Following George Michael's untimely passing on Dec. 25, many are coming together to remember the pop icon's private acts of kindness. Among his philanthropic acts, Michael helped people living with HIV, the LGBTQ community, children in need, and many others.
One donation in particular stands out: Michael reportedly sent a woman the equivalent of US$18,000 for her IVF treatment after watching her on Deal or No Deal. British television presenter Richard Osman, who was once a producer for the game show, shared the story in a tweet:
A woman on 'Deal Or No Deal' told us she needed £15k for IVF treatment. George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15k.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 26, 2016
According to the BBC, 38-year-old Lynette Gillard was confirmed as the recipient of Michael's donation. After realising that Michael had been the generous contributor, she told The Telegraph, "For many years I wondered who would have been so generous and now I know. What more can I say other than 'Thank you George.'"
The singer's charitable acts were often done in anonymity. In another touching incident, Michael reportedly tipped a bartender with thousands to help her with her student debt resulting from nursing school.
Michael was also a generous supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust, which benefits people living with HIV. In a Facebook post, the organisation said, "His donations contributed to a vision of a world where people living with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination."
It has also come to light that Michael may have been most involved with Childline, a free counseling service for children and teenagers. In a statement to the Press Association, shared with The Irish Times, the charity's founder, Dame Esther Rantzen, said George was an invaluable philanthropist who donated millions through the years. "He was determined not to make his generosity public, so no one outside the charity knew how much he gave to the nation's most vulnerable children," she said. "I think all of us have memories of particular Wham! songs and George Michael songs which mean a great deal to us. Certainly, for Britain's children, George Michael meant so much more."