A little generosity from one of the world’s biggest pop stars will help local families to have a merrier Christmas season.
Over the last few weeks, the House of Blessing on Erie Street has received $15,000 thanks to Stratford-born crooner Justin Bieber
The first donation was for $10,000 which came directly from Bieber.
The House of Blessing was contacted by Bieber’s grandmother a few weeks ago, inquiring about the not-for-profit organization’s services. Information was relayed back to Bieber’s financial managers and after some discussion, a cheque arrived at the House of Blessing.
“We’re very thankful to Justin and his family,” said Theresa McMurray, House of Blessing executive director, in an interview last week.
“We thank them for everything they are doing for their community and for the House of Blessing.”
The second donation came from Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, after he and Bieber struck a deal.
Bush said he would donate $5,000 to the charity of Bieber’s choice if the teen heartthrob would encourage his 14 million Twitter followers to follow Bush on the popular social networking site.
Bieber asked the money be sent the House of Blessing, and true to his word, Bush followed through with the donation.
“Justin is from Stratford and I know that this is his community,” McMurray said. “... It just illustrates the fact Justin is still a part of Stratford and there is a part he holds in his heart.
“He wants to help his fellow citizens in our community as they go through times that are tough.”
McMurray said the financial boost will be a big help heading into the demanding Christmas season. It may also allow for the House of Blessing to stock up on essentials, such as peanut butter, the price of which is expected to rise over the coming months due to instability in the peanut industry.
“It definitely helps to fill shelves and fill in the gaps,” she said. Bieber has also commented on the donations on Twitter, noting it wasn’t that long ago that he and his mother were on the receiving end of the House of Blessings services, having gotten a Christmas basket through its annual program.
“Don’t ever forget where you come from,” posted Bieber.
And the House of Blessing is thankful for the young singer’s generosity and attention.
“Our community has always been very strong in supporting community members who are struggling,” McMurray said.