Lizzo gives thousands to Gaza, Sudan & Congo in TikTok plea, encourages 'fellow rich people' to do the same

Three screenshots of Lizzo speaking in a TikTok video

Lizzo might be known for her upbeat, soulful songs that inspire confidence and joy — but recently, she hopped onto TikTok to get serious about some major issues on the world stage.

“This is Doctor Ismail. He’s a doctor who lives in Gaza, who has been helping the people there, and he also needs help getting his family safely out of Gaza,” she said, as she introduced a GoFundMe fundraiser.

“I just donated to get him and his family safely out of Gaza… If you feel compelled to help, you can give as well.”

A listing under Melissa Jefferson — Lizzo’s off-stage name — shows a £8,000 (or a little over $10,000) donation on the GoFundMe page.

A screenshot of a GoFundMe page supporting a doctor named Ismail in Gaza
Lizzo — Melissa Jefferson — donated to support Doctor Ismail in Gaza.

Doctor Ismail’s fundraiser is one of hundreds of campaigns amplified by Operation Olive Branch, a digital volunteer effort organizing and supporting fundraising campaigns that help displaced Palestinians.

Operation Olive Branch commented on Lizzo’s Instagram, where she also shared the video: “Deeply appreciate this use of your platform and we hope it inspires others to do the same.”

The fundraiser she shared has also been supported and shared by popular authors and creators Hank and John Green, who pledged to double their efforts by matching every dollar donated to Ismail’s campaign with donations to Save the Children.

@lizzo Thank you @Operation Olive Branch ♬ original sound - lizzo

Lizzo’s video also comes amid an ongoing project on TikTok which aims to get content creators involved in these grassroots fundraising efforts. 

Led by comedian Erin Hattamer, the “Pass The Hat” movement matches creators with Palestinian families through Operation Olive Branch, encouraging them to donate or spread the word about people in need.

It has been Hattamer’s calls to action that have taken the app by storm, getting major names on board to support the people of Palestine.

“Lizzo? In this economy?” Hattamer gushed in a TikTok story. 

“In case you don’t know, Lizzo posted about Operation Olive Branch. And gave the same link that Hank Green gave, so…” she trailed off, joyously.

The singer also shared some fundraisers for humanitarian crises in Sudan and the Congo.

“This is ‘Help Sudan - Sudan Relief,’ a GoFundMe dedicated to helping the Sudanese people who are dealing with atrocities of violence against them, famine, and genocide,” she shared, before adding that she donated to this campaign, as well.

A $7,550 donation by Melissa Jefferson can also be seen on the Sudan GoFundMe page.

A screenshot of a GoFundMe page in support of Sudan relief
Lizzo — Melissa Jefferson — donated in support of aid relief for the people of Sudan.

The singer continued, sharing the third place she was directing her donations: “This is Pappy Orion, the founder of Focus Congo. Focus Congo is an organization that is dedicated to helping the people in the Congo and the Republic of Congo who are dealing with violence, famine, and genocide.”

This week in particular has been filled with critique of celebrities — especially the exclusive roster of those who attended Monday’s Met Gala (Lizzo was one of these attendees). 

The event — which costs a reported $75,000 to attend — took place at the same time that thousands of displaced Palestinians in Rafah were met with violence during a ground invasion by the Israeli military.

Whether coincidentally or in light of this ongoing dialogue about wealth and privilege, Lizzo’s video carried a pointed message.

“I’m also talking to my fellow rich people with money,” she added. “If you don’t know how to help, you can help families directly get to safety and possibly save a life. Remember: We ain’t free till we all free.”

Header images courtesy of Lizzo/TikTok

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May 9, 2024 7:11 PM
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