Michael Jackson is best known for his music, but he possibly touched just as many people through his love and compassion for those less fortunate. Here are just some of the things he did which never really made the headlines…
January, 1979: Michael Jackson donated a number of books, including ‘Peter Pan’ to the Chicago Public Library’s Young Adult Section and promoted reading through a library program called ‘Boogie to the Book Beat’.
July, 1981: A benefit concert at the Omni Auditorium in Atlanta, Georgia, raised $100,000 for the ‘Atlanta Children’s Foundation’ in response to a series of kidnappings and murders that had been plaguing the children of Atlanta for months.
January 10, 1984: During the filming of a Pepsi commercial, Michael suffered severe burns to his scalp when the pyrotechnics went awry. As a result of the on-set accident, he was admitted to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California. Despite palm-sized second and third-degree burns to the back of his head, Michael visited several other burn patients and later donated a hyperbaric chamber (used to treat burn victims) to the hospital, in addition to making a substantial donation towards preparing and equipping the Michael Jackson Burn Center.
April 9, 1984: David Smithee, a 14-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer, fulfilled a lifelong dream when he was invited to Michael’s Encino family home through the auspices of the ‘Brass Ring Society’. The pair shared an enjoyable afternoon watching movies in the private screening room, eating lunch and playing video games. Before leaving, David was treated to a black sequined glove and Michael’s red leather jacket from his hit, ‘Beat It’. Seven weeks later, the young boy passed away, but not without having had his last wish granted.
April 14, 1984: Michael equipped a 19-bed-unit at the ‘Mount Sinai New York Medical Center’. This centre is part of the T.J. Martell-Foundation for leukemia and cancer research.
May, 1984: Michael donated the use of his song ‘Beat It’ to a national advertising campaign against drinking whilst driving. For his contribution, he received a Special Achievement Award which was presented by President Ronald Reagan.
July 5, 1984: Michael and his family held a press conference about the ticket distribution system for the ‘Victory Tour’. During his speech, he announced, “Finally, and most importantly, I want you to know that when I first agreed to tour, I decided to donate all the money I make from our performances to charity.” Three charities benefited from Michael’s generosity: ‘Camp Good Times’ for terminally ill children, the ‘T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia and Cancer Research’, and ‘The United Negro College Fund’ which went on to establish the ‘Michael Jackson Scholarship Fund’. By 1988, this Fund had provided scholarships for 70 students at UNCF member schools.
July 21-23, 1984: The Jacksons, whilst performing in Jacksonville, Florida entertained eight children suffering from incurable diseases. Fourteen-year-old Malanda Cooper, a young victim who had only a short time to live, wrote to the Mayor asking to meet Michael. Michael subsequently met her backstage prior to a performance. Later 700 disadvantaged children were treated to the show.
July, 1984: The Jacksons performed at Texas Stadium in Dallas, and donated 1200 tickets valued at $39,000 to underprivileged children.
August, 1984: As negotiations for a performance in Gary, Indiana broke down, the Jacksons transported forty children from the ‘Thelma Marshall Children’s Home’ (for orphans, foster children and abandoned children), ‘The Hoosier Boys Home’ and the ‘Donzels Work Study Program’ (for high school students working toward a college education) to Detroit, Michigan for the third performance there.
December 13, 1984: Michael visited the Brotman Memorial Hospital, where he had been treated when he was seriously burned during the producing of a Pepsi commercial. He donated all the money he received from Pepsi, $1.5 million, to the Michael Jackson Burn Center for children.
January 28, 1985: Michael Jackson was one of the first artists to arrive at ‘A&M Lion Share Studios’ for the now historic recording which brought dozens of nationally acclaimed artists together in the hope of alleviating famine in Africa. In an all night session, the largest-grossing single in the history of the recording arts, ‘We Are The World’, was recorded, spawning a videocassette and a book, all the proceeds of which were put towards famine relief efforts. The result? $60 million dollars were channelled directly to the countries most affected. Michael Jackson contributed to the effort not only as a featured artist, but he also co-wrote the song with Lionel Ritchie and recorded the demo tracks that were distributed to the participating artists.
1986: Michael set up the “Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund”. This $1.5 million fund aimed to help students majoring in performance art and communications, with money given each year to students attending a UNCF member college or university.
February 28, 1986: After having had a heart-transplant, 14-year-old Donna Ashlock from California got a call from Michael. He had heard that she was a big fan of his and told her that she had an invite to his home as soon as she was feeling better. This visit took place on March 8th. Donna stayed for dinner, chatted and watched a movie with Michael.
October, 1986: ‘Michael’s Pets’, a line of stuffed animals which were all modelled after Michael Jackson’s pet menagerie, were released onto the market. Michael requested that one dollar from each purchase be donated to a children’s charity.
September 13, 1987: Michael supported the efforts of the NAACP, to fight prejudice against black artists.
September, 1987: Michael donated $20,000 to the family of a young Japanese boy, Yoshiyaki, who had been recently kidnapped and killed. News footage at the time showed a highly emotional Michael Jackson addressing the incident. He said: “I am very sorry and deeply saddened to hear about Yoshiyaki. If I could, I would like to rush to his parents to express my words of sympathy and pay tribute to Yoshiyaki. I would like to dedicate my Japanese tour to Yoshiyaki..Yoshiyaki, I know you’re out there watching us. I hope such a brutal and heartbreaking thing never happens again. And I love you.” Michael then proceeded to sing his hit song, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”.
