“What we need to learn from children isn’t childish. Being with them connects us with the deeper wisdom of life which is ever-present and only asks to be lived.”
Dancing the Dream
Unless otherwise specifically stated, the source for all of the information on this page is derived from Michael Jackson: The King of Pop and Michael Jackson: The King of Pop’s Darkest Hour by Lisa D. Campbell (Branden Books 1993 and 1995) and I thank her for her research.
Michael Jackson has become a legendary figure in the entertainment industry not only for his unparalleled popularity and his unprecedented talents, but also for his humanitarian and ecological commitment. The following listing of his nearly lifelong commitment to children and children’s issues does not purport to be complete, but is offered only as an attempt to detail some of Mr. Jackson’s charitable activities. The author welcomes the help of any reader who has information pertaining to Michael’s charitable efforts which is not listed herein.
In compiling this summary, it has become abundantly clear to this author that Michael Jackson routinely and seamlessly combines his love of performing for his fans and his unconditional love for our ill and needy children in his touring plans. Rather than just handing over a check, Jackson gives these children something much more valuable — his time and his attention.
During scheduled tour stops in Brisbane, Australia, Michael Jackson visits the Prince of Wales Hospital which houses children suffering from assorted ailments, including cancer, heart trouble, asthma and tumors. He signs autographs and distriutes toys to over 75 children, spending hours with the kids. (Source: Press Release by Burson-Marsteller)
Michael Jackson visits a children’s hospital in Sydney prior to being publically feted by Sony Music honoring his sales (exceeding $75 million in Australia) at a reception held in his honor at the Opera House. Again, reports state that he spends over two hours speaking to the children, signing autographs and distributing gifts to each child. Reports also surface that Michael had committed a portion of his receipts from his nine Australian performances to “The Smith Family”, a charity dedicated to feeding the needy. (Source: Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Field Report from Swa, Shaz and Ian McKee)
Michael Jackson grants American news magazine, American Journal, permission to accompany him for two weeks on his tour itinerary. Phenomenal footage narrated by Les Trent depicts Michael Jackson’s visit to “Starship,” a children’s hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, following Jackson from room to room as he speaks to each child, leaving each a toy and autographed photo or cd. In answer to Trent’s question regarding how the children’s faces make him feel, Jackson touches his chest, replying “It touches my heart.” Jackson is also shown backstage just moments prior to his sold out performance, comforting Emily Smith, a shy, 13-year-old cancer victim. He welcomes her to the “shy club” while holding her in his arms and ruffling her curly hair, then poses for photographs with Emily and her family and rushes off to prepare himself for the show.
In Bangkok, Thailand, Michael Jackson is shown visiting an orphanage and a school for blind children. At the former, he leaves a donation of $100,000 American dollars as well as distributing toys and gifts to children at both. An orphanage spokeswoman comments, “They don’t know him as a pop star. To them he is just a very nice man who came here to offer hope.” Jackson later performed to a crowd estimated at 40,000. (Source: American Journal news footage)
Bombay, India — 85% of the $5 to $6 million ticket receipts from one concert is slated to go to he Shiv Udyog Sena to help create jobs for 270,000 young people in the state of Maharashtra, of which Bombay is the capital. Upon arriving in Bombay, Jackson asks his driver to stop the motorcade transporting him from the airport to his hotel to allow him to spend 20 minutes talking with children playing in the crowded slums he must pass en route. (Source: Indian journalist Hema Shukla)
October, 1996 — Jackson visits a hospital for mentally challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. 2,000 free tickets to the sold out performance in Kaoshiung are offered to children.
October 1996 – Michael Jackson contributes almost 85 percent of earnings from the Indian leg of the HIStory World Tour to a Hindy charity organization, the Shiv Udyog Sena, and will help leaders to create jobs for 270,000 young people from the state of Maharashtra.(Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
October 1996 – Michael Jackson visits two hospitals, Ronald McDonald House and AMC, in Amsterdam distributing toys and gifts at each during his tour stop. He performs three sold-out concerts in Amersterm, The Netherlands.
