If anyone in this world right now could use a special treat, the kids who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month could. And Demi Lovato is here to provide one. When she kicked off her Tell Me You Love Me tour in San Diego, California, on Monday, Feb. 26, she had six very special guests with her onstage.
Julius Castillo, Mackenzie Marie Chapman, Samantha Megan Deitsch, Maia Hebron, Eden Hebron and Sarah Stricker were all students who survived the shooting that killed 17 people on Feb. 14. And they were all Lovato’s special guests at her San Diego show, which included pre-show mental health classes provided by Lovato’s CAST Foundation.
The students got to attend the classes, then meet with Lovato and her opener, DJ Khaled, before the show. Once Lovato took the stage, they joined her in front of the audience to help her ask the crowd for donations for the CAST Foundation, which is helping provide mental health resources for the students who survived the Parkland shooting.
“Tonight was our first night of the tour and it was incredibly special,” Lovato said in a statement. “I was able to bring out and meet a few of the students that had to experience the shooting in Florida on the 14th. It was such an honor to meet them and hear their courageous stories. I want to make sure their voices are being heard and we can provide them with the mental health and post-trauma care they need.”
This is the second time Lovato has used a tour to provide traveling mental health support for her fans. Honestly, it’s something more artists should adopt.