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Texan Of The Year Finalist, Elon Musk, Has Been Quietly Helping People In Need

The Dallas Morning News has reported that Elon Musk is a finalist for the Texan of the Year award and shared some of his philanthropic work in Texas since moving there. I think it’s been either a year, a little over a year, or just under a year since he’s moved there (I can’t keep up and my sense of time kind of runs together these days), but he’s done a lot of good work during the short time he’s lived there.

This isn’t Elon’s only philanthropic work, and I’ll recap other support, but first, a short recap of the article by the Dallas Morning News. The article led with a quick recap of just who Elon Musk is and how he invested $1.1 billion into building Giga Texas well before he announced that Tesla’s headquarters were moving to Austin. The article noted that there are reports that Elon will move the headquarters of his private foundation, the Musk Foundation, to Austin as well.

The article touched upon The Boring Company’s work in Texas, how Tesla Energy was recently licensed to provide energy in Texas, and Tesla’s first solar neighborhood, which is being built in Austin. These qualify Elon for being a candidate for Texan of the Year. However, the article emphasized his philanthropic work in Texas.

Elon’s Game-Changing Philanthropy

In Texas alone, Elon has helped many families and people, and some may not even realize they are being helped. Personally, one thing I’ve noticed about Elon is that he doesn’t advertise how he is helping others.

He just does it and moves on and I feel it’s because the work itself is more important to him than being rewarded for the good works. My own state has benefitted from his philanthropy, and I’ll get into that momentarily. Here’s a quick rundown of Elon’s philanthropic works since moving to Texas:

  • Elon donated $20 million to Cameron County Schools and$10 million to the City of Brownsville for downtown revitalization.
  • Elon donated $1 million to Feeding Texas which operates over 20 food banks across the state and feeds more than 5 million Texans annually.
  • Elon planned to donate $100,000 to help with Covid-19 relief but that number grew to $1 million after last year’s winter storm froze many parts of Texas. Low-income families were hit the hardest.
  • SpaceX raised over $200 million for St.Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. Elon contributed $50 million toward that goal.
  • UNICEF CEO, Michael Nyenhuis announced in February that Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation donated a significant contribution to help bring GigaConnect online. This internet service will help schools across the globe.
  • Elon donated $100 million to XPRIZE to help fight climate change. Some of that money has already been given out to grant winners who have created projects that help capture carbon from the atmosphere.
  • The Musk Foundation sponsored Cities in Space, an organization where students present to compete and learn from one another about living beyond the earth.
  • Elon and his foundation donated $200,000 to The Good Neighbor Settlement, a soup kitchen in Brownsville, TX, to help fund the expansion. The soup kitchen will have a new dining hall, new kitchen, new closet where they help the homeless and those in need with clothing, hygiene items, and also a new clinic.
  • Elon and The Musk Foundation helped teachers fund projects through DonorsChoose in February 2021. DonorsChoose is a non-profit funding site that helps US public school teachers get access to learning materials and resources they need. We all know that teachers are severely underpaid.
  • The Musk Foundation donated $5 million to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center lab to help fund Doctors Barouch and Alter’s groundbreaking Covid-19 research.
  • The Musk Foundation donated $5 million to Khan Academy in January 2021

Although these are just since he’s moved to Texas, Elon has donated to various other charities while also focusing on things that he cares about such as carbon capture and education.

In 2020, my own state was impacted by Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta, and a couple of others. Baton Rouge didn’t get hit but Lake Charles took the brunt of it and was completely devastated. I along with several locals took to Twitter to start raising awareness because the media failed to do so. As soon as the storms were over, the media moved on and didn’t cover the ensuing humanitarian crisis.

The Cajun Navy, The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and St. Bernard Parish USA (SBP USA) were all recipients of donations from Elon as he saw me spamming his and others’ replies. Although I don’t normally spam, we were trying to raise awareness about the crisis that was happening. When Ida hit my side of the state earlier this year and I’d lost power, I feared the same thing would have happened again.

We literally lost all communications for around 24 hours and today, Grand Isle is still uninhabitable. These are the dire effects of climate change and Louisiana is on the front lines. Sadly, moving isn’t an option for many of us here. I don’t have a car or the budget and I’m financially stable. There are those who aren’t and they live day today. Perhaps their history is tied to the land as with the Houma People who have become displaced.

Many of the problems Elon Musk is solving through his philanthropic work are either societal or contributing towards societal and climate. Education is so important and yet our country treats teachers as if they are slaves. We don’t pay them enough. The focus of our nation’s leaders isn’t on the people, it’s on their own financial wellbeing and they–all of them not just one side or the other–are too busy fighting and bickering while teachers and citizens alike are left dependant on the kindness of philanthropists such as Elon Musk.

Personally, I’m grateful that Elon has helped my state. He’s also been generous to me online. While I was just finding out that my then-husband had ill plans for me and had kicked me out of our home, Elon shared an open letter I’d written him on my jewelry blog. This led to jewelry sales and me surviving one of the worst emotional times of my life. It also led to my work here.

For that, I’m grateful.

 
Written By

Johnna Crider is a Louisiana native who likes crawfish, gems, minerals, EVs, and advocates for sustainability. Johnna is also the host of GettingStoned.online, a jewelry artisan and a $TSLA shareholder.

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