October 1996 — Michael Jackson performs a benefit concert in Tunisia. Kingdom Entertainment (Michael Jackson and Prince Alwaleed’s collaboration announced during the spring of 1995) issued the following statement: “Pop Star Michael Jackson will perform in Tunis, Tunisia,
October 7, 1996 as part of his HIStory World Tour. This concert will be of special significance to me because it will be my first in Africa and the Arab World. The people and nations of both regions have always held a special place in my heart and I always wanted to perform for them. I am particularly delighted that this concert will be in Tunisia, a peaceful and tolerant nation which cares equally for men, women, and children. Proceeds from my concert will go to a national charity helping the needy and that’s an extra source of satisfaction for me.'” The concert will benefit the National Solidarity Fund, a Tunisian charity dedicated to fighting poverty. More than 60,000 attended the concert and Michael treated the spectators to 15 of his most popular songs and a variety of special effects, large screen video clips, and fireworks. (Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
September 1996— Michael Jackson visits a children’s hospital in Prague, Czech Republic, the opening performance of the HIStory World Tour. Although not specifically stated in the report, it wouldn’t surprise me if Jackson didn’t drop off another load of toys and gifts. Later, he performed for an estimated crowd of 130,000. (Source: MJIFC field reporter, Petr Dousa)
September 1996— Michael Jackson visited the CSKA stadium in Moscow where he met with a group of kids, watching them perform some of his own songs!! (Source: MJIFC field reporter, Dmitri Nechitailenko)
September 1996 — Upon Michael Jackson’s arrival in Poland, he was greeted by thousands of fans and visited a children’s hospital (no doubt distributing the toys he collects on those “oh, so bizarre” shopping trips) to hundreds of children accompanied by Poland’s “First Lady”. He later performed before a crowd estimated at 100,000 (Source: Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
September 1996 — Michael Jackson visits a state orphanage in Bucharest, Romania prior to his concert before 70,000 in that city. After handing out toys, Michael said, “I wish all the world was here to see this, instead of sending our brothers to the killing fields. This is our future — children. I love you all so much.” (Source: Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
September 1996 — Announcement of two concerts in Bombay, India to be held at the end of October. The concerts’ proceeds have been pledged to a local charity organization. Wouldn’t it be cool if the local charities were connected, in some way, to Mother Theresa?? (Source: Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
July 1996 — Michael Jackson, during a visit to Budapest, Hungary, visits young Bela Farcas (see August 1994 below.)
July 1996 — During a trip to South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson laid a wreath at a memorial to the hundreds of Africans who were shot by police during riots in 1976. He also attended a birthday party for President Mandela. (Source: USA Today)
June 1996 — A donated trip to Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson’s southern California home, received the highest bid at a Cities in School celebrity auction. Los Angeles KIIS-FM and Cities in School organized the event, raising over $115,000 to benefit school children. A trip for four to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch received the highest bid of $5,200 (followed by a $3,500 bid for a tour of Madonna’s villa.) (Source: Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
May 1996 — Michael Jackson sends a floral tribute of white roses, carnations and lilies to the funeral of one of his British fans. The inscription reads, “May your courage be an inspiration to us all. Your spirit shines on. Love, Michael Jackson” Eleven-year-old Jaymee Bowen had lost her battle with leukemia. Her favorite songs — Farewell My Summer Love, Ben and Never Can Say Goodbye — were played at the funeral services. (Source: Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club Latest News)
January 1996— Arab television features a special interview with Michael Jackson. In his ongoing commitment to children, Jackson discusses his plans to open the first Michael Jackson Hospital in New Jersey. He said his mission is to open them throughout the world to house and unite people in need. “This is pretty much where my heart is,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t matter what color you are … I love everyone equally.” During the interview, Jackson was questioned by children who asked a multitude of questions dealing with frequent attacks by the press. They got a good laugh when Jackson told them, “The press is crazy and they like to make up stories about me.” (Source: Arab American News)
December 1995 – Michael Jackson donates 600 VIP tickets to his scheduled HBO “One Night Only Concert” to inner city children in New York City. Michael is hospitalized three days before the concerts are scheduled to be taped and remains in the hospital in “serious, but stable” condition due to an acute viral infection, acute dehydration affecting electrolyte balance and causing kidney and liver irregularities and extremely low blood pressure. The press calls Jackson’s hospitalization “a publicity stunt.”
