The Weeknd is one of the biggest names in all of music, and now he’s using his platform to give back. The 26-year-old artist recently donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto to help fund and develop an Ethiopic Studies program.
According to its website, the objective of the Bikila Award organization is to “foster academic, professional and business excellence; promote volunteerism within persons of Ethiopian origin residing in Canada and to recognize exemplary Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia primarily through award and recognition.”
Bikila Award board member Tam Gebeyehu tells The Toronto Star, “It’s unbelievable … He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community.” The Bikila Award organization has now raised over $170,000 for the new program. The money will go toward creating a course on Ge’ez, an ancient Ethiopian script and language.
In 2014, the Bikila awarded Tesfaye with its Professional Excellence Award. Gebeyehu says, “Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame. His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else.”
In other Weeknd news, the “Can’t Feel My Face” singer is set to perform at the inaugural Meadows Music and Arts Festival at New York City’s Citi Field on Oct. 1 and 2.
An Omaha mom donated 17,503 oz., or 131 gallons, of breast milk to her local hospital in honor of her late son, who passed away at just 10 months old.
Demi Frandsen spent months at the NICU at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center after her son Leo was born two months early, and with gastroschisis.
“There was no skin to pull over his exposed organs,” Frandsen explains to ABC 6. “It was kind of a new case they had not seen before.”
From the beginning, Leo had trouble taking in Frandsen’s milk, particularly in large quantities. But it was one of the few ways she could feel like she was caring for him while Leo was covered in wires in the NICU.
“With a q-tip we’d put it in my milk and we’d swab his mouth,” she says.
Leo passed away on Oct. 22, and Frandsen and her family are working on coming to terms with his death.
“We’re still trying to figure out how to live a life without such a big part of it, a little piece of our soul,” she says. “We miss our Leo. It’s not even day to day. It’s moment to moment.”
But Frandsen wanted to give back to the hospital that took care of her son for his entire life, so even before he died she started donating all the milk he couldn’t drink. And she kept going after he died, waking up every three hours to pump out bottles of milk.
Wesley DeGonzaque for a kidney transplant
The transplant took place July 19 at a Syracuse, New York, hospital. The procedure went better than even doctors expected, said the boys’ mother, Jody Wilson.
“Everything went splendid,” she said. The second doctors put Wesley’s kidney into Collin, “it turned pink and it started working right away, as if it had never left Wesley’s body.”