The Weeknd has donated $500,000 each to Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and MusiCares in support of covid-19 relief efforts through sales of his popular line of XO face masks. The donation is a leading gift to the health network's covid-19 Emergency Fund, which now totals more than $2.7 million.
"I was raised in Scarborough and felt it was important to give back to the community that raised me during the hard times of this pandemic," said Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd in a statement issued Monday.
Since the outset of the pandemic, the Grammy Award-winning Scarborough native has been raising awareness and support for many charities, including SHN Foundation. All of the proceeds from sales of The Weeknd's XO face masks will be donated to covid-19 relief, with the artist matching every dollar raised.
"Our vibrant and diverse community represents the best of Canada, and we are fortunate to have ambassadors like The Weeknd in our corner," said Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO, SHN. "This gift will help our community hospitals continue to deliver exceptional care for the people of Scarborough in the wake of covid-19, and demonstrates to our courageous staff and physicians that their critical work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated."
SHN's covid-19 Emergency Fund was established to support frontline staff and doctors by addressing urgent and changing equipment needs. This includes equipment such as ventilators, ICU beds, vital signs and ECG monitors, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), health and wellness supports for frontline workers and other urgent needs. More than 3,500 community donors have contributed to the Fund to date.
The Weeknd also contributed a matching sum of $500,000 to the NARAS-supported US charity, MusiCares.
According to Variety, these two donations follow the artist’s $500,000 gift in early June, which was split between Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, and $100,000 to National Bail Out.