After releasing her sophomore album Trip, Jhene Aiko has been on a mission to encourage young teens to become voracious readers and writers through her #PennyPens Campaign. Now, the 29-year-old songstress is showcasing more altruism after launching her WAYS Foundation this past Christmas (Dec. 25).
In honor of her late brother, Miyagi -- who passed away from cancer at an early age -- Aiko created the foundation to instill hope into the lives of those who desperately need help. On Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Aiko made her first donation to five-year-old Lily Olive of Eagle Rock, Ca. She visited the young girl at her home and made a surprise donation of $15,000 to cover her medical bills. Olive is currently battling leukemia after finding out her diagnosis during Thanksgiving break.
"This Christmas, I decided to gift my family with the 'WAYS Foundation,' something my family and I have had in the works since the passing of my brother," Aiko tells Billboard. "I decided to make a donation on my family's behalf in which we plan to continue to help people and families affected by cancer."