In the wake of three recent mass shootings, Lady Gaga wants to turn heartbreak into hope. The singer penned an emotional letter to the affected communities on Friday, in which Gaga vowed to fund 162 classrooms in Dayton, El Paso and Gilroy. Her message also included an inspiring call to action to anyone who may be struggling with mental health issues, as well as the loved ones in their orbit.
The open letter to the three communities began with Gaga expressing her genuine sympathy, among other emotions. “My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones, and communities who are left to grieve. Everyone has the right to laws that make them feel safe in their communities. In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves,” she wrote.
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Gaga went on to explain that her Born This Way Foundation has partnered with DonorsChoose to “fully fund the classroom project needs” of 162 classrooms across the three affected communities. A nonprofit organization, DonorsChoose allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects — making it easy for the public to help inspire students to “work together to bring their dreams to life.”
The Oscar-winning singer-actor ended her heartfelt message by encouraging anyone affected by the shootings to prioritize their mental health. “If you’re struggling, please be brave and tell a trusted someone. Don’t be scared to ask for help, I beg you,” she said, urging those around people who may be struggling to “please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok, and listen to them.”
July and August have proven to be particularly devastating months in recent American history. On July 28, three people were killed and another 15 injured when a gunman opened fire at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. On Aug. 3, a mass shooting at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, claimed the lives of 22 people and injured 24 more. And less than 24 hours later, on Aug. 4, a mass shooting in a popular nightlife area of Dayton, Ohio, took nine lives.