April 1996 — Michael Jackson, in conjunction with Heal The World, hosts the First International “World’s Children’s Congress” at Neverland Ranch. Delegates from 17 countries had won an essay writing contest and were treated to several cultural diversity workshops.
February 1995 — Michael Jackson privately requests permission to attend funeral services for little Craig Fleming, a two-year old boy whose mother threw him over the side of a Los Angeles bridge along with his four-year-old brother, before jumping to her own planned death. The mother and four-year-old survived the incident, although the child, Michael, was badly battered, requiring medical aid. Jackson attended Craig’s funeral services accompanied by two retainers and quietly grieved with the family. Later, he presented a contribution towards Michael Fleming’s medical expenses and found a special trust fund for Michael’s care. Jackson later dedicated the song Childhood on the HIStory album to the memory of Craig Fleming with these words, “Childhood is dedicated to Little Craig Fleming and his surviving brother, Michael, for whom a scholarship fund has been established to ensure that his childhood ushers in a future of all possibilities. Love, MJ” (Numerous sources)
August 1994 — During a visit to Budapest, Hungary to film an advertisement for his upcoming album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, Michael Jackson and wife Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson visit children’s hospitals, distributing over 2,600 toys. The plight of 4-year-old Bela Farcas touches the Jacksons’ resulting in the announcement that Michael Jackson, in conjunction with Heal the World, will donate all medical expenses for the boy’s liver transplant. The surgery is performed in Belgium and little Bela’s new lease on life is confirmed in March of 1995.
January 1994— Michael Jackson hosts one hundred children from the Community Youth Sports and Arts Foundation in Los Angeles at his Neverland Ranch where the children were treated to all the amenities, including lunch. Jackson spent the day mingling with the children, posing for photographs and signing autographs. The children watched Beethoven’s 2nd, played in the amusement park and checked out the zoo. Chilton Alphonse, founder of the South Central Los Angeles’ Community Youth Sports and Arts Foundation, remarked, “This was a reward for them and especially on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr, it is a very special occasion. These kids will never forget. We thank Michael for making this an even more memorable day.” The children who participated in the event had excelled in school.
Late October 1993 — Mexico City, Mexico — Michael Jackson is forced to cancel his scheduled visit to El Nuevo Reino Aventura amusement park, home of Keiko, the whale in Free Willy, due to oral surgery and a later revealed addiction to pain medication. Instead, Jackson invited five thousand under privileged children to visit the park at his expense. During his stop in Mexico, he hosts children at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mexico City. (Numerous sources)
October 1993 — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Michael Jackson donates thousands of tickets to his concert to disadvantaged children.
October 1993 — Buenos Aires, Argentina — Michael Jackson donates thousands of tickets to his October 6 concert to ill, needy and disadvantaged children.
Fall 1993 — Tel Aviv, Israel — In Israel on a tour stop, Michael Jackson visits children’s hospital, distributing toys and talking with the children.
Fall 1993 — New Dehli, India — It is announced that the proceeds of concerts to be held in New Dehli, India would be directed to the Ghandi Foundation for Children. Pepsi guaranteed $160,000 would be realized from the two shows.
September 1993 — Japan — While in Japan, Michael Jackson visited a school at a US naval base in Japan. A terminally ill Dutch boy, 15-year-old Martijn Hendricsen and his two brothers are flown to Japan in response to a request by the Make A Wish Foundation. Martijn, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, wanted to meet his idol, Michael Jackson.
July 1993 — Michael Jackson is announced as the winner of the 1994 Scopus Laureate Award to be presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in January 1994 by the American Friends of Hebrew University in honor of his international humanitarian efforts on behalf of children. Later, Michael Jackson graciously declined the award, withdrawing his name, in order to spare the prestigious organization embarrassment generated by the media frenzy that engulfed Jackson throughout the remainder of 1993/1994.
