George and Amal Clooney are using their fortune for good.
On Feb. 20 the couple announced they’re donating $500,000 in the name of their twins Ella and Alexander to March for Our Lives, an upcoming March 24 event organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in an effort to call for gun control.
“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School,” Clooney reportedly said in a statement. “Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event.”
During Friday's Watermark Conference for Women, Amal expanded on their statement, praising the brave teens pushing for gun control. "I am just blown away by these students. I think they are doing an amazing job turning a tragedy into advocacy," Amal said, according to Popsugar. "It's only been a week since this happened and I'm in awe of how courageous they are and how effective they are. I would have never have had the presence of mind or the courage at 16 years old, let alone having just gone through what they have, to be able to stand face to face with the president, a senator, the NRA, and answer these tough questions. They are the best vehicle and best hope for change. I really hope that they will succeed and make a meaningful difference."
"George and I just personally wanted to make this contribution and say that we will be there with our family because my children are very lucky to go to school here and I know their lives will literally depend on it," she explained. "The new generation, the young people, feel empowered to make a change, and frankly, they are the ones who should have the platform. The march we're attending, it's their march. They are the ones that are going to be speaking, and if someone tries to tell them what the reality is, their response should be, 'Well, I was the one hiding in the closet a week ago, so let me tell you how I feel and this is what would make me feel safe.' Watching them gives me a lot of hope."
VIDEO: What to Know About the Florida School Shooting
On Feb. 14, 17 victims were killed and more than a dozen wounded at the Parkland, Fla., school. Since, celebrities and lawmakers have opened up a dialogue about stricter gun laws. And five survivors of the shooting—students David Hogg, Alex Wind, Cameron Kasky, Jacqueline Coren, and Emma Gonzalez—have joined forces (with the support of Everytown for Gun Safety) to urge others to support March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. Other rallies are being organized across the country.
In an interview with Face the Nation, the students discussed their plans. “What we’re trying to do here [with] ‘March for Our Lives’ is say, the adult politicians have been playing around while my generation has been losing our lives,” Kasky said. “At the end of the day, this isn’t a red and blue thing. This isn’t Democrats or Republicans. This is about everybody and how we are begging for our lives … We need to make real change here and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Since the shooting, celebrities like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga have pledged their support of the march, with Oprah taking to Twitter to share that she's matching the Clooneys' donation.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have also donated to the cause. "We're proud of the students. We've already sent them money. We sent them $25,000 to help with whatever costs they have for organizing, and we believe that our gun culture needs to change in America," Legend told the AP.
March for Our Lives is now accepting donations, and merch that directly benefits the fund is being sold. In addition, over $1 million have been raised for the victims of the school shooting. You can donate here.
Previously, the Clooneys have donated money to other social causes. In August 2017, they donated $1 million through the Southern Poverty Law Center and Clooney Foundation after the Charlottesville, Virgina white supremacist rally to end hate.