Billy Porter is the face of PayPal’s Giving Tuesday initiative this year and he’s telling HL why he thinks we all should think about doing something of service.
When you think of giving back to your community and the world around you, what springs to mind? Donating money? Volunteering? For Pose star Billy Porter it’s all of the above, and sharing his talents. The 50-year-old Emmy Award-winning actor – who also has a Grammy and a Tony to his name – loves to share his vocal talent with others when it comes to fundraising. “I’m an artist and I started advocacy and activism way, way back in the ‘80s,” Billy told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “And one of the ways that I’ve always been able to give back is through my singing, through my voice. I can show up and sing at a benefit and it helps raise money for whatever cause and it makes me feel like I’m part of the giving.”
This year the former star of the Broadway hit show Kinky Boots, is the face and voice of the 2019 Giving Tuesday initiative. For the last seven years, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving has been devoted to encouraging people to donate money to good causes and charities close to their heart. This year – not only is PayPal helping to facilitate that movement by making sure that 100 percent of the money donated through them goes to the desired charity – but they’ve declared every Tuesday in December, “Giving Tuesday.”
“Initially it started out as one Tuesday of giving,” Billy said. “They’ve expanded it to the entire holiday season this year. But, also, to springboard the culture in general and remind us that giving back is the life’s blood of humanity. That’s how we all survive. That’s how we make the world a better place. We can’t do this alone. None of us do it alone, even those who think they do. We don’t. And so Giving Tuesday is about just igniting that spark again.”
For Billy this movement goes beyond financial donations. If people are short on cash, he urges them to think of other ways to give back. “I think first of all there’s the traditional way of giving with money. And I think a lot of people get sort of afraid of that because a lot of people don’t have a lot of money,” he said. “PayPal will match 10 percent of anything that you donate, financially. But there are also other alternative ways…volunteering. Volunteering is huge. You can volunteer at a food bank. You can volunteer to mentor some youthful person that needs help.”
Even shopping locally helps, he said. “Here’s one that I didn’t know about – patronizing small businesses,” Billy added. “That’s a real way of giving back. Many small businesses are entrenched inside of their communities and already have the business model of giving back inside of that already.”
Another option? The man beloved for wowing on the red carpet with his bold fashion choices, also suggests digging into your wardrobe and donating the old outfits that we all swear we’re going to slim back into but never do. “That’s a good way of doing it too,” he said. “So there are many different ways to participate.”
For more information about Giving Tuesday and PayPal’s Giving Fund, go to PayPal.com/giveback.