July 1993 — Mallory Cyr, an eight-year-old girl from Sabattus, Maine who suffers from a rare intestinal disease, receives a letter and generous check from Michael Jackson. The letter was a result of a letter-writing campaign organized by school children. Jackson’s letter read, “I am sending you all my loving and caring, Mallory, along with the enclosed gift, which I hope will help nourish you and keep you strong.” Mallory’s intestinal condition made it nearly impossible for her to eat and she was being fed intravenously. (Source: Peoria Journal Star)
June 1993 — Michael Jackson hosts one hundred children at his ranch from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles. Another group of children were treated to a pre-screening of Tom and Jerry: The Movie when Jackson received an advance copy from Joseph Barbera.
June 1993 — A rally in Los Angeles to launch a new DARE program, called DAREPLUS (Drug Abuse Resistance Education – Play and Learn Under Supervision) boasts an appearance by none other than the King of Pop. Michael Jackson is a member of the Board of Directors for the DARE program.
June 1993 — Life magazine features Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch on its cover. The pictorial includes photographs of the amusement park, zoo, theater, bumper cars, ferris wheel, concession stands, grounds. Its text, written by David Friend, includes the following: “It is here, standing next to the hospital beds, that one understands the essence of Neverland to its owner, amusement is hardly the point of the place. This is actually the world Jackson would fashion were it left in his charge; safe and clean and timeless as a fable.”
May 1993 — Lori Byler, President of the Michael Jackson Observer Fan Club, presents Michael Jackson with a special award in recognition of his work with children. The inscription on the award reads in part, “In deepest appreciation for all you have done for the children of the world. Because of your great love and sensitivity towards all children, they now have the chance to live a happy normal life. Without other great humanitarians, like yourself, the lives and futures of our children the world over is hopeless.”
May 1993 — Michael Jackson joins former President Jimmy Carter in Atlanta, Georgia to announce Heal Atlanta. The Immunization/Children’s Health Initiative is open to children under six who live in Atlanta projects and have current immunization certificates. For further details see Heal the World section of this site.
March 1993 — Michael Jackson wins approval from officials in Santa Barbara County to build a twenty-acre breeding ground for apes, white tigers, bears and other animals on his Neverland Ranch.
Spring 1993 — Michael Jackson announces the formation of Michael Jackson Productions, Inc., an independent film company dedicated to producing uplifting films. Jackson’s statement: “I believe passionately in the power of mass entertainment and have seen how, with positive messages, it can help alleviate the problems we face, including the suffering of the world’s children.”
Early 1993 — The second leg of the Dangerous World Tour is announced. It is to begin with a series of Asian dates with a percentage of the gross from each of the stops to be donated to Heal The World.
April 1993 — In connection with his Heal LA, Michael Jackson visits Los Angeles South Central accompanied by Caroline Bingham of the Los Angeles Sentinel and Adrian Grant, editor of Off The Wall magazine. Michael visits the Watts Health Foundation, the El Santo Nino after-school center and the Horace Mann Middle School. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
February 1993 — Neverland Ranch, Los Olivos, California — Michael Jackson grants a live television interview to Oprah Winfrey. During the interview, Jackson states that he has arranged regular visits to the opulent estate, which houses amusement park, video game rooms, screening rooms, concession stands, train rides, petting zoo and barbecue pits. Children with Make A Wish, Dream Street and Starlight organizations are bussed to the ranch at three week intervals for an afternoon of fun at Jackson’s expense. Jackson says, “I love to do things for children.” When Ms. Winfrey points out the hospital beds built into the walls in Jackson’s screening room, he remarks, “These are sick children … children with cancer … we have children that come who are … intravenously … they’re very sick … bedridden … and these beds, they’re hospital beds. You push a button and they move up and down. And they’re able to watch … we have a magic show … we show the current films … cartoons … anything … anything so they can escape to that world of magic that they don’t get a chance to experience … the world that I was deprived of when I was little.”
January 1993 — Los Angeles, California — Michael Jackson holds a press conference to accept a donation to Heal the World from the National Football League and Frito Lay amounting to $200,000. Michael had agreed to perform at the XXVII Superbowl half-time gala contingent upon the performance being a benefit for his charity.
