With many Americans struggling to make ends meet during these unprecedented times, Taylor Swift has sparked some joy in the lives of two mothers in need this holiday season. The Grammy Award-winning artist made two generous donations of $13,000 to Nashville resident Nikki Cornwell and Shelbie Selewski of Michigan after reading about their struggles this week, Billboard reports.
The singer-songwriter became aware of the two women after The Washington Post shined a spotlight on the financial hardships people are facing as a result of the and featured the two mothers’ plights.
Cornwell explained that she and her family fell ill with COVID-19 and now she’s trying to get her feet back on the ground after falling behind on her rent and utility bills. Cornwell says she has been unable to find a job since spring.
“I’m about $5,000 behind in my rent and I don’t have much time to move by January 5th I don’t know if my kids will even have a Christmas this has been a horrible year for us,” she wrote on her GoFundMe. “My family would appreciate any help this holiday. I am definitely praying for miracles.”
Along with her donation, Swift left a written note for the mother. “Nikki, I read about you in the Washington Post and thought it was really brave of you to share your story,” she wrote. “I’m so sorry for everything you’ve had to go through this year and wanted to send you this gift, from one Nashville girl to another.”
Selewski said she lost her job in the spring and had to stay home to look after her daughter “who was born with a collapsed lung right before Covid (Dec).” Selewski says her daughter was hospitalized for two months.
“I have tirelessly tried to find employment along with my Fiancé but with Vada (daughter) being compromised and my 7 year old in Virtual School it has proven incredibly difficult,” she wrote. “We have sold everything we could possibly sell and with that have always paid our bills as much as possible but it feels like every day something else comes up.”
Again, in addition the monetary donation, Swift sent along a note, saying she read about Selewski in the Post.
“No one should have to feel the kind of stress that’s been put on you,” the note reads. “I hope you and your beautiful family have a great holiday season.”
Following the charitable star’s donations, both mothers surpassed their fundraising goals.
“What a truly wonderful world to have people that will so easily help a stranger. My children will hear this story and I can only hope I raise them to be as kind and giving as all of you. I can finally sleep with a peace,” Selewski added to her GoFundMe page after reaching her goal.
Swift’s season of giving also included a donation to a food bank. On Friday, Twitter user Sarah Bailey shared a video of her Christmas lights set-up, flashing to the tune of Swift’s song “Christmas Tree Farm.” A few days after tagging the superstar in her tweet, Bailey received a surprise direct message from Swift, who said she “loved” the light show and it inspired her to give back.
“I really love how you’ve chosen to give back by mentioning your local food bank,” Swift wrote. “I’ve made a donation to Our Community Hunger Centre in your hometown. Happy Holidays!”