Shakira and boyfriend Gerard Piqué may be focused on celebrating the birth of their son Milan, but they’ve also taken the time to thank the thousands of fans – make that hundreds of thousands of fans – who donated money that will go towards supporting needy children around in the world.
“We are thrilled by the generosity that has been shown by the visitors to our World Baby Shower site,” said Shakira in a statement. “Thanks to you, over 80,000 children will be protected from polio, almost 200,000 oral rehydration salts sachets will be distributed in times of need, the 3.8 tons of therapeutic food collected will save many children from severe acute malnutrition, among other life-saving tools that were purchased to protect babies and children.”
Turning to her online fans – who number more than 19 million on Twitter and 61 million on Facebook – the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer set virtual baby shower through UNICEF, for whom she has been a global ambassador since 2003. Dubbed “Shakira & Gerard Piqué’s World Baby Shower to Help UNICEF Save Children’s Lives,” the philanthropic project raised charitable donations for poverty-stricken children worldwide.
I want to thank all of you! Thanks to you hundreds of thousands of children will be protected in times of need. bit.ly/VTlLmm
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) February 22, 2013
The shower – which ran from Jan. 16 through Feb. 15 – allowed donors to choose from a number of “Inspired Gifts,” which included a baby scale ($37), polio vaccine ($10) or even a $5 malaria net. As a further incentive, Shakira periodically released exclusive pictures through the UNICEF site, which allowed her global fans access her “virtual living room” in order to see her maternity photos, as well as the first snapshot of baby Milan.
With the purchase of more than 1,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets and 150 portable scales, all going towards