January 1993 — Los Angeles, California — At the same press conference, Michael announces Heal LA, a project he will co-chair with former President Jimmy Carter to help disadvantaged children. Heal LA focuses on immunization, drug education and mentoring in the LA Area.
December 1992 – Michael Jackson donates a videotaped appeal to be broadcast in aid of the United Negro College Fund.
September 1992 — Michael Jackson arrives in Bucharest, Romania. He is mobbed by 6,000 people, many of whom follow him to the Leaganul Pentru Copii Sfinta Ecaterina orphanage to formally open a playground he funded in that institution. President Iliescu is present at the opening. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
August 1992— The first Heal The World European Children’s Congress meets in London, England. Eighty-four children between the ages of 8 and 16 come together to express their views on the world’s biggest problems and the solutions, as they see them. Despite a case of laryngitis, Michael Jackson arrives at Regent’s College after lunch and stays for approximately four hours. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
July 1992 — Psychologist Dr. Wayne Dyer dedicates his book Real Magic to Michael Jackson. Dr. Dyer, who had spent several days at Neverland Ranch, felt Michael deserved the honor because of his commitment to world peace and helping children. He also said that he admired Michael Jackson for standing up to a lifetime of pressure and ridicule from the tabloid press.
June 1992 — Operation One to One honors Michael Jackson in recognition of his efforts in support of economically disadvantaged youth.
June 1992 — Michael Jackson presents a check for 40,000 DM to Munich Mayor Georg Kronawitter to help the city’s needy children. He also visits Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam to donate 100,000 pounds. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
May 1992 — Michael Jackson calls to comfort the family of a young boy who had been killed by a stray bullet during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California. The destitute family was unable to pay for the boy’s funeral so Jackson footed the bill. The Sanchez family got the chance to talk to Michael while he was filming a Pepsi commercial in Culver City. “Ramon was one of your biggest fans. You have helped make a very tragic time for us more bearable. Your involvement was a pleasant surprise and we are eternally grateful,” the child’s mother said.
May 1992 — President George Bush presents Michael Jackson with an award acknowledging him as a “Point of Light” ambassador in recognition of Jackson’s efforts in inviting disadvantaged children to his home in California. Before leaving Washington, D.C., Michael visits with Raynal Page, a young girl who had been mauled by four dogs. He spent forty-five minutes with the youngster and her sister, playing hide and seek and dancing. Finally, he posed for pictures and autographed jackets for each of the girls.
Early 1992 — Michael Jackson visits with four children prior to an auction of items from a storage locker in Oxnard, California. He sings Man in the Mirror when one child doesn’t believe it’s really him. Memorabilia being offered included instruments, music storage cases and a black sequined glove.
February 1992 — Michael Jackson holds a press conference at Radio City Music Hall to announce his plans for a world tour. The Dangerous Tour will begin in June and will cover four continents. Michael spoke to the assembled media representatives. “The only reason I am going on tour is to raise funds for the newly formed Heal the World, an international children’s charity that I am spearheading to assist children and the ecology. My goal is to gross $100 million by Christmas, 1993.” Heal the World will contribute to Pediatric AIDS (“in honor of my friend, Ryan White”), Camp Ronald McDonald, the Make A Wish Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes and the Minority AIDS Foundation. (For further information see Heal The World section of this site.)
February 1992 — Michael Jackson embarks on a two-week visit to Africa where he visits schools, churches and institutions for mentally retarded children. (Numerous Sources)
October 1991 – It is reported that a mystery woman pays 30,000 pounds to hold her child’s birthday party at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch as part of a celebrity AIDS charity auction. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
April 1991 – Michael Jackson organizes a 500 pound a seat “chimpanzee tea party” to benefit Jane Goodall’s ape research institute. In May, Michael attends a Jane Goodall International Tribute Benefit. Michael assumes the honorary “chair” of the organization. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
Fall 1990 — Michael throws a party for eighty abused or neglected children from the Village of Childhelp in Beaumont, California. Later he hosted fifty children from Maclaren Hall and the Make a Wish Foundation at his home in Santa Ynez.
