The holiday season is in full swing, and one of the many ways to delight in the seasonal vibes is to give back to others. The push to be charitable is a hallmark of this time of year, and many folks can attest that there’s nothing quite so good as giving back.
It turns out George Clooney might be one of those people. His close friend, Rande Gerber (who also happens to be Cindy Crawford’s husband), recently recalled during an episode of MSNBC’s Headliners one time when Clooney’s charitable giving streak really broke the mold: he gave $1 million dollars to each of his 14 friends. That’s right; Clooney gave away a cool $14 million to his friends, probably without breaking a sweat because he’s George flippin’ Clooney.
According to Gerber, Clooney invited each of his 14 closest friends (“the Boys,” as they call themselves) in September 2013 for a special surprise. “George begins to say, ‘Listen, I want you guys to know how much you’ve meant to me and how much you mean to me in my life,” Gerber recalls. “‘I came to LA. I slept on your couch. I’m so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn’t be where I am today without all of you.'”
And then, with a rather dramatic flourish according to Gerber, Clooney encouraged each of his 14 friends to pick up the individual suitcases he had given them. (I mean, really? Suitcases full of money?)
OK, so anyway, Gerber says at this point Clooney gestured toward the suitcases and said, “‘So it was really important to me that while we’re still all here together that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases.'” And there it was: $1 million in $20 bills. Totally bananas, right?
But perhaps the most heartwarming part of the story is not how the money was given, but who the money was given to. Though Gerber didn’t name names, the story implies it was just Clooney’s well-off celebrity friends receiving what would be a casual $1 million; but these were men who had been integral in helping Clooney early in his life, regular men who were still living their regular lives decidedly not in the Hollywood spotlight.
Now, if that doesn’t keep you warm this holiday season, in addition to all the songs and sweaters and general cheer, then I don’t know what will.