About the Scholarship Fund

About the Scholarship Fund

The Freedom Scholarship Fund was established in September of 2018 in memory of the late singer George Michael.

Since that time, our volunteer staff has raised $35,000.00* to provide financial aid for deserving students in the areas of music, art, dance, literacy, suicide prevention, hunger and LGBTQ+ youth safe houses and animal rescue. Our committee meets several times per year to review deserving organizations to be the recipients of a donation from the fund. Since George supported many charitable organizations in his lifetime, we feel no deserving cause should be eliminated from consideration.

You can view the donation history of the Fund below, including the amounts and recipients for each donation.

The Freedom Scholarship Fund is a giving circle non-profit charity consisting of an all volunteer staff.  We do not draw salaries for the time and effort we devote to keeping this fund alive.

 

On December 1, 2023, we donated $1,000.00 to Retriever Rescue of Las Vegas.  Retriever Rescue of Las Vegas is a 501(c)3 non-profit 100% volunteer dog rescue that rescues dogs from South Korea from extreme conditions like dog meat farms and offer them the life and families they deserve. This donation was raised by BTS fans.

On October 26, 2023, we donated $1,000.00 to Dance To Unite to start the Park Jimin Scholarship For Dance.  Dance To Unite is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that utilizes dance and guided conversations about values as a vehicle to teach and to celebrate cultural diversity. This donation was raised by BTS fans. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

On September 5, 2023, we donated $1,000.00 to Circle Tale to name and sponsor Moni the service dog.  Circle Tail (a registered non-profit 501(c)3) was established in 1997.  They provide service dogs free of charge to those in need.  This donation was raised by BTS fans.  To read more about this donation and Moni’s progress go to our BTS Donation page!(Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

On September 1, 2023, we donated $1,000.00 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  This donation was raised by BTS fans. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats childen with cancer.  Families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In March/April of 2023, we donated $3,000.00 to All Kids Need Music in Keansburg, New Jersey.  All Kids Need Music is an organization that sponsors children in difficult circumstances, whether it is an orphaned U.S. child living in foster care, a homeless child, or an at risk child living near or below the poverty level.  This donation was raised by both George Michael and BTS fans. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In November of 2022, we donated $828.00 ($428 was donated by BTS fans) to UNICEF for the BTS Lovemyself Campaign.  (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In July of 2022, we donated $1,000.00 ($225.00 additionally was donated by BTS fans) to the Center For Modern Dance Education  in conjunction with our BTS charity campaign.  The Center for Modern Dance Education (CMDE) located in Hackensack, New Jersey, is a community arts organization with the mission to promote modern dance and related art forms and make it available to everyone while serving as a resource for the professional dance community. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.) An additional $200 has been donated independently by fans of Jimin’s.

In June of 2022, we were able to make a $1,000.00 donation to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in conjunction with our BTS charity campaign. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

Our most grateful thanks to Martyn Goddard for this donation of photographs in 2022.  For more information on Martyn’s prints available for purchase visit his website or email him at autofocusmg@gmail.com.

In 2021, we were able to make a $1,000.00 donation to The Trevor Project in conjunction with our BTS charity campaign.  The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2021, we were able to make a donation $2,000.00 to Covenant House located in New York City.  Covenant House provides food, shelter, health care, counseling and job readiness training for LGBTQ homeless youth. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2021, we were able to make a donation of $1,000.00 to LGBT Rain Foundation. The Rain Foundation provides housing and an array of detailed, relevant and responsive services for LGBT youth. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2021, we were able to make a donation of $2,000.00 to VH1’s Save The Music Foundation.  Save The Music donates instruments, music technology and other equipment to jump start public school music programs. They service children from pre-k through grade 12. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2021, we were able to make a one time donation of $250.00 to the North Texas Food Bank.  The people of Texas have been devastated by the inclement (unusual) weather that left many with no food or clean drinking water at this time.  Our small donation will provide 750 meals for people in need.  (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2021, we were able to make a donation of $1,000.00 to Play On Philly.  Play On Philly provides underserved children in Philadelphia a transformative music education experience that develops and inspires the behaviors and personal skills needed for a successful life. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

Our most grateful thanks to Photographer Pete Still for his generous donation of concert photos.  You can reach Pete to purchase additional concert photo packages through his Facebook page .