August 1990 — One hundred thirty children from the YWCA Summer Program in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara are invited to Michael’s ranch in Los Olivos. They enjoy a barbecue, play video games in Jackson’s state-of-the-art game rooms, visit his zoo and watch movies in his private screening room. Each of them takes home a free pair of sneakers. The children made him a banner which read, “We love you, Michael” and made him an honorary member of the 28th Street YWCA.
June 1990 — Michael is hospitalized at St. John’s Hospital and Health Center with costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage at the front of the rib cage. By July, however, he is well enough to entertain the Dream Street program in Los Angeles, who were camping nearby. Forty-five children were treated to a tour of his ranch, a movie and lunch. The founders of the camp called the visit the perfect end to their weekend.
May 1990 – Make A Wish Foundation arranges a visit for 14-year-old John Brown, a young cancer victim, to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
April 1990 — Michael is honored as the “Entertainer of the Decade Award” on behalf of the Capital Children’s Museum. Later, he is guest of honor at a fund raising banquet to benefit the museum. The award is presented by President George Bush at the White House.
April 1990 — Michael Jackson’s friend, Ryan White, a young boy who is a victim of AIDS and whom Jackson had befriended some time earlier, died. Due to his previous commitment to be in Washington, D.C., Jackson sadly missed being with Ryan, but did speak to him via speaker phone in his hospital room in Indiana. He told Ryan that he loved him and that God was with him. Michael arrived the day after young Ryan was taken, but he stayed and comforted Ryan’s mother, Jeanne, through Ryan’s funeral. Later, Michael purchased a step inside a restored war monument, the Indiana Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument in Indianapolis. A brass placard reads, “In honor or Ryan White, his spirit lives on in us all. We miss you. Michael Jackson”
February 1990 — Michael Jackson participates and performs at a musical variety special to honor Sammy Davis, Jr. Proceeds from the special, $250,000, are donated to the United Negro College Fund.
December 1989 — Ryan White, a young victim of AIDS, spends a vacation at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
Spring 1989 — Michael Jackson invites two hundred disadvantaged children to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara to help him celebrate his purchase of the acreage now known as Neverland Ranch. The children were from St. Vincent’s Home for Dysfunctional Children and from the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Programs.
Mid 1989 — Michael Jackson is presented with the Black Radio Exclusive Humanitarian Award at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California for his charitable and humanitarian work. He also receives the National Urban Coalition Artist/Humanitarian Award in appreciation for his participation in their “Say Yes to a Youngster” program which encourages kids to study math and science.
February 1989 – Children at the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California receive a visit from the King of Pop. The children had earlier been traumatized by a sniper opening fire on their school enclosure. Many of those present reported that Jackson’s visit helped them to feel safe again. (Sources: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995 – Michael Jackson: The King of Pop by Lisa D. Campbell and Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness by J. Randy Taraborelli)
December 1988 – Reports appear in many media forums that David Rothenberg, a young man who had been critically injured by his father setting him on fire, had received compassionate visits from Michael Jackson. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
October 1988 — During the second leg of the Bad Tour, at each of the stops, Michael Jackson brings several children out on stage. The children are chosen at each of the stops from local hospitals or charitable organizations (such as Make a Wish, Dreamstreet, etc). The children and Michael dance before he exits the stage.
October 1988 — During the second US leg of the Bad Tour, Michael Jackson presents a check in the amount of $125,000 to Esther Edwards and Berry Gordy for the maintenance and upkeep of Hittsville, USA, Motown’s Museum in Detroit, Michigan. He also contributed a black fedora, a white beaded glove and costume from the Motown Era for display.
August 29, 1988 — United Kingdom — Leeds — Michael shyly thanks 90,000 fans for their rendition of the Happy Birthday Song. The concert is a benefit performance for the British Charity, Give For Life. The $130,000 proceeds of the concert were contributed toward the organization’s goal of $1.9 million to help immunize 40,000 children against measles, diphtheria, polio, tuberculosis, etc.
