Celebrity Spotlight: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift donated $100,000 to Habitat Greater Baton Rouge.

Taylor Swift has helped make deserving families’ “Wildest Dreamscome true with her donation of $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge. But the superstar’s generosity doesn’t stop there. She’s helped to support numerous charitable causes, showing that her astounding success can be used as a powerful platform to create change.

From humble beginnings to spectacular success

Swift found her passion for singing very early on, at the age of nine. She quickly picked up the guitar soon after, writing her first song “Lucky You when she was only 12 years old. From there, the road only lead her further down the path to success.

Today, Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 50 million albums.

She’s also been featured on the Time’s 100 most influential people list (in 2010, 2015 and 2019), was the youngest to be included on Forbes’ list of 100 most powerful women (2015) and was ranked first in their Celebrity 100 list (2016). And the list goes on.

2016 Louisiana FloodFlooding in Baton Rouge, 2016.

Swift’s involvement with Habitat began with a devastating flood.

In August 2016, a slow-moving storm system resulted in feet of rain for southern Louisiana. This lead to the evacuation of tens of thousands, the death of at least 13 people and a region plunged into chaos.

Not-for-profit organizations around the area were struggling to meet the needs of the community. Swift saw a need for support and knew that she could contribute to help fill in the gaps.

Habitat Greater Baton Rouge

With 65,829 homes flooded in the three hardest-hit parishes in Louisiana (East Baton Rouge, Livingston and Ascension), Habitat Greater Baton Rouge was hard at work, tackling this seemingly irreparable damage.

Swift’s donation of $100,000 in October 2016 to their Habitat affiliate provided them with the resources needed to make the feat of repairing the community more attainable.

“We are blown away by Taylor Swift’s generosity,” said Lynn Clark, executive director of Habitat Greater Baton Rouge.

“The overwhelming need in South Louisiana right now makes her support so important. Thanks to her help and the support of so many people across the country, we will rebuild our community.”

The funds were used to purchase materials used to clean and gut flood-affected homes. The most urgent needs were removing drywall, insulation and flooring from these residences as quickly as possible. Teams of volunteers were working tirelessly, every single day, to get the work done.

Their work progressed much more swiftly, aided by the celebrity’s donation. Habitat Greater Baton Rouge was successful in gutting 80 flood-damaged homes and rebuilding 30 in response to the devastation.

Taylor Swift’s $1 million pledge to relief funds

This donation to Habitat came as a part of Swift’s pledge to donate $1 million to flood relief programs to help Louisiana recover from the disaster.

“We began The 1989 World Tour in Louisiana, and the wonderful fans there made us feel completely at home,” said Swift.

“The fact that so many people in Louisiana have been forced out of their own homes this week is heartbreaking.”

Giving back never goes out of “Style”

Swift’s track record of charitable involvement shows that giving back truly never goes out of “Style. With lyrics like “These things will change / Can you feel it now?” this superstar clearly doesn’t just sing about change – she walks the talk.

“Wildest Dreams”

In 2015, Swift donated the proceeds from her wildlife themed “Wildest Dreams” music video to the African Parks Foundation of America. This organization focuses on the eradication of poaching, nature conservation and the development of sustainable tourism.

Jacob and his service dog

In 2018, Taylor Swift donated $10,000 to Jacob, a then-five-year-old boy with autism, for a service dog. This was in response to his 12-year-old sister’s music video cover, asking the artist to contribute to their GoFundMe page to raise money for a therapy dog for Jacob.

In her cover of Swift’s hit song, “Blank Space, Jacob’s sister changed the lyrics, singing: “We got a long list of donations / But we don’t see your name / We got a blank space baby / So donate today.”

Two years later, following the donation, Swift invited his family to her show at NRG Stadium in Houston.

"Taylor Swift donated $10,000 towards my son's service dog. She gave us front row seats and backstage passes to her…

Posted by Autism Speaks on Monday, October 1, 2018

Tennessee Equality Project

In 2019, she donated $113,000 to an LGBTQ+ organization – the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP). Swift also included a hand-written letter, expressing why the work their organization is doing is so meaningful to her.

Note accompanying Taylor Swift's donation.

Taylor Swift’s hand-written note to TEP, accompanying her donation. Posted by Chris Sanders, TEP’s Executive Director, to Facebook.


Taylor Swift Social Media

Twitter

Instagram


Get involved with Habitat today and see how your donation of money or time makes an impactful difference in the lives of local families. 

Learn more about Habitat Greater Baton Rouge here.

Learn more about Habitat HM here.

By: Olivia Kabelin