In 2020, we were able to donate $500.00 to CAP (Cascade Aids Project) located in Portland, Oregon for their Camp KC project.  Camp KC offers a fun and safe summer camp experience for kids affected or infected with HIV/AIDS throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2020, we were able to donate $150.00 to Project Angel Food’s Pride campaign.  Project Angel Food is located in Los Angeles, California.  They prepare and deliver healthy meals to feed people impacted by serious illness.  George was a huge supporter of Project Angel Food in his lifetime. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2020, we were able to donate $1,500.00 to Hungry For Music an organization located in Washington, DC.  Hungry For Music, for the past 25 years, has collected and refurbished musical instruments and distributes them to children in need.  In the past 25 years they have distributed over 14,000 musical instruments to children around the world.  (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2020, we were able to make a donation of $1,500.00 to Philabundance Food Pantry in Philadelphia, PA.  Due to a recent theft the organization lost almost 1 million dollars in revenue that was badly needed to feed families in crisis.  Now more than ever we need organizations like Philabundance as so many people are literally starving during the Covid pandemic.  (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

Our most grateful thanks to Shirley Lewis and Lincoln Jean-Marie for their contributions to The Freedom Scholarship Fund in 2020.  These two amazing supporters to our cause have been so generous with their time and donations (merchandise) in helping us to raise funds for The Freedom Scholarship Fund.  For those of you who are not aware Shirley Lewis and Lincoln Jean-Marie are singers who worked with George. 

In 2019, we were able to donate $1,500.00 to West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey, to purchase musical instruments for their music room.  West Side High School’s principal Mr. Cook was featured on the Ellen TV show, when the media found out he purchased a washer and dryer so his students could wash their clothing each week. Something so simple as clean clothes (that we all take for granted) was the cause of his students not attending school. Special thanks to everyone who donated items to our silent auction this year. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2019, we were able to donate $3,000.00 to Courage MKE, to continue their amazing work with LGBTQ youth.  Courage MKE co-founders Brad and Nick Schlaikowski opened Wisconsin’s first home for displaced LGBTQ youth.  These two amazing men have opened their hearts to displaced LGBTQ youth who were living on the streets with no place to call home.  We applaud Brad and Nick and are honored to play a small part in their mission.  (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

In 2018, we were able donate $6,600.00 to sponsor twelve (12) students at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who received private music instruction from our fundraising efforts. (Donation acknowledgement letter can be found here.)

Our most grateful thanks to all who attended our Meet & Greet as well as the generous people who donated items for auction. They are photographers Brian Aris, Michael Putland, Neal Preston, Chris Craymer and backup singer Shirley Lewis. Other items were donated to the auction from Artists Craig Campbell and Ashley Killeen, Guitar Center, Enticier Jewelry, Gvantsa Fine Jewelry Designs, Sue Cross, Plastic Ocean, WMMR Radio, The George Michael Story, Rastelli’s Market, Stephanie Faris, Fast Signs, Jazz Sidhu, Dara’s Delights, Rescue Me Boutique and Bonny J. Clayton (Your Web Chick).

Thank you to everyone who has supported this mission.  We are humbled by your generosity and I know George is smiling down from Heaven above!

Sincerely,

Roseann Giannone, Director
and The Freedom Scholarship Fund Staff

 

*Additional funds raised may be held while the selection process is conducted.

George Michael photo used with permission of photographer Martyn Goddard.  For more information on Martyn’s prints available for purchase visit his website or email him at autofocusmg@gmail.com.