October 1987: At the end of his ‘Bad Tour’, Michael donated some of his personal items to UNESCO for a charity auction. The proceeds went towards the education of children in developing countries. Among the items were sunglasses, t-shirts and a windbreaker.
November, 1987: Michael donated £10,000 pounds to the ‘Children in Need’ appeal in Great Britain.
November, 1987: Michael visited a children’s hospital while on tour in Australia.
February 1, 1988: The Song “Man In the Mirror” entered the pop charts. The proceeds from the sales of this record went to ‘Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times’, a camp for children who suffer from cancer.
March 3, 1988: Michael performed at Madison Square Gardens. The first of three concerts was a benefit for the United Negro College Fund. He presented a cheque for $600,000 to Christopher Edley, UNCF President, making him one of the UNCF’s largest contributors. The reviews in New York read, “Michael’s act has already gone well beyond a pop music concert. By this time, 97 young people had benefited from Michael’s generosity to the United Negro College Fund.
April 13-15, 1988: Free tickets were given away for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia to the ‘Make A Wish Foundation’.
May 22, 1988: Michael visited children who suffer from cancer in the ‘Bambini-Gesu Children’s Hospital’ in Rome. He signed autographs and gave away sweets and records to the children, before pledging a cheque to the hospital for £100,000 pounds.
May 23, 1988: It was announced that 4,000 tickets from Michael Jackson’s concerts in Britain would be donated to ‘ITV Telethon’ which went on to raise £200,000 pounds for ‘Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital’.
June, 1988: A music celebrity auction benefiting the ‘T. J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research’ boasted a black fedora signed by
Michael Jackson. It sold for over $4,000.
July 16, 1988: Before a concert at Wembley Stadium in London, Michael met Charles, the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana. He handed over a cheque for £450,000 pounds (£150,000 for the Prince’s Trust, and £300,000 pounds for the children’s hospital at Great Ormond Street). He also contributed to the ‘Wishing Well Fund’, established to help finance the construction of a new building for London’s Hospital for Sick Children. Michael toured the hospital and visited some of the young patients.
July 20, 1988: Michael visited terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. At a unit for less critical patients he stayed a little longer and told the children a story.
August 29, 1988: On his 30th birthday Michael performed a concert in Leeds, England for the charity “Give For Life”, which helps to immunise children. Michael presented a cheque for £65,000 pounds which contributed towards helping immunise 40,000 children.
October, 1988: Michael presented a cheque for $125,000 to Esther Edwards and Berry Gordy for the maintenance and upkeep of Hittsville, USA (Motown’s Museum in Detroit, Michigan). He also contributed a black fedora, a white beaded glove and costume from the Motown era for display.
December 1988: Michael visited 12-year-old David Rothenburg. Five years previously, David’s father had doused him in kerosene and set him alight in an act of revenge against his former wife.
January 1989: The proceeds of one of Michael’s shows in Los Angeles were donated to ‘Childhelp USA’, the largest US charity against child-abuse. In appreciation, ‘Childhelp of Southern California’founded the “Michael Jackson International Institute for Research On Child Abuse”.
January 10, 1989: The ‘Bad Tour’ was coming to an end. Under-privileged children were given tickets for each concert and Michael donated money to hospitals, orphanages and charitable organisations. During many of the tour stops, prior to the concerts, Michael was joined backstage by ill children from the local areas in which he performed. Seth Riggs, Michael’s vocal coach, remarked, “Every night the kids would come in on stretchers, so sick they could hardly hold their heads up. Michael would kneel down at the stretchers and put his face right down beside theirs so that he could have his picture taken with them, and then give them a copy to remember the moment.”
February 7, 1989: Michael visited the ‘Cleveland Elementary School’ in Stockton, California. Some weeks earlier a 25-year-old man had open-fired in the school’s playground, resulting in the death of five children and the wounding of 39 others. Many of those present reported that Michael’s visit helped them to feel safe again.
March 5, 1989: Michael invited 200 deprived children of the ‘St. Vincent Institute for Handicapped Children’ and the organisation ‘Big Brothers and Big Sisters’ to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara. After this event he invited them to his Neverland ranch with its private zoo and fairground rides.
November 11, 1989: The organisation “Wish Is Granted” enabled 4-year-old Darian Pagan, a leukemia sufferer, to meet Michael. Michael invited the little boy to a performance put on by Canadian acrobats.
December 28, 1989: Young Ryan White, who suffered from haemophilia, spent his vacation on Michael’s ranch. Ryan had been infected with AIDS in 1984 by a contaminated blood transfusion. After he was excluded from his school in Kokomo, Ryan fought against the discrimination endured by AIDS victims.
January 6, 1990: Through the charity ‘Childhelp’, Michael invited 82 abused and neglected children to his Neverland Ranch where they enjoyed games, a barbeque and a movie in Michael’s private theatre.
February, 1990: Michael performed at a musical variety special in honour of Sammy Davis, Jr. Proceeds from the special, $250,000, were donated to the United Negro College Fund.
