Christina Aguilera has joined a growing number of artists who have turned to music to respond to last weekend's mass shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse, which left 49 individuals—most of them LGBTQ Latinx and people of color—dead and another 53 injured.
Melissa Etheridge released a new song "Pulse" on Rolling Stone's website Wednesday, with proceeds to benefit an as yet unnamed LGBTQ charity once the track is made available for purchase. Macy Rodman dropped a heart-wrenching cover of Cher's "Believe" on SoundCloud Thursday. And on Friday, Aguilera released new single "Change" on iTunes along with an accompanying lyric video on Vevo and YouTube.
Aguilera has dedicated the song, which she co-wrote, to the "victims of [the] Orlando tragedy," but her efforts apparently won't stop there. According to the Voice coach's website, "at least Eighty-Five Cents ($0.85) from each download sale of ['Change'] will be donated to the National Compassion Fund," a program run by the National Center for Victims of Crime. These donations will then be distributed "directly" to "the Orlando shooting victims and their families," People reports.
In times like these, figuring out where and how to give money can get confusing—especially when celebrities are donating to generic-sounding organizations that we might not know much about. We wanted to get to the bottom of what Aguilera’s charity of choice is all about, so we called up the National Compassion Fund.
"[The National Compassion Fund] is a safe space where people can donate and be assured that all of their donations will reach the crime victims," Tara Ballesteros, Director of Public Affairs for the National Center for Victims of Crime, told me. Ballasteros said that the Fund was established in order to cut down on donor anxiety when a traumatic event, like a mass shooting, takes place. "The public wants to send money," she said, "but [if there's] no one set up to take in that money and distribute it, there can be a lot of confusion, a lot of mismanagement, and, in the worst cases, downright fraud."
The National Compassion Fund, in partnership with Equality Florida, will make an "emergency distribution" of donations in the coming weeks, Ballasteros said. And in six months, she continued, the Fund will distribute all donations to those affected by this mass act of homophobic, transphobic, racist, misogynistic violence—although the specific criteria for receiving funds is still being determined, she added.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.