For Taylor Swift’s arrival in Rio de Janeiro for the South American leg of the Eras Tour, her zealous fanbase wanted to do something special.
Their aim? To project one of Swift’s famous outfits onto the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
“We did [have] a hard time trying to speak with Father Omar, who is responsible for the Christ statue and sanctuary,” Brazilian Swiftie Myllene Andrade told Good Good Good.
“So, in the meantime we did a small project called #13daLoirinha (in English is #13FromBlondie), where we donated 13 Brazilian reais to NGOs and we posted the receipts in the hashtag on Twitter.”
13 is notoriously Swift’s “lucky number.”
This caught the attention of Father Omar, who then “challenged” the Swifties with a collaborative charity project to help unhoused communities in Brazil.
For every donation of 15 Brazilian reais (about $3 USD), the sanctuary would distribute a kit with water and a panettone to give to people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.
“The initiative is from the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer and aims to raise awareness and mobilize society against poverty and social exclusion, in commemoration of the World Poor Day, established by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, which will be celebrated on November 19,” an Instagram post from Father Omar said.
The goal is to distribute 20,000 kits, which equates to almost 300,000 Brazilian reais in donations. As of midnight on November 17, the Swifties reached the mark of 178,000 Brazilian reais in donations, or 12,000 kits.
The Christ the Redeemer Instagram account has been posting updates to track donations, and the fundraiser will be open until November 19, World Poor Day — and Swift’s last night in Rio.
In exchange for this team endeavor, the statue now dons a famous Swift-inspired look, a T-shirt reading “Welcome to Brazil.” It’s inspired by the “Junior Jewels” shirt Swift wears in her 2009 “You Belong With Me” music video.
“We did it Swifties!! Y’all could show Taylor the love,” the official @cristoredentoroficial Instagram account shared on November 17, accompanying a video of the statue in its new outfit. “Many thanks to all who donated! Make it a wonderful day.”
While Swift might be known for “dressing for revenge,” the Brazilian Swiftes — and Christ the Redeemer itself — are now dressing for philanthropy.
“As a Swiftie, this is what Taylor taught us always,” Andrade said. “Everywhere she goes, she donates to food banks or charities, or even giving recognition to her team.”
It’s true; Swift donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local food banks at each of her North American Eras Tour stops. And she made headlines earlier this year when she gave her tour truck drivers each a $100,000 bonus.
Christ the Redeemer (Taylor’s Version) is just one way fans emulate the pop star.
“The sense of community she is able to present to her fans is amazing. Today, not many artists do this or are this grateful. Us, as Swifties in Brazil, thought of a way we could honor her and celebrate her tour coming here,” Andrade continued.
“We did this because we know that Taylor is, in her essence, such a kind-hearted person to everyone, and we wanted to spread this message of love — almost as a love letter from Brazilian Swifties to her and our own community.”
Update: At the Eras Tour in Rio Friday evening, Swift acknowledged the fan project on stage.
“People kept sending me pictures of this image and I kept writing back, ‘No there’s no way that’s real. That has to be photoshopped.’ But you, somehow, got someone to put a Junior Jewels T-shirt that says ‘Welcome to Brazil’ on the Christ the Redeemer statue,” Swift said, smiling brightly.
“I heard that part of why this was able to happen was because so many of you donated food and water… I’m so proud of you. Thank you so much for everything that you do.”