May, 1990: ‘Make A Wish Foundation’ arranged for 14-year-old John Brown, a young cancer victim, to visit Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
July 1990: 45 children from the ‘Project Dream Street’, for children in Los Angeles with life-threatening illness, were invited to Neverland Ranch.
August 18, 1990: Michael invited 130 children from the YMCA summer program of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to his Neverland Ranch. They enjoy a barbecue, play video games, visit his zoo and watch movies. Each child took home a free pair of sneakers.
October, 1990: Michael threw a party for eighty abused and/or neglected children from the ‘Village of Childhelp’ in Beaumont, California. Later he hosted fifty children from Maclaren Hall and the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ at his home in California.
May 6, 1991: Michael was invited to a Jane Goodall charity event. Goodall had been an advocate of behavioural research concerning chimpanzees in Gombe, Nigeria for more than 30 years, and Michael supported her work.
July 26, 1991: Michael paid a visit to the ‘Youth Sports & Art Foundation’ in Los Angeles. The Foundation supports families of gang members, and helps with issues such as dealing with drug-abuse. Michael talked to the children and presented them with a wide-screen TV set and a financial gift.
December 1991: Michael’s company, MJJ Productions, treated deprived families in Los Angeles with more than 200 turkey dinners.
February 3, 1992: At a press conference at the ‘New York Radio City Music Hall’, Michael announced that he was planning a new world tour, to raise funds for his newly established ‘Heal The World Foundation’.
February 11-18, 1992: Over the course of 8 days Michael covered 30,000 miles of the African continent, (covering Gabon, The Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Kenya and Libreville), where he visited medical centres, churches, children’s dwellings, schools, and educational charities for disabled children.
May 6, 1992: Michael paid for a young boy’s funeral who had been killed by a stray bullet during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California.
June 23, 1992: At a press conference in London, Michael made an announcement about his ‘Heal The World Foundation’, speaking of its mission, and aims.
June 26, 1992: Michael presented the mayor of Munich, Mr. Kronawitter, with a 40,000 DM-cheque for the needy people of the city.
June 29, 1992: Michael visited the ‘Sophia Children’s Hospital’ in Rotterdam and presented a cheque for £100,000 pounds.
July 1992: Michael donated L. 821,477,296 to ‘La Partita del Cuore’ (The Heart Match) in Rome and donated 120,000 DM to children’s charities in Estonia and Latvia.
July 25, 1992: Whilst on tour in Dublin, Ireland, Michael announced that he would give £400,000 pounds from his tour earnings to various charities.
July 29, 1992: Michael visited the ‘Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital’ in London. To surprise the children, he was accompanied by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Euro Disney!
July 31, 1992: On the eve of his second concert at Wembley Stadium, Michael presented Prince Charles with a cheque for £200,000 pounds for ‘The Prince’s Trust’.
August 16, 1992: Six-year-old Nicholas Killen, who lost his eyesight when undergoing life-saving cancer surgery, met Michael backstage in Leeds, England.
August, 1992: The first ‘Heal The World European Children’s Congress’ met in London, England. Eighty-four children between the ages of 8 and 16 came together to express their views on the world’s biggest problems and what they saw as the solutions. In spite of a case of laryngitis, Michael arrived at the Regent’s College venue after lunch and stayed for approximately four hours
September 1992: Michael donated 1 million pesetas to a charity headed by the Queen of Spain.
September 30, 1992: President Iliescu of Romania inaugurated a playground for 500 orphans which Michael had financed. Michael discussed his ‘Heal The World Foundation’ whilst there.
October 1, 1992: Michael chose Bucharest, Romania for a worldwide television broadcast of his concert tour. He chose Romania due the numerous orphanages the country is known for, wanting to raise the profile of the country and the disadvantaged.
November 24, 1992: At Kennedy Airport in New York, Michael supervised the loading of 47 tons of medication, blankets, and winter clothes destined for Sarajevo. The ‘Heal The World Foundation’ collaborated with ‘AmeriCares’ to take resources totalling $2.1 million to Sarajevo, all subsequently allocated under the supervision of the United Nations.
December 10, 1992: During a press conference at the US Consulate in Tokyo, Michael was presented with a cheque for $100,000 for the ‘Heal The World Foundation’ by his tour sponsor, Pepsi.
December 26, 1992: During a broadcast to request donations for the United Negro College Fund, Michael declared: “Black Colleges and Universities are breeding some of the leading personalities of our time. They are on top in business, justice, science and technologies, politics and religion. I am proud that the Michael Jackson Scholarship Program enabled more than 200 young men and women to get a qualified education.”
January 19, 1993: Michael was one of the stars that performed at the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Before he sang ‘Gone Too Soon’ he drew attention to the plight of AIDS victims and mentioned his late friend Ryan White.
January 26, 1993: At a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, Michael was presented with a $100,000 donation each from the ‘National Football League’ and Frito Lay, the sponsors of the Super Bowl. He gets another $500,000 from the ‘BEST Foundation’ for his ‘Heal The World Foundation’. Also, a new U.S. children’s relief initiative was announced in Los Angeles: ‘Heal L.A.’, in collaboration with ‘Cities In Schools’, ‘Big Brothers/Big Sisters’, the ‘BEST Foundation’, ‘Watts Health Foundation’, and the ‘Partnership for a Drug Free America’, would aim to help solve the problems facing inner-city youth by providing drug-abuse and AIDS prevention education, mentoring, and immunisation campaigns.
