Remembering Whitney Houston's efforts to bring homeless children Christmas joy every year

17 December 2021, 17:27 | Updated: 16 November 2022, 16:22

Whitney Houston won numerous awards for her humanitarian work.
Whitney Houston won numerous awards for her humanitarian work. Picture: Getty

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

Despite Whitney Houston's immense success, she never lost sight of where she came from.

Even when she became a global superstar, Whitney Houston would continually use her success to bring joy and aid to those much less fortunate in life.

Most of her humanitarian work she did out of the spotlight and away from the ever-watching cameras that followed her due to her enormous fame.

Whitney would regularly visit children in hospitals, and send personal notes to the series of charities that she helped that worked for causes close to her heart.

One particularly special event she hosted for charity was her annual Christmas party, where she would invite underprivileged children from her hometown of Newark, New Jersey in order to bring them much needed festive happiness.

In 1999 for the 10th annual edition, her local news station picked up on her Christmas bash and promoted the incredible work she did on a yearly basis for a decade.

Whitney Houston Foundation for Children Christmas party.

Amidst the celebrations which included her then-husband Bobby Brown, her mother Cissy, and her brother Gary, Whitney spoke to the news reporter about her desire to help those in need.

"I remember growing up here. I remember a lot of good times, and I remember a lot of hard times." Whitney expressed in a moment of sincerity.

"Those times haven't changed, so I come back to make those times a little easier if I can."

And she certainly keeps the spirit of Christmas alive, giving bags full of gifts for children that would otherwise have gone empty handed.

Of course, Whitney contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to multiple charities such as Fighting AIDS, Fighting Cancer, The Children's Defense Fund, and The National Birth Defects Center, but her Christmas parties were all about sheer celebration.

Whitney famously adored Christmas and wanted to spread as much festive joy as she possibly could. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Whitney famously adored Christmas and wanted to spread as much festive joy as she possibly could. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage). Picture: Getty

In 1989, she even founded her own charity: The Whitney Houston Foundation for Children was formed to help sick and homeless children.

Her charity worked toward the prevention of child abuse, taught children to read, built inner city parks and playgrounds, and even provided college scholarships.

Whitney was dead-set on rebuilding lives and creating opportunities for children with limited chances. It's testament to the kind of passionately generous and caring person she was.

Celebrated for her seemingly endless donations to charity, Whitney was honoured for her philanthropy by the VH1 Honors in 1995, The First Annual Triumphant SPIRIT Awards by Essence Magazine in 1997, and 1998 Trumpet Awards (organised by Ted Turner).

After Whitney tragically passed away, The Whitney E. Houston Legacy Foundation was formed in 2020 to continue the incredible work she established throughout her life.

She'll always be remembered as a true music icon, but Whitney Houston was much more than that. She was a true humanitarian.