MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In addition to sharing his music with the world, Prince was very giving. We are hearing more about how he helped so many people and organizations. The mega star often gave without anyone asking.
Prince will always be known as a master musician, but there are some who will remember him as a man who gave from his heart, to make life better for others.
“It’s just an unbelievable gift that will keep on giving forever, “ said Karen Kelley-Ariwoola.
Kelley-Ariwoola says Prince’s generosity turned an old nursing home on Olson Highway into Harvest Prep and Seed Academy.
“Out of the blue one day, a check from Prince came in for $200,000 and it was an absolute game changer,” she said.
According to federal tax forms, One of Prince’s charities, Love 4 One Another, gave more than $1.5 million from 2005 to 2007.
Dozens of charities benefited, but federal tax forms only documents his giving through 2007.
“He’s given to so many people out here who will never tell you,” artists, educator and activist Toki Wright said.
Wright says when Prince gave he had only one request.
“Just don’t say anything about it,” Wright said.
Prince gave $80,000 to Urban Ventures for a recording studio and $20,000 to a former youth leadership nonprofit, led by Wright.
“We did a young woman’s empowerment conference,” Wright said. “He gave to that.”
Sitting on West River Parkway is a memorial to the victims of the I-35W bridge collapse. What many people don’t know is Prince donated $50,000 to a fund to help those victims.
He also gave to the Circle of Discipline, a South Minneapolis boxing club, founded by Sankara Frazier, a gym that still helps young men and women today.
Toki Wright says because of Prince’s influence he is still active in music today. Wright is not only the VP of Soul Tool Productions, he is also a department head at McNally Smith College where he leads the Hip Hop Studies department.
Prince did not want publicity for giving.
He gave money to a Chanhassen Elementary School and donated a piano to another. Prince gave to charities in Maryland, New York, Atlanta and Seattle.
It’s possible the public will never know how much he gave, and to how many people.