February 1993: In association with Sega, Michael launched an initiative to distribute more than $108,000 worth of computer games and equipment to children’s hospitals, children’s homes, and children’s charities throughout the U.K.
March 1993: The initial foundation of an independent film company is announced. They would aim to produce family-oriented movies and part of the earnings would go to the ‘Heal The World Foundation’.
March, 1993: An urban anti-drug media campaign was launched by the ‘Partnership for a Drug-Free America’, the ‘Partnership for a Drug-free California’ and ‘The BEST Foundation’ in Los Angeles with support from Michael’s ‘HTWF’ and ‘Heal L.A’.
March 27, 1993: At a meeting at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Michael gave a 5-minute speech to 1200 teachers and politicians.
April 26, 1993: Whilst on his ‘Heal LA’ tour, Michael made an unannounced visit to three ‘Heal L.A’. project sites in order to participate in discussions with recipients and providers of the immunisation, mentoring, and drug-abuse prevention programs. Michael visited the ‘Watta Health Foundation,’ and two schools in Los Angeles’ downtown South Central.
May 5, 1993: With the assistance of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s ‘Atlanta Project Immunization/Children’s Health Initiative’, and the support from ‘Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’, ‘Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities’, Gladys Knight, and ‘TLC’, Michael arranged for the immunisation of 17,000 children in 5 days in Atlanta, USA.
June 1993: Michael announced that he would donate $1.25 million for children who had suffered as a result of the riots in Los Angeles.
June 1993: Michael hosted 100 children from the Los Angeles ‘Challengers Boys and Girls Club’ at his Neverland Ranch.
June 10, 1993: Michael attended a rally in Los Angeles to launch a new DARE program, called ‘DAREPLUS’ (Drug Abuse Resistance Education – Play and Learn Under Supervision).The purpose of the program was to inform children about the dangers of drug abuse.
June 18, 1993: Michael paid a visit to a hospital in Washington and spent several hours with the young patients, playing chess with some and chatting with others.
July, 1993: Mallory Cyr, an eight-year-old girl from Sabattus, Maine who suffered from a rare intestinal disease, received a letter and generous cheque from Michael. The letter was a result of a letter-writing campaign organised by school children. It read, “I am sending you all my loving and caring, Mallory, along with the enclosed gift, which I hope will help nourish you and keep you strong.” Mallory’s intestinal condition made it nearly impossible for her to eat and she was being fed intravenously.
August 1993: Along with Pepsi-Cola Thailand, Michael donated $40,000 to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s charity, the ‘Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund’, in support of school lunch programs in rural villages in Thailand.
August 1993: It was announced that the proceeds of Michael’s forthcoming concerts in New Delhi, India would be directed to the ‘Ghandi Foundation for Children’. Pepsi guaranteed $160,000 from the two shows, which never happened since the tour was cancelled before it reached New Delhi.
August 1993: In conjunction with ‘Pepsi-Cola International’, Michael donated new ambulances to the ‘Contacts One Independent Living Center’ for children in Moscow, Russia and the ‘Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
August 1993: In Tel Aviv, Israel on a tour stop, Michael visited a children’s hospital, distributed toys and talked with the children.
September 1993: While in Japan, Michael visited a school at a US naval base. During this visit, he also met with 15-year-old fan, Martijn Hendricsen and his two brothers. Martijn, a terminally ill Dutch fan, undergoing treatment for cancer was flown to Japan in response to a request by the ‘Make A Wish Foundation’.
October 1993: Michael donated $100,000 to the ‘Children’s Defense Fund’, the ‘Children’s Diabetes Foundation’, the ‘Atlanta Project’, and the ‘Boys and Girl Clubs’ of Newark, New Jersey to further the provision of health services to children.
October 1993: ‘Heal the World’ along with ‘Pepsi-Cola International’ donated new ambulances to Moscow’s ‘Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children’ in Moscow, Russia and the ‘Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
October 1993: Whilst in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Michael meets young cancer victim, Sophie Jones, who said later that her meeting with the star, with whom she exchanged gifts, was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
October 1993: Whilst in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Michael donated thousands of tickets to his concerts there to ill, needy and disadvantaged children. He did the same in Rio.
October 22, 1993: Michael visited a hospital in Santiago, Chile.
October 28, 1993: Michael made it possible for 5000 underprivileged children to visit the ‘Reino Aventura Park’, where the whale Keiko (as featured in the film, ‘Free Willy’) was living.
November 5, 1993: Michael was a guest at a children’s party at the ‘Hard Rock Café’ in Mexico City.
December 1993: ‘Heal the World’, together with the ‘Gorbachev Foundation’, USA airlifted 60,000 children’s vaccines to Tblisi, in the Republic of Georgia.
December 16, 1993: ‘The Heal The World Foundation’ in the UK supported ‘Operation Christmas Child’ in delivering toys, sweets, gifts and food to children in former Yugoslavia. They consisted of 30,000 ‘shoebox’ gifts of toys, school items, photographs, and letters which had been collected by U.K. school children.
