Thank Me Later: Drake's 10 Most Charitable Moments
Over the course of his career, Drake has broken multiple records, earned a string of awards and has built a massive following thanks to his musical versatility. But one thing that has received almost as much attention and praise as his music is his philanthropic efforts.
During a recent trip to Miami to shoot the video for his latest hit "God's Plan," Drake put smiles on a heap of Miami residents' faces as he doled out thousands of dollars to help out students, schools, shelters and even a local supermarket.
After a week of charitable work, Drake shared a post expressing how great he felt to be in a position to give back. "Last 3 days were the best I have had in a very long time... there’s nothing like seeing people experience a joyful moment when you can tell they need it the most," he captioned the photo.
Below, Billboard takes a look at all of Drake's philanthropic work over the years.
April 2010: Drake Donates $30,000 to Jamaican Learning Center
By the time 2010 rolled around, Drake had dished out a slew of mixtapes and had begun to make a name for himself in hip-hop as Lil Wayne’s then-protege. After visiting Cassava Piece, a community located in Kingston, Jamaica, to film the visual for his Thank Me Later cut “Find Your Love” and witnessing the poor conditions the residents had to live in, Drake told Samaritan Mag that he was “inspired” to donate money to the community.
“I went there and they had ‘Drake’ all over the walls, spraypainted, and all the kids were running after us. So I donated $30,000 to build computer schools for the kids,” he told the publication. “I’m very passionate about Jamaica as a place. I love Jamaica so I just want to try and better the community.”
August 2011: Drake Gives $10,000 Allan Slaight Award to Dixon Hall
When Drake exploded onto the music scene after his stint on the popular Canadian show Degrassi, he made quite the splash in hip-hop with his well-received mixtapes and his debut album Thank Me Later. Given his influence, the Toronto native was honored with the 2nd annual Allan Slaight Award, for which he was awarded a $10,000 honorarium. Drake decided to gift his award money to Dixon Hall -- a charity dedicated to providing opportunities for individuals living in low-income neighborhoods in Toronto.
December 2013: Drake Donates Money to Union Gospel Mission of Portland
While in Portland, Oregon, for his Would You Like a Tour run, Drake reportedly paid a visit to the Union Gospel Mission of Portland organization. Drake saw how packed the shelter was and felt compelled to donate money to help improve the organization. Stacy Kean, now-communications director of Union Gospel, told E! News that Drake’s contribution “really helped,” as the winter is the company’s busiest season.
September 2013: Drake and The Game Join Forces to Help Ohio Mother Who Lost Her Family
Back in September 2013, The Game shared a story of a woman named Anna who lost her five children and her boyfriend in a fire at their home in Ohio. After hearing news of Anna’s tragic loss, Game teamed up with Drake to donate $10,000 each to help cover the funeral costs and provide Anna with her own personal vehicle.
June 2014: Drake Kicks Off Inaugural Houston Appreciation Weekend
Drizzy has always called Houston home and showed his appreciation to the city with the inaugural Houston Appreciation Weekend celebration. For the first annual HAW, Drake lined up a basketball game featuring his celebrity friends and Houston natives Kirko Bangz and Dez Bryant as well as Houston Rockets point guard James Harden. Proceeds from the ticket sales benefited charities hand-selected by Drake, including the Houston Food Bank, Interfaith Ministries, Keep Houston Beautiful and the T.J. Ford Foundation.
July 2015: Houston Appreciation Weekend Celebrity Softball Game
After a successful inaugural Houston Appreciation Weekend in 2014, Drake returned with the second installment, this time creating a softball tournament for fans to enjoy. Drizzy teamed up with celebrities like Hannibal Buress, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jas Prince for the softball game, with proceeds benefiting the Houston Astros’ Urban Youth Academy -- an organization dedicated to providing free baseball and softball camps and training programs to children ages 7-17.
March 2015: Drake Helps Fund a Philadelphia High School's Recording Studio
Drake’s philanthropic efforts didn’t stop as his star continued to rise. Before Drake and Meek Mill traded disses over a slew of tracks in July 2015, Drake treated a Philadelphia high school to a new recording studio after hearing news that the students were without a proper space to create music. The rapper donated $75,000 to the Strawberry Mansion High School and announced his generous gift when he invited the students to attend his concert back in October 2013.
“This is about you. This is about your principal. This is about your future," Drake told the students, according to The Associated Press. "I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed."
August 2017: Drake Joins Celebrities in Donating to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and the surrounding areas in August, Drake expressed his love even more by donating a hefty amount of money to support the victims affected by the tropical storm. While performing in London, Drake took to his socials to encourage the Hurricane Harvey victims to remain strong and announced his donation of $200,000 to his friend and Houston Texans wide receiver J.J Watts’ relief fund.
January 2018: Drake Partners With the Raptors to Host “Welcome Toronto” Basketball Games
The Toronto Raptors unveiled their new OVO “City Editions” jerseys earlier in January and announced their new partnership with Drake, in which the team will host six home games dubbed “Welcome Toronto.” Drake and the Raptors have pledged to donate $1 million to help repair basketball courts throughout the city.
“As this team and Toronto continues to grow, we have seen how much we can do together,” Drake said in a press release. “'Welcome Toronto’ is about celebrating our team and our city, but also working together to give back to the community and creating a place where the youth of our city can come together to play. These same courts could also potentially shape the next generation of Canadian basketball superstars.”
The next “Welcome Toronto” games will take place on March 9, March 23 and April 6.
February 2018: Drake Heads on a Good Samaritan Spree in Miami
After stepping away from music for much of 2017, Drake returned with two songs in January -- “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity” -- to hold fans over until a full project materializes. Drake’s “God’s Plan” soared to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and the single broke Spotify and Apple Music’s single-day streaming record. Drake decided to fly to Miami to give “God’s Plan” the video treatment, and while filming the video at a local Miami high school, Drake took a moment to donate $25,000 to the Miami Senior High School and announced he’d also be donating OVO-designed uniforms.
Destiny James, a student at the University of Miami, was also gifted a $50,000 check from the “Blem” rapper. Next up on his Miami tour, Drake stopped by a homeless shelter to donate another $50,000 to the organization and even passed out $150 Target gift cards for families to shop with. The generous rapper then paid the Sabor Tropical Supermarket in Miami a visit where he paid for customers’ groceries.
This happened today. I applied to scholarships last year for which I had to write an essay. I received those scholarships and thought that was the end of it. Apparently, my essay and my story made it to other departments. I was contacted this weekend about doing a video speaking about where I come from, things I've been through, and why it is so important for scholarship donors to continue to donate. This was the surprise the whole time. Drake told me that he has read great things about me and appreciates how hard I've worked through so many trials and decided to give me $50K for my tuition. @champagnepapi THANK YOU SO MUCH!!' You don't understand what this means to me! I would've never imagined this happening to me. I'm just a girl from Denmark, SC that wants to MAKE IT and be somebody and for you to see my hard work means the world. Thank you so much. God I thank you. You are so great and amazing! Thank you for blessing me when I thought my hard work was going unnoticed. I'm living out my dreams. God's Plan ----