I am excited to announce The Freedom Scholarship Fund’s newest campaign to raise funds for worthy recipients!
As you know we have mainly focused on providing grants in the fields of music and art for deserving students so far. We have also given grants to non-profit organizations (safe houses) that provide assistance to LGBTQ youth which I am very proud to be a part of. I am sure that George would agree with our decisions and support our efforts.
It has become incredibly difficult to continue raising money in George’s memory. Sadly his family and estate have done very little to keep his memory alive and I’m finding it difficult to keep up the interest in raising funds in his memory. There have been many times when I felt this would be the end of The Freedom Scholarship Fund (as interest seems to fade with each passing month) but each time I want to throw in the towel I feel George pushing me to continue and for this reason I push forward.
I have been very blessed to have received some amazing items over the past three years from people who worked with or for George to help us raise funds but those avenues are starting to dry up. There are only so many people that I can solicit for GM merchandise and for this reason I felt the need to check out other avenues to raise funds in George’s memory.
I am always looking for creative ways to raise money for The Freedom Scholarship Fund and in my research I stumbled across the BTS #loveyourself #endviolence campaign in conjunction with UNICEF. I was so impressed at what these young men stand for and what causes they have donated their personal money to (and how similar it is to our mission here at The Freedom Scholarship Fund) that I new it was a perfect match.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you will know the name BTS, the Korean K-pop boy band consisting of seven members (J-Hope, V, JK, Jin, Jimin and RM). They have taken the world by storm with their rise to fame shattering record and concert sales, winning numerous awards, in just a few short years.
In 2017 BTS embarked on a campaign with UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) to end violence against children and teens with their #loveyourself #endviolence campaign. These amazing young men are not only talented singers, they are positive roll models who have donated over 500 million Korean dollars from their management company Big Hit Entertainment and the seven individual BTS members. The donations continued with 3% of the income from the sales of your albums of the Love Yourself Series and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their official Love Myself merchandise and other items associated with the group.
With the incredible popularity of BTS I knew that embarking on this #loveyourself #endviolence campaign would be a way to continue raising money for causes that I know George would approve of. Too many times we hear horrific stories about LGBTQ youth being bullied, battered and experiencing extreme violence because of their sexual preferences. As a mother and grandmother this is heartbreaking to me. No child should experience this treatment just because they live their truth. Any money raised through this campaign will still be donated in George’s memory regardless of what we call the campaign. Money raised during this campaign will go to BTS’s UNICEF campaign here in the USA (in George’s memory) and charities around the USA that provide assistance to LGBTQ youth.
BTS have millions of fans around the world who they affectingly call their “ARMY” so we are hoping that the USA ARMY will join in with The Freedom Scholarship Fund and raise money for this very important cause #loveryouself #endvoiolence campaign.
I will be creating a separate Facebook Group as well as a page on our official website for this campaign. I do hope that you will all embrace my decision and support it. I am not abandoning George, this is just another way for us to continue raising funds and donating them in his memory.
I will continue to run our regular Scholarship Fund groups and website so nothing will change there. We still have plenty of GM merchandise that has been donated to The Freedom Scholarship Fund to raffle and raise money to be donated to deserving organizations in George’s memory.
So to kick off our newest fund raising effort The Freedom Scholarship Fund will be donating $1,000.00 to The Trevor Project. BTS Member Min Yoon-gi (better know as Suga) has admitted that he attempted suicide. By speaking his truth and telling his story Suga has probably saved thousands of young adults who have contemplated suicide. We commend Suga for his bravery in telling his story and for this reason we donate our first $1,000.00 to The Trevor Project (www.thetrevorproject.org) in George’s memory. 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. We are so happy that Suga is still with us and know that he is a positive role model for young people who may be facing adversity and know that their life has value and suicide is not the answer.
Roseann Giannone, Director
The Freedom Scholarship Fund
To access the BTS campaign page (click here) to be redirected on our site.
Suga promised to donate food to fans when he became successful. In 2018, for his 25th birthday, he did. He donated about $19,000 worth of hanwoo beef to 39 children’s foster homes in his hometown, Daegu, under the name ARMY. In 2019, he donated $90,000 to the Korea Pediatric Cancer Association and 329 dolls he designed, under the name ARMY.
Jimin’s donations often support education. In 2019, he donated approximately $88,000 to the Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education. The money was given to various schools in the city to provide lunch money for students from low-income families and other needs. When school was out of session for winter break, he secretly donated to his alma mater, Busan High School of Arts. The funding provided desks and chairs to its 1200 students.
J-Hope also donated to educational causes. He donated roughly $85,000 to Childfund Korea’s Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education, which went to his alma mater, Choontae Academy, before being donated to Jeonnam Girls’ Commercial High School. Additionally, through his donations, 10 students will receive scholarships for five years.
RM also contributed to various causes, including educational institutions. In 2019, he donated $84,000 to the Seoul Samsung School, also known as Samsung Deaf School, to help provide deaf and hard of hearing students with music education.