1994: Michael donated $500,000 to Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS Foundation.
Mid-January, 1994: On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Michael gave a party for more than 100 underprivileged children at his Neverland Ranch. The children were from the ‘Community Youth Sports and Arts Foundation’ in Los Angeles. Michael spent the day mingling with the children, posing for photographs and signing autographs. The children watched Beethoven’s 2nd, played in the amusement park and checked out the zoo.
January, 1994: ‘Heal the World’ in conjunction with ‘Unihealth’ and the ‘Los Angeles Immunization Coalition’ provided vaccines to children made homeless by the Los Angeles earthquake. ‘Heal the World’ along with ‘Discovery Toys’ also donated hundreds of toys to the children participating in the immunisation drive.
January, 1994: Over $85,000 from ‘Heal L.A’. was put towards earthquake relief efforts through grants to non-profit organisations dedicated to aiding families needing long-term recovery in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas including the ‘Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center’, ‘Casa Rutilio Grande’, ‘Clinica Para Las Americas’, ‘Families in New Directions’, ‘Meeting Each Need With Dignity’, ‘Proyecto Esperanza’, ‘Pueblo Nuevo’, and the ‘Vaughn Street Family Center’.
January, 1994: ‘Heal the World’ in association with ‘General Electric’, ‘Lever Brothers’, and ‘Surf Wash’ donated washers, dryers, and soap to 25 non-profit organisations in order to provide free laundry services to families affected by the Los Angeles earthquake of January 17, 1994.
January, 1994: ‘Heal The World’, and ‘Heal L.A’. along with the ‘Salvation Army’ treated over 400 homeless children and parents living in shelters to a day at Universal Studios.
February 19, 1994: ‘The Jackson Family Honors’ event was held at the MGM Grand Hotel’s Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The substantial earnings from the show were given to various charities.
In the summer of July, 1994: ‘Heal The World’ in conjunction with the ‘Los Angeles Unified School District, Youth Services’, the ‘I Have A Dream Foundation’, Best Buddies, Overcoming Obstacles, and California One to One, provided 2000 children with tickets to see Janet Jackson, the L.A. Laker Jam, and The Beach Boys in concert.
August 6, 1994: Michael and his new wife Lisa Marie visited two children’s hospitals in Budapest, Hungary, to chat with the ill children and to distribute toys. Whilst at Bethesda Children’s Hospital, Michael met 4-year-old Bela Farkas, who was in desperate need of a liver transplant. ‘Heal the World’ funds were pledged to save this little boy, as Michael vowed to find him a liver.
August, 1994: In association with ‘Toys ‘R Us’ and ‘AmeriCares’, Michael’s ‘HTWF’ distributed $20,000 worth of toys, food, and supplies to a children’s hospital in Budapest, Hungary.
September, 1994: ‘Heal L.A.’ funded the implementation of the ‘Los Angeles Team Mentoring Program’ in six Los Angeles schools in Los Angeles’ South Central district and the Pico Union district, reaching over 1000 young people.
October, 1994: ‘Heal The World’ launched the ‘Community School/Safe Havens Initiative’ designed to provide Los Angeles communities with a safe environment in which students, families, and residents could pursue after-school academic and recreational activities such as free instruction in computers, language and math skills, tutoring and sports.
1995: Michael wanted to free dolphins that had been locked up for years. He believed that there should be legal guidelines drawn up regarding the way dolphins have to live in zoos and parks.
February, 1995: ‘Heal L.A.’ expanded on the ‘Community School/Safe Havens Initiative’ to include over 1200 families.
February 1995: Michael privately requested permission to attend the funeral of Craig Fleming, a two-year old boy whose mother threw him over the side of a Los Angeles bridge along with his four-year-old brother, before jumping to her own death. The mother and four-year-old survived the incident, although the child, Michael, was badly battered, requiring medical aid. Michael presented a contribution towards Michael Fleming’s medical expenses and founded a special trust fund for Michael’s care. Jackson later dedicated the song ‘Childhood’ from his ‘HIStory’ album to the memory of Craig Fleming with these words, “Childhood is dedicated to Little Craig Fleming and his surviving brother, Michael, for whom a scholarship fund has been established to ensure that his childhood ushers in a future of all possibilities. Love, MJ”
March 1995: Little Bela Farkas finally received a new liver. Michael and Lisa Marie met this 4-year-old boy during their trip to Hungary in 1994. Michael did everything to help Bela, whose only chance to live was through getting a new liver. The ‘Heal The World Foundation’ covered the surgery and all aftercare costs.
April 1995: ‘Heal The World’ together with ‘Permanent Charities’ and ‘EC2000’ sponsored 46 children from 17 countries to gather at Michael’s Neverland home for the ‘World Children’s Congress’, a three-day seminar and leadership training in which critical children’s issues were discussed.
June 1995: ‘Heal the World and its ‘World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors presented the findings of the ‘World Children’s Congress’ to the ‘World Summit of Children’ during the United Nations 50th Anniversary celebration in San Francisco, California and they met with U.N. Secretary Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many U.N.ambassadors.