July 1988 – United Kingdom — During tour stops in the United Kingdom, Michael Jackson presents a check in the amount of $450,000 to the Princes’ Trust, a charity for disadvantaged children. He also contributes to the Wishing Well Fund, established to help finance the construction of a new building for London’s Hospital for Sick Children. Michael toured the hospital and visited with some of the patients. He also donated 100,000 pounds to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, where he visited the ill children, reading them a story. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
June 1988 – Music celebrity auction to benefit the T. J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research boasts a black fedora signed by Michael Jackson as its winning bid. It sold for over $4,000. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
May 1988 – Rome, Italy — Bad European Tour — Michael Jackson visits Rome’s Bambin Gesie Hospital during a tour stop, passing out candy and autographed pictures to the children.
April 1988 – It is announced that 4,000 tickets from Michael Jackson’s concerts in Britain will be donated to ITV Telethon which will raise 200,000 pounds for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary, 1995)
Late 1988 – Atlanta, Georgia concerts – Bad Tour — one hundred tickets were given to the Children’s Wish Foundation to be distributed to terminally ill children.
Late 1988 – Michael Jackson gives the use of the song Beat It for a Flintstone’s Kids cartoon special encouraging kids to say no to drugs. The Flintstones Kids program airs in September 1988.
1988-1989 — Michael Jackson begins his Bad World Tour. During many of the stops Michael is joined backstage prior to the concert with ill children from the local areas in which he performs. Seth Riggs, Michael’s vocal coach, remarks, “Every night the kids would come in on stretchers, so sick they could hardly hold their heads up. Michael would kneel down at the stretchers and put his face right down beside theirs so that he could have his picture taken with them, and then give them a copy to remember the moment.” (Source: Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness by J. Randy Taraborelli)
March 1988 – Second stop of the first US leg of the Bad Tour, New York — Michael Jackson performs at the Madison Square Garden, the first of three concerts is a benefit for the United Negro College Fund. He presents a check for $600,000 to Christopher Edley, UNCF President, making him one of the UNCF’s largest contributors. The reviews in New York read, “Michael’s act has already gone well beyond a pop music concert. He uses music the way other performers from the Nicolas Brothers to Lisa Minnelli have used it: his body is every bit as much an instrument as his voice.” By this time, 97 young people had benefited from Michael Jackson’s generosity to the United Negro College Fund. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Magic and Madness by J. Randy Taraborelli)
February 1988 – Man in the Mirror enters the music charts. The footage for the short film provides a hard look at reality for many millions of people. Jackson’s royalties from the sale of this single are donated to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, a camp for children with cancer. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary, 1995)
November 1987 – Michael Jackson donates 10,000 pounds to the Children in Need Appeal in Britain. (Source: Michael Jackson the Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
November 1987 – Michael Jackson visits a children’s hospital while touring in Australia.
September 1987 – While touring in Japan, Michael Jackson donates thirty personal items to an auction the proceeds of which went toward educating children in the third world. Among the items were sunglasses, t-shirts and a windbreaker.
September 1987 – Michael Jackson donates $20,000 to the family of a young Japanese boy, Yoshiyaki, who had been recently kidnaped and killed. News footage of Michael Jackson’s empathy with Yoshiyaki and his family shows a highly emotional Michael Jackson addressing the incident, “I am very sorry and deeply saddened to hear about Yoshiyaki. If I could, I would like to rush to his parents to express my words of sympathy and pay tribute to Yoshiyaki. I would like to dedicate my Japanese tour to Yoshiyaki.. Yoshiyaki, I know you’re out there watching us. I hope such a brutal and heartbreaking thing never happens again. And I love you.” Jackson then proceeded into the song I Just Can’t Stop Loving You. (Source: film footage of the Bad World Tour in Japan)
February 1986 – Donna Ashlock from Patterson, California receives a call from Michael Jackson after he learns she is a devoted fan. In March, the fourteen-year-old girls visits Michael at home in Encino, California. She stays for lunch and watches a movie. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
October 1986 – Michael’s Pets, a line of stuffed animals modeled after Michael Jackson’s zoo is released to market. Michael Jackson requests that from each purchase, one dollar should be donated to a children’s charity. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
January 1985 – Michael Jackson is one of the first artists to arrive at A&M Lion Share Studios for the historic recording which brought dozens of nationally acclaimed artists together in the hope of alleviating famine in Africa. In an all night session, the largest-grossing single in the history of the recording arts, We Are The World, is recorded, spawning a videocassette and a book, all the proceeds of which would be funneled directly through to famine relief efforts. Ten years later, in January 1995 – the historic tenth year anniversary of the occasion was celebrated by the American Music Awards, reuniting some of the artists who were involved in the original recording session. The famine relief efforts of this recording resulted in over $60 million dollars being channeled directly into the countries most affected. Michael Jackson contributed to the effort not only as featured artist, but co-wrote the song with Lionel Ritchie and recorded the demo tracks distributed to the participating artists. (Numerous sources)
Early 1985 – Michael Jackson visits a young girl who was paralyzed in a car accident in Miami, Florida. Later, he sent her a tape of the Victory Tour concerts and a tour jacket.
