Holly Turner and Samantha Jacobson were both struggling financially, until the singer messaged them on Tumblr
The “London Boy” singer, who’s donated $3,000 each to four fans, is one of a handful of celebs, including Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X, and Megan Thee Stallion, giving money to those struggling financially due to the pandemic.
Sharing a screenshot of the donation on Twitter, Turner captured the accompanying note sent to her Paypal: “Holly, you've always been there for me. I want to be there for you right now. I hope this helps. Love, Taylor.”
“I started hysterically sobbing and didn’t stop for at least a half hour,” she told Dazed. “I’d spent the entire day before coming to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to afford my apartment past May, and how having to leave New York would have a massively detrimental impact on my career. The amount that she gave me is enough rent for four months, so when I saw the donation, I knew I had enough money to wait out the pandemic. The wave of relief I felt is indescribable.”
i made a post on tumblr about how i was scared i wouldn't be able to stay living in NYC because of what corona has done to the music industry. @taylorswift13 literally single-handedly saved my ability to stay here. i cannot even believe my eyes right now pic.twitter.com/3hAxkSVvGo— holly turner (@ittybittyholly) March 25, 2020
With the ability to travel and hold public gatherings now gone, those working in the events and music industries are among those most financially affected by coronavirus. “COVID-19 has impacted me pretty severely. I’m a freelance concert photographer and graphic designer, so the entirety of my income is rooted in the music events industries, both of which have been completely shut down due to this pandemic,” explained Turner.
“There’s not really any social safety net when you’re a self-employed freelancer in the US, so having no income is something that’s absolutely terrifying – especially since we don’t know how long this pandemic will go on for,” she continued. “Having to leave New York because I couldn’t pay rent might have killed my career. Knowing that I’ll be able to stay here, and that it’s because of her, is the best feeling in the world.”
Turner has seen Swift in concert over 30 times and heads a fan account dedicated to the artist on Tumblr. “The thing I’ve always told people, which I hope others now see, is how great of a human being Taylor is. I feel like there is no precedent for a lot of the things she does for her fans,” she added.
To celebrate the boost, the Swift stan created a series of filters on the Lightroom mobile app, inspired by Swift’s albums and their individual aesthetics.
Also receiving a donation from Swift was Samantha Jacobson, who lost her job as a Disney World cocktail server due to the coronavirus quarantine in Florida. When she posted about the financial stress on Tumblr, she got a Twitter DM from the artist. “My initial reaction was definitely shock. I think I probably clicked on her profile picture 15 times to make sure it was actually her sending me the message and not some scam artist. Once I realised it was actually from her, I broke down crying and called my mum and my best friends. I couldn’t believe it – I was speechless,” she told Dazed.
Swift sent Jacobson $3,000 to help cover expenses during the quarantine. Jacobson explained that while she’ll be able to return to her job after the 30-day mandate (which could be extended) lifts on bars and nightclubs in Florida, the donation will help her cover rent and bills for March and April.
“This money is definitely going to go to bills right now and what’s left will be put away for food and other necessities while we wait out this pandemic. It has certainly changed my life in this moment because I’ve been so stressed over the past week and a half about filing for unemployment and finding a temporary job to make ends meet,” she said.
She added: “Taylor is so selfless and generous and kind. I wish the world could see her for who she truly is instead of assuming that it’s an act. I’ve grown up alongside Taylor and her music has helped shape me through my most formative years. She is truly the best role model I could have ever asked for.”