September 1995: ‘Heal the World and the ‘World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors from Mexico accompanied ‘Children’s Torch of Hope’ across the United States bringing the message of the ‘World Children’s Congress’ to over 30 events sponsored by the ‘Coalition for Children of the Earth’ and ‘EC2000’.
October 1995: Recording artists Brownstone and Tasha Scott performed two shows for students at ‘Horace Mann Middle School’ in order to launch the new school year in aid of the ‘Community School/Safe Havens Initiative’.
October 1995: ‘Heal the World/World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors reported to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland.
December 1995: ‘Heal the World/World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors addressed the dedication of the ‘Guardians of the Future’ monument in Mexico City, co-sponsored by ‘EC2000’, ‘Terra Christa Communications’, ‘UNICEF’, the office of the mayor of Mexico City, and ‘Coalition for Children of the Earth’.
December 1995: ‘HTWF’ in association with the ‘International Rescue Committee’, shipped two pallets of toys to children in war-torn Bosnia and Hercegovina.
February 1996: ‘Heal the World/World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors from Mexico presented a model for creating a sustainable environment to the U.N. Habitat II Prep Committee.
April 1996: ‘Heal the World/World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors attended ‘Children First: A Global Forum’, in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, hosted by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, the Carter Center, and the ‘Task Force for Child Survival’, and co-sponsored by the ‘Rockefeller Foundation’, the ‘Annie E. Casey Foundation’, ‘The World Bank’, and ‘Heal the World’, brought together 360 representatives from 100 countries to discuss strategies to improve the quality of life for children.
April 1996: ‘Heal the World/World Children’s Congress’ youth ambassadors attended the ‘Spectrum of Light Youth Conference’ in Washington, D.C. to form partnerships to emphasise the need for a sustainable society based on a healthy environment.
May 28, 1996: Michael sent a floral tribute of white roses, carnations and lilies to the funeral of one of his British fans. The inscription read, “May your courage be an inspiration to us all. Your spirit shines on. Love, Michael Jackson.” Eleven-year-old Jaymee Bowen had lost her battle with leukemia. Her favourite songs: ‘Farewell My Summer Love’, ‘Ben’ and ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ were played at her funeral.
June 1996: A donated trip to Neverland Ranch received the highest bid at a ‘Cities in School’ celebrity auction. Los Angeles based ‘KIIS-FM’ and ‘Cities in School’ organised the event, raising over $115,000 to benefit school children. A trip for four to Michael’s Neverland Ranch received the highest bid of $5,200.
July 18, 1996: In Soweto, South Africa Michael laid a wreath of flowers for youngsters who were killed during the fights involving Apartheid.
September 1996: A sports festival – ‘Hope’ – was held for the first time, and on behalf of orphans and disadvantaged children. 3000 children and 600 volunteers took part in the sports festival where Michael Jackson was a special guest.
September 1996: Michael visited a state orphanage in Bucharest, Romania prior to his concert before 70,000 in that city. After handing out toys, Michael said, “I wish all the world was here to see this, instead of sending our brothers to the killing fields. This is our future – children. I love you all so much.”
September 6, 1996: Michael visited the children’s unit of a hospital in Prague.
October 1996: Michael visited a hospital for mentally challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and offered 2,000 free tickets to the sold out performance there.
October 1, 1996: Michael donated the proceeds of his Tunisia concert to ‘The
National Solidarity Fund’, a charity dedicated to fighting poverty.
October 3, 1996: Michael visited a children’s hospital, ‘Ronald McDonald House’ and ‘AMC’ and brought small gifts for the patients during a ‘HIStory’ tour visit in Amsterdam. A room in the hospital (for parents who want to be with their children at the hospital) was named after Michael.
November 1, 1996: In Bombay, India, 85% of the proceeds from one concert were put aside for the ‘Shiv Udyog Sena’ to help create jobs for 270,000 young people in the state of Maharashtra, of which Bombay is the capital. Upon arriving in Bombay, Michael asked his driver to stop the motorcade transporting him from the airport to his hotel to allow him to spend 20 minutes talking, dancing and playing with children from the crowded slums he passed en route to his hotel.
November 4, 1996: In Bangkok, Thailand, Michael Jackson was shown visiting an orphanage and a school for blind children. At the orphanage, he left a donation of $100,000 American dollars as well as distributing toys and gifts to children at both the orphanage and school for the blind. An orphanage spokeswoman commented, “They don’t know him as a pop star. To them he is just a very nice man who came here to offer hope.”
November 7, 1996: Michael granted the American news magazine, ‘American Journal’, permission to accompany him for two weeks on his tour itinerary. Phenomenal footage narrated by Les Trent depicts Michael’s visit to ‘Starship’, a children’s hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, following the star from room to room as he speaks to each child, leaving each a toy and autographed photo or CD. In answer to Trent’s question regarding how the children’s faces make him feel, Michael touches his chest, replying “It touches my heart.” Michael was also shown backstage just moments prior to his sold out performance, comforting Emily Smith, a shy, 13-year-old cancer victim. He welcomes her to the “shy club” while holding her in his arms and ruffling her curly hair, then poses for photographs with Emily and her family and rushes off to prepare himself for the show.