July, 1984 – Michael Jackson and his family hold a press conference to announce the changing of the ticket distribution system for the Victory Tour. During his lengthy (for him) speech, he announces, “Finally, and most importantly, … I want you to know that when I first agreed to tour, I decided to donate all the money I make from our performances to charity.” Three charities benefitted from Michael’s generosity: The United Negro College Fund established the Michael Jackson Scholarship Fund which, by 1988, had provided scholarships for 70 students at UNCF member schools , Camp Good Times for terminally ill children and the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia and Cancer Research. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness by J. Randy Taraborelli)
July 1984 – The Jacksons perform at Texas Stadium in Dallas, donating 1200 tickets to underprivileged children (valued at $39,000). (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
July 1984 – The Jacksons, performing in Jacksonville, Florida entertain eight children suffering from incurable diseases. Fourteen-year-old Malanda Cooper, a young victim, who has only a short time to live, writes the Major asking to meet Michael. Michael meets her backstage prior to a performance. Later 700 disadvantaged children are treated to the show. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
August 1984 – As negotiations for a performance in Gary, Indiana break down, the Jacksons transport forty children from the Thelma Marshall Children’s Home for orphans, foster children and abandoned children, The Hoosier Boys Home and the Donzels Work Study Program for high school students working toward a college education to Detroit, Michigan for the third performance there. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
Summer 1984 – David Smithey a fourteen-old-fan, through the auspices of the Brass Ring Society, fulfills a lifelong dream. He is invited to visit Michael Jackson in his home in Encino. David, a victim of cystic fibrosis had long wished to meet Jackson. The two young people shared an afternoon watching movies in the private screening room, eating lunch and playing video games. Before leaving, he was treated by the superstar to a black sequined glove and his red leather jacket from Beat It. Seven weeks later, David Smithey died. (Numerous sources)
May, 1984 – Michael Jackson donates the use of his song Beat It to a national advertising campaign against drinking and driving. For his contribution, he received a Special Achievement Award presented by President Ronald Reagan.
April 1984 – Michael Jackson endows a nineteen-bed unit at the Mount Sinai New York Medical Center, a division of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia and Cancer Research. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
January, 1984 – During the filming of Pepsi commercials, Michael Jackson is burned. As a result of the on-set accident, he is admitted to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California. Despite palm-sized second and third-degree burns to the back of his head when pyrotechnics, somehow, went awry, Jackson visited several other burn patients and later donated a hyperbaric chamber (used to treat burn victims) in addition to a large donation toward preparing and equipping the Michael Jackson Burn Center. Tabloids reported that Michael had acquired the chamber in order to sleep in it to prolong his own life. Sad, huh?
July 1981 – Concert in Atlanta Georgia, Triumph Tour, – benefit concert raises $100,000 at the Omni Auditorium in Atlanta, Georgia for the Atlanta Children’s Foundation in response to a series of kidnappings and murders that had been plaguing the children of Atlanta for months.
January 1979 – Michael Jackson donates an unspecified number of books, including Peter Pan to the Chicago Public Library’s Young Adult Section and promotes reading through a library program called Boogie to the Book Beat. (Source: Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary by Adrian Grant, 1995)
Compiled by Janis M. Carlson