Justin Bieber’s Sunday showdown at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards continues to ripple into headlines. But as far as the children of Whitney Elementary School are concerned, the 19-year-old’s visit to Las Vegas was a godsend.
On Friday, May 17, two days before the music awards show where he won three awards and was booed during his acceptance of the Milestone award, the singer surprised kids at the school with food parcels and a little something extra.
The reason? Whitney Elementary isn’t your average school.
Most of its 610 students come from either immigrant, poor, transient and even homeless backgrounds. Without help, the future for the children is a bleak one.
Fortunately, their principal, Sherrie Gahn made up her mind to change that.
With the help of donations and sometimes her own funds, for the past few years Gahn has met the medical, food, household costs of her students’ families. In September 2011, she came to the attention of Ellen DeGeneres who featured Gahn on her show’s ninth season premiere.
On the show DeGeneres presented the principal with a $100,000 check from Target and Ellen still promotes a donation link for the school on her website to this day.
Back in November 2011, Bieber pledged to match Target’s gift and perform at the school for Christmas. When he showed up at Whitney in December to fulfill that promise, the then 17-year-old brought along $100,000 worth of presents for the children.
Taking time out of rehearsing for Billboard’s awards to return to the school last Friday, Bieber once again didn’t come empty-handed.
The teen singer has teamed up with ConAgra Foods in the Child Hunger Ends Here initiative and promised to stock the school’s kitchen with food for an entire year.
Gahn, expressed her gratitude saying:
“My children get food bags every weekend. Justin is helping with ConAgra food to make sure we have weekend food bags for a whole year.”
Bieber, his manager Scooter Braun and other members of his team spent over an hour at the school helping to unpack and hand out $150,000 worth of food donations.
Explaining why he got involved in the Child Hunger Ends Here effort, the singer said:
“My mom and I went to food banks, so being able to help now is amazing.”
Take a look at Justin’s most recent visit to Whitney Elementary School below.