November 13, 1996: Michael visited a children’s hospital in Sydney prior to being publicly feted by ‘Sony Music’ honouring his sales (exceeding $75 million in Australia) at a reception held in his honour at the Opera House. Once again, he spent over two hours speaking to the children, signing autographs and distributing gifts to each child. Reports also surfaced that Michael had committed a portion of his proceeds from his nine Australian performances to ‘The Smith Family’, a charity dedicated to feeding the needy.
November 17, 1996: During scheduled tour stops in Brisbane, Australia, Michael visited the ‘Prince of Wales Hospital’ which houses children suffering from assorted ailments, including cancer, heart trouble, asthma and tumours. He signed autographs and distributed toys to over 75 children, spending several hours with the children.
November 25, 1996: Michael visited the ‘Royal Children’s Hospital’ in Melbourne, delivering toys to, and signing autographs for the children.
December 7, 1996: During a ‘HIStory’ tour stop in Manila, Michael visited a children’s hospital. He announced that a part of his concert earnings would be donated to the renovation of the hospital.
January 25, 1997: Michael waived his personal fee for his Bombay appearance and donated $1.1 million to a local charity helping to educate children living in slums.
April 4, 1997: British magazine ‘OK!’ published exclusive photos of Michael’s son Prince. The magazine pays about £1 million pounds for the photos. Michael donated the money to charity.
June 18, 1997: While in Germany, Michael signed the ‘Children in Need’ book, which was later auctioned by and for the charity ‘UNESCO’.
May 17, 1998: Michael joined African leaders in Namibia in a call for debt relief, urging for a new era for the world’s poorest region, especially the children.
Michael told the annual ‘Southern African Economic Forum’ summit in Windhoek on that he would donate funds to make the world a better place for its children. He said that he and his then new business partner, ‘Barden International’, would be looking at global investments that would bring economic empowerment to the people, and enrich the lives of children. “We are going to put our money where our mouths are,” he promised.
September 1998: Michael met 5 year old Aza Woods, a cancer sufferer, at the ‘Hilton Hotel’ in Las Vegas. Michael introduced Aza to the attraction ‘Star Trek: The Experience’ and spent the rest of the afternoon with the little boy. Finally Michael invited Aza to spend some time with him at his Neverland Ranch.
June 1999: ‘Michael Jackson and Friends’ concerts in Korea and Germany raised $3.3 million dollars for the humanitarian agencies ‘UNESCO’, ‘Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund’ and the ‘International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’.
August 1999: Michael was invited to speak to a school in Chicago about bullying, alcohol abuse and self image awareness.
September 4, 1999: Michael presented Nelson Mandela with a cheque for 1,000,000 South African rand for the ‘Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.’
January 22, 2000: During Christmas of 1999 a violent storm ravaged the park ‘Chateau de Versailles’ in France, and destroyed 10,000 trees. The estimated cost for rebuilding the park was around $20 million. Some celebrities supported the restoration of the park. French officials reported that Michael Jackson was one of them. Indeed, he was one of the first people to donate money to this cause.
January 2000: ‘The United Negro College Fund’s ‘Evening Of Stars’ January 15th telethon fundraiser raised $13.5 million in cash and pledges. Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, and Barry White were among the performers.
May 2000: Michael donated items to 4th annual online auction for the ‘T. J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research’.
May 2000: Michael escorted his friend Elizabeth Taylor to the gala tribute in her honour at the ‘Royal Albert Hall’ in London. Proceeds from this tribute benefited the ‘Red Hot Aids Charitable Trust’ and the ‘Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation’.
October 28, 2000: Michael painted a plate to be auctioned for the ‘Carousel of Hope Ball’ benefiting childhood diabetes research.
October 2000: Michael and other members of the Jackson family supported ‘WAVE TO THE WORLD’, an official fund-raising project of the ‘Paralympic Games 2000’ in Sydney, Australia.
October 2000: Michael donated one of his fedoras, which he autographed, and a limited-edition poster for an auction at the annual gala of the ‘African Ambassadors’ Spouses Association’ in order to help raise money to fight childhood AIDS in Africa.
November 2000: President Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson and Jordan’s Queen Noor were honoured for their work to fight cancer at a star-studded black-tie dinner to raise $4 million for the New York-based ‘G&P Cancer Foundation’, which funds research into leukemia, lymphoma and related cancers. The ‘G&P Cancer Foundation’ was created by Denise Rich to honour her daughter, who died of leukemia at the age of 27.
December 2000: Michael appeared on stage at the ‘Miracle On 34th Street’, a charity concert organised by radio station ‘KTU 103.5 FM’ at Madison Square Garden in New York, USA.
2001: ‘Heal The Kids’ was launched, the latest initiative of the ‘Heal The World Foundation’ in cooperation with the ‘L’Chaim Society’. It was designed to initiate and coordinate international action to help parents rededicate their lives to their children and provide the children with the love and attention they need and deserve.
March 6, 2001: Michael donated a black hat, a birthday phone-call and a jacket worn at the ‘Monaco Music Awards’ in 2000 to the ‘Movie Action for Children’ auction, an event being given by ‘UNICEF’ with all proceeds going to UNICEF’s efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa.
