Oprah Winfrey is most popularly associated with the city of Chicago in the mind of the public, but she's actually called a variety of cities in the United States home over the course of her life. And now, those cities must be glad that she has, since the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation has announced a total of $12 million in giving to communities in five different localities in the US that have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19.
Chicago, Baltimore, Nashville, and Milwaukee are the four big cities getting the latest Oprah donation, but the much smaller community of Kosciusko, Mississippi, where she was born, is also included in the pledge.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Winfrey explained that the pandemic will require everyone with the financial means to do so to help as much as they can:
"The reason I'm talking about it is because there is going to be a need for people of means to step up…I mean, this thing is not going away. Even when the virus is gone, the devastation left by people not being able to work for months who were holding on paycheck to paycheck, who have used up their savings — people are going to be in need. So my thing is, look in your own neighborhood, in your own backyard to see how you can serve and where your service is most essential. That is the real essential work, I think, for people of means."
The $12 million will be split up among several organizations, including $2 million to NashvilleNurtures, which plans to use the money to feed some 10,000 hungry families in Nashville, and $5 million to Live Healthy Chicago, which will devote the extra resources toward its work of supporting senior citizens and other high-risk individuals in Chicago.
The pledge is the latest gift from Oprah's COVID-19 Relief Fund, the establishment of which she first announced in April.