Three years ago today, ‘Glee’ actor Cory Monteith tragically passed away due to a drug overdose. Although it would be easy for some people to judge him for his addiction, it is important to remember that Cory wasn’t his illness. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are still mourning the loss of the actor, us included. We want to remind others that although his passing was devastatingly heartbreaking, we should remember Cory for the kind person that he was and honor him that way.
During his years in the spotlight, Cory never hid the fact that he was lucky to be alive. He also always made it known how thankful he was for his success and how much he wanted to give back. He wanted to help those who needed it because he felt a responsibility to them. He didn’t want to be “just another Hollywood star”. He wanted to make a difference, which was why he always met other people with kindness and an open mind.
A charity that meant a lot to Cory was Project Limelight. Project Limelight aims to unleash the imagination, awaken curiosity and give children the opportunity to experience the magic of applause. The charity has set out to develop a program that offers youth living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside a safe place to build an artistic community. Cory once said “When I was a kid I struggled a lot with who I was and where my life was going and what I was interested in. I was fortunate to have the arts inspire me and I think that that’s one of the most important things about Project Limelight.” According to their website, the focus at Project Limelight is on enthusiasm and passion, and the vision is to create a community of support for young people as they make their way through their most formative years.
You can help support Project Limelight here.
Another charity that was important to Cory was Chrysalis. Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. “Chrysalis is empowerment,” Cory once said. “It’s not just a handout. It’s empowerment. It’s taking people who just need a help up. Not a handout. A help up. It’s helping people do what they already can do.”
You can help Chrysalis by donating here.
Cory was also very involved with Virgin Unite, a charity which he was an ambassador for. Virgin Unite’s goal is to unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world. According to their website, Cory was an outspoken supporter of the fight against youth homelessness and his dedication and advocacy helped raise more than $200,000 for at-risk youth programs in Canada through RE*Generation – a joint initiative of Virgin Unite and Virgin Mobile Canada. The charity founder, Billionaire business mogul, Richard Branson, remembered Cory’s big heart after his death. He said, “He [Cory] was deeply committed to ending youth homelessness. We’ll never forget watching him on the streets in Canada working with homeless teenagers and with organizations like Foyer in the UK, inspiring and giving a lifeline of hope to young people who were overwhelmed that he took the time to walk beside them to listen and share his own story.”
Please help Cory’s legacy to live on by donating here.
Saint James Music Academy
On Cory’s birthday, May 11, his mother, Ann McGregor, raised money for Saint James Music Academy in Cory’s memory. Saint James Music Academy teaches classical music at no cost to children living in Canada’s lowest income urban neighborhood. According to their website, the children at SJMA find joy through the music. They discover the deep riches of their own potential and find new self-esteem. They learn about the beauty and the necessity of collaboration with others. They improve their intellectual and other skills. They learn to overcome barriers they did not make. In a word, they become empowered. According to Ann, Cory “wanted music brought into the lives of children in a big way, my goal is to make this happen.”
You can donate to Saint James Music Academy here.
Use today to remember Cory’s kind heart and his open mind. He was, and will continue to be, a bright life in many people’s life. Thank you, Cory for sharing your heart and story with the world. We are forever grateful to have witnessed your talent.