Taylor Swift stepped in to help two women struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic this week, donating $13,000 to their GoFundMe pages after they were featured in a Washington Post article sharing the stories of Americans behind on rent due to the pandemic and lack of government assistance.
Nashville mom of two Nikki Cornwell told the publication that she is $4,000 behind on rent and has pawned jewelry and her son's PlayStation to pay for food. She lost her job in March and contracted the coronavirus in May, and while she is now mostly recovered, she has not been able to find a new job and the $275 per week she was receiving in unemployment just ended.
"I am behind on my rent. I will get evicted soon with my kids who are in virtual school and need Internet," she said. "I've had bad moments, but never anything like this."
Cornwell's GoFundMe page has currently raised over $22,000, including Swift's donation. "Nikki, I read about you in the Washington Post and thought it was really brave of you to share your story," the pop star wrote. "I'm so sorry for everything you've had to go through this year and wanted to send you this gift, from one Nashville girl to another. Love, Taylor."
Shelbie Selewski, who lives in Michigan, lost her job as a medical receptionist and is over $2,000 behind on rent. She is receiving $200 in unemployment per week and has received eviction papers three times. She has sold her family's TV and PlayStation 4 to prevent a utility shutoff after her electricity was turned off in September and is having difficulty finding a job with her 7-year-old attending school virtually and taking care of her youngest child, who was born in December 2019 with a collapsed lung.
"It has been the worst year ever. I've watched everything I've worked for go away," Selewski said. "Every time I paid something and felt some peace, it felt like I got a utility shut-off notice three days later."
Swift, whose lucky number is 13, wrote a similar message on Selewski's GoFundMe page. "Shelbie, I'm sending you this gift after reading about you in the Washington Post. No one should have to feel the kind of stress that's been put on you," she shared. "I hope you and your beautiful family have a great holiday season. Love, Taylor."