Billy Joel's philanthropic foundation has teamed with that of Hamptons habitué Bethenny Frankel on a relief effort to help the embattled Ukrainian civilians affected by Russia's military invasion.
"The Joel Foundation was founded with the purpose of funding programs in music and music education. At times of catastrophic suffering, we pivot to help those that cannot help themselves," the Long Island music legend's Instagram account posted Saturday. "We have previously assisted with those experiencing food insecurity, PPE for healthcare workers during the initial COVID surge and now, our focus is to help the Ukrainian people."
In partnership with entrepreneur and reality-TV star Frankel's own long-standing disaster-relief organization, "Our initial donation will be $250,000 to the ... [BStrong] Foundation started by Bethenny Frankel and in partnership with Global Empowerment Mission," the post continued. The Florida-based nonprofit organization Global Empowerment Mission, founded in 2011 to respond to such disasters as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires, has teamed with Frankel's foundation previously. "We are on the ground in Medyka, Poland, serving and relocating thousands of evacuees from Ukraine," GEM's website states.
"BStrong has been instrumental in providing direct and immediate aid to refugees at the Ukrainian/Polish border," the Joel Foundation's statement continued. "Through ...[BStrong's] coordinated infrastructure, our donation will supply critical evacuee aid, including food relief, short and long-term shelter, transportation to points throughout Europe, and survival supply kits (blankets, sleeping bags, toiletry kits, non-perishables and water, plus generators)."
The statement, signed by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Long Island Music Hall of Famer Joel and his wife Alexis, noted that 100% of donations made at bethenny.com/bstrong go to the Ukrainian relief effort. "We are closely monitoring this situation and will see what will be needed in the weeks to come," it concluded.
"Thank you for your continued support of our work and of … humanity," Skinnygirl-brand founder and former "The Real Housewives of New York City" star Frankel responded to Joel on Instagram Stories, where posts cycle out after 24 hours.
Frankel on Saturday tweeted BStrong expects to raise more than $60 million in donations "that will enable us to distribute several millions in aid daily in Hungary & Poland. …This is tragic & horrific & shouldn't be necessary."