March 25, 2001: Michael handed out books to young people at a Newark, NJ theatre. The event, which helped to launch the ‘Michael Jackson International Book Club’, part of his new ‘Heal the Kids’ charity, aimed to promote childhood reading and to encourage parents to return to reading bedtime stories.
April 24, 2002: Michael performed at a fundraiser for the ‘Democratic National Committee’ at the ‘Apollo Theater’ in Harlem, helping to raise nearly $3 million dollars towards voter registration.
August, 2002: Michael donated 16 exclusively autographed items consisting of CD’s, videos and 2 cotton napkins to aid in the support of the victims of a severe flood in Germany. These items were auctioned off for charity and managed to raise 3935 Euros.
October 12, 2002: Michael invited more than 200 ‘Team Vandenberg’ members, who had recently returned from overseas deployments, and their families to his Neverland Ranch. This was to show his appreciation for the sacrifices made by the military in his community.
November 19-29, 2002: Michael donated an autographed teddy bear dressed in his likeness to Siegfried & Roy’s celebrity teddy bear auction. This auction benefited ‘Opportunity Village’ a non-profit organisation based in Las Vegas that enhances the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Michael’s autographed teddy bear raised $5,000 for the charity.
November 20, 2002: Michael donated a jacket to the ‘The Bambi Charity Event’ in Berlin which raised $16,000 for homeless children in Germany.
June 2003: The Wolf family, who experienced serious damages to their belongings during the flood in Saxony, Germany in August of 2002, spent three days at Neverland, meeting Michael and his children.
This gives a brief insight into Michael’s charitable activities up to June 2003. Of course, there are many more charitable acts that Michael undertook after this time, and far too many to list. Michael often gave of his time and money privately, and thus many of his gestures have never been documented, since he did not give in order to glean publicity or attention. He gave at least $300million to charity during his lifetime, but this is only what is documented and the likely figure is much more, as is the likely impact on the lives of the recipients of his love, compassion and kindness whilst here.
MICHAEL JACKSON’S AWARDS FOR HIS HUMANITARIAN WORK
May 14, 1984: At a ceremony in the White House President Reagan presented Michael with an award for his participation in a national ad campaign against drunk driving.
January 1989: The ‘Say Yes To A Youngster’s Future’ program honoured Michael in recognition of his efforts to encourage children to natural sciences and they awarded him with the ‘National Urban Coalition Artist/Humanitarian Of The Year Award’.
March 1989: At the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California, Michael received the ‘Black Radio Exclusive Humanitarian Award’ for his humanitarian efforts.
September 22, 1989: ‘The Capital Children’s Museum’ awarded Michael with the ‘Best of Washington 1989 Humanitarian Award’ in recognition of his efforts to raise money for the museum, and for his ceaseless support of children.
February 3, 1990: Michael received a ‘Role Model Award’ from Japan.
April 5, 1990: During a ceremony, Michael is awarded ‘Artist Of The Decade’, by President George Bush, who spoke to the press about Michael’s humanitarian commitments.
September 14, 1990: ‘The Los Angeles Area Council Boy Scouts of America’ honoured Michael with the first ‘Good Scout Humanitarian Award’. Michael received this award for his humanitarian activities in supporting the ‘Make A Wish Foundation’, ‘The Prince’s Trust’, the ‘United Negro College Fund’ and ‘Childhelp USA’.
October 23, 1990: Michael and Elton John were the first recipients of a named award in memory and honour of Ryan White.
May 1, 1992: President George Bush presented Michael with the ‘Point of Light’ award for his continuing support of deprived children. During his stay, Michael visited little Raynal Pope, who had been attacked by dogs and badly injured.
June 3, 1992: The organisation ‘One To One’, caring for better living conditions of young people, honoured Michael with an award for his commitment to deprived youngsters.
August 1993: ‘The Jack The Rapper Awards’ were presented and Michael was honoured to receive the ‘Our Children, Our Hope Of Tomorrow’ award.
April 12, 1994: On occasion of the 2nd ‘Children’s Choice Award’ ceremony in New York, Michael was presented with the ‘Caring For Kids’ award. This award is to honour celebrities who take time out for young people. 100,000 children and young people from 8 to 18 years old gave Michael their vote of confidence. The ‘Children’s Choice Awards’ were sponsored by ‘Body Sculpt’, a charitable organisation offering drug-prevention programs for young people.
November 2, 1995: Michael received the ‘Diamond of Africa’ award from Ghana’s President, Jerry Rawlings.
March, 30, 1996: ‘The Ark Trust-Foundation’, drawing the attention of the public to the plight of animals, presented Michael with the ‘1995 Doris Day Award’. He gets this award for the ‘Earth Song’ video, which draws attention to the plight of animals.
May 1, 1999: At the Bollywood Awards in New York, Michael was presented with an award for his humanitarian activities. The award was signed: “Though he comes from the young American tradition, Michael is the embodiment of an old Indian soul. His actions are an expression of the philosophy of Weda, which asked us to work for the people – not for one’s own interests.”
April 1, 2004: At the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Michael was presented with a humanitarian award (a golden elephant) from the ‘African Ambassadors’ Spouses Association’ in honour of his worldwide humanitarian efforts, and particularly for his work in fighting AIDS in Africa.