8 times George Michael stunned strangers with private acts of charity

28 July 2022, 16:00

Many of George Michael's acts of generosity were only revealed after his untimely death in 2016
Many of George Michael's acts of generosity were only revealed after his untimely death in 2016. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

George Michael insisted on keeping most of his charitable works out of the limelight.

From donating millions to charity to small acts of astounding kindness, the star's secret generosity seemed boundless.

After George Michael's death on December 25, 2016 numerous fans came forward to share their experiences of George's compassionate gestures, many of which he conducted completely anonymously.

Speaking to the Express in 1999, George reluctantly addressed rumours of his philanthropy, saying: "To be honest with you, I really don’t like to talk about the amount I’ve given to charity over the years, I know it’s very substantial. I don’t exactly know what it is and I don’t really like to linger on it."

George Michael donated millions to charity throughout his lifetime
George Michael donated millions to charity throughout his lifetime. Picture: Getty

In an age where many acts of kindness are done with great fanfare, it was George's humility and thoughtfulness many remember, alongside the great joy he brought to millions with his greatest hits.

Here we look back at the kind gestures from George Michael that touched thousands of people from all walks of life.

  1. George Michael annually donated £100,000 to help deprived London children

    After his death in 2016, a radio DJ revealed that George Michael donated £100k every easter to help youngsters across the capital.

    Mick Brown, who was a DJ on Smooth's sister station Capital FM, said that the star would call up to donate the money when the station would appeal for it's 'Help A London Child' campaign.

    The charitable foundation - which was later brought under the umbrella of Global's Make Some Noise campaign - benefitted from the star's generous donation entirely anonymously.

  2. George gave a stranger £15,000 for IVF treatment

    A woman who appeared on Deal or No Deal was given £15,000 by an "anonymous donor" after she talked on air about her reasons for applying for the TV show.

    Lynette Gillard appeared on the game show with the hope of winning enough money to fund her IVF treatment.

    George Michael had been watching the show and secretly called Channel 4 call the next day, offering to cover the whole cost of the procedure.

    It wasn't until Richard Osman tweeted the story that Lynette found out who had donated the money.

    Taking to Twitter she wrote to the presenter saying: "For many years I wondered who had donated this money, and now I know.

    "Thank you. RIP George what an amazing person."

    Lynette went on to fall pregnant with a little boy in 2017 and named him after the star, Seth Logan George Hart.

  3. George gave £50k to send deprived children on a trip to Lapland

    Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan made an incredible revelation during their last day of hosting This Morning in 2001.

    According to Richard, George Michael was the person who gave £50k to their Pass The Parcel appeal.

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    The host said: “George was the anonymous donor who gave £50,000, which allowed us to actually chart a couple of aeroplanes and send two plane loads of very needy and deprived children to meet Santa Claus in Lapland.

    “We really couldn’t believe it when we heard what George had done – thank you George so very much."

  4. George Michael gave a free concert just for NHS nurses

    Ten years after his mother's tragic death in 1996, George gave a concert to say thank you to NHS nurses at the Camden Roundhouse in London.

    Before taking to the stage for the 2006 concert he said: "Almost 10 years ago, during the last week of my mother's life, I told my friends and family that if I ever played my own concerts again, I would make sure to do a free one for NHS nurses.

    "The nurses that helped my family at that time were incredible people, and I realised just how undervalued these amazing people are."

    Nurse Sally Lyons remembers the concert well, saying that her and her colleagues still talk about the special night.

    "[George] will always be a hero to all of the nurses at the Roundhouse that night," said Sally.

  5. He bid £55k for a guitar - and then gave it back to be auctioned again

    On June 23, 1989, when George Michael was just 27-years-old, he was awarded the Silver Clef Award for service to the British Music.

    The auction held on the day was in aid of Nordoff Robbins music therapy centre.

    George paid £55,000 for a guitar - the highest bid - and then gave it straight back to the charity so they could auction it again the year after.

  6. George worked undercover at a homeless shelter

    After his death, some of George Michael's old colleagues came forward to reveal he had worked side-by-side with them at a homeless shelter.

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    The star had often visited the shelter, but had specifically asked that his co-workers keep his work a secret.

    Emilyn Mondo revealed on Twitter: "George Michael worked anonymously at a homeless shelter I was volunteering at.

    "I've never told anyone, he asked we didn't. That's who he was."

  7. George Michael stopped in the rain to help a woman change her car tyre

    After George's death a story emerged from an Irish woman who was stunned when George Michael stopped to help her change her car tyre in London.

    Mary Ryan recalled leaving work in the 1990's when she noticed to her distress that he car had a flat tyre.

    Mary told The Journal: "Back in the early 1990s I was working on Edgware Road in London near the Sony Studios.

    "I came out of work to find my little 1974 Ford Fiesta had a flat tyre."

    George Michael was coming out of Sony as I was standing there in the rain and helped me change my tyre….I’ve never forgot how kind he was.

    "Sadly, I didn’t have the nerve to ask for his autograph."

  8. George Michael set up his own charitable grant in 1990

    Named the Platinum Trust, George Michael's organisation gave out grants totally £1.3 million in just four years alone.

    The majority of recipients were charities that help children with special needs and those that support physically and mentally handicapped adults.

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    Recipients of grants in 1992-1993 include £24k to the British Council of Organisations of Disabled People, £15k to the Breakthrough Trust and £7.5k to People First.

    As a result of setting up the Platinum Trust, in 1994, when George Michael was only 31-years-old, he was named by the Observer as one of the country's most generous millionaire philanthropists.

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