The recent unexpected death of Prince brought many revelations, surprisingly one was that Prince was “The Silent Angel” behind many projects in his own community and around the United States. Prince secretly donated to charities that benefitted schools, children and communities.
At his home complex, Paisley Park, there were many tributes left by fans including his Chanhassen neighbors.
Thank you for letting us weave you into the fabric of our community. We loved you as our neighbor and we hope you felt our love and our welcome. We appreciated your gentle humanity as well as your music. You gave anonymously and humbly to our town, our schools — but we knew it was you behind all those large donations! You enriched our lives and made Chanhassen a better place.
Rest in peace, neighbor. You left a legacy and you made a difference.
When Prince saw Van Jones, President of Dream Corps and regular CNN contributor speak on some of the programs he had created to help others. Prince wanted to reach out and through Jones, he found his vehicle. Here Van Jones discusses to CNN International how his partnership with Prince came to play.
“First, he sent an anonymous check. Now I don’t take anonymous checks, because it could be from anybody! I kept sending it back and he kept sending it back. And finally a lawyer called and said ‘This money is from a guy whose favorite color is purple-please take it.’ And now I’m not gonna cash it — I am going to frame it! We just became really good friends. He used me to do a lot of charitable work he could not do publicly because he was Jehovah’s Witness. You’re not supposed to brag about their good works. So, he had a lot of things he wanted to do and help. He did a lot of it through me. He launched something called YesWeCode. We got 13 technology companies to agree to train up kids from the hood for Silicon Valley jobs.”
The Star Tribune reported that Prince helped start-up two schools, Seed Academy and Harvest Prep, with a generous $150,000 donation. These two programs help young, disadvantaged students find classroom success.
This was just the start of the generosity of Prince. E! News reported listed dozens of places where Prince made a difference, including New York City. Prince’s million dollar donation to the non-profit organization Harlem Children’s Zone, assisted Harlem families with children who were struggling with poverty. Prince helped keep the Uptown Dance Academy open with a $250,000 donation in 2014.
Even now, not everyone who has benefitted from Prince’s generosity knows it. Van Jones told CNN how Prince assisted the economically disadvantaged with solar panels with a program called “Green for All.”
“There are people who have solar panels on their houses now in Oakland, California, that don’t know Prince paid for.”
Prince didn’t only help the disadvantaged, but also those who got into trouble. Van Jones had one more anecdote of how Prince was truly a Prince Charming, personally rescuing others in a time of crisis and asking what he could do to help them.
“[Prince] had found out that Lauryn [Hill] had gotten in some trouble and the first thing he wanted to know was, ‘where are her kids and what can we do to help.’ This is just how he was. I guarantee you, anybody struggling, anywhere in the world, he was sending checks, he was making phone calls. But he did not want it to be known publicly and he did not want us to say it. But I’m going to say it, because the world needs to know that it was’t just the music. The music was one way he tried to help the world, but he was helping every single day of his life.”
These are just some of the stories of how “The Silent Angel” Prince generously donated to charities and helped others. Fans will be happy to know that when they bought Prince’s music or attended his shows, the money Prince earned did not only create a living for Prince and his entourage, but also to others in communities all over America.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]