, Jean, recently joined forces with Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in California.
“Our mission is to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness,” the organization’s website states. “We do this by offering immediate assistance and long-term solutions.”
“We are a faith-based independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that does not discriminate based on gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or lack thereof. Our services are grounded in a deep respect for the dignity inherent in each human being.”
There are 15 facilities in the San Fernando Valley, including two under construction, and Hope of the Valley serves around 839,000 meals a year, according to CNN.
The Trebeks made their first generous donation in February, after learning a bit more about the group and its work.
“Recently I was sitting in my office and I received a phone call from Alex Trebek,” president and CEO Ken Craft said on social media. “He said he would like a tour of our new shelter being built. I gave him a tour of the NoHo shelter and the navigation center.”
“Two weeks after that, he asked if I would come to his house. I went to his house and he said he wants to contribute to the homeless crisis and he handed me a check for $100,000.”
“I was just overwhelmed, and I just said, ‘Alex, you don’t know how much this means to us,'” Craft continued in a different interview with CNN. “And so I gave him a hug. This was back in February before, you know, the virus.”
The multi-purpose room in the North Hollywood shelter that Trebek helped fund is being named in honor of Alex and Jean. The couple wanted to tour the building, so a visit was arranged, but the Trebeks had another generous gift up their sleeve.
“Alex and Jean contributed $500,000 to the charity because they believe in helping locally as well as globally,” the couple’s representative said, according to CNN. “They have lived in the Valley for over 30 years, and want to help support their community.”
“They also believe that homeless people are just ordinary people who have had bad circumstances happen to them, and deserve a helping hand, not judgment.”
“I have never, ever, received a check for $500,000 and I was just floored,” Craft said. “Initially, I was shocked. And then I was just overwhelmed with gratitude, because I know how much we can do. The only thing that limits us right now is resources.”
“I cannot say enough good things about just who they are as, you know, forget the donation, just who they are as human beings, and as individuals. So it was, it’s really been a joy just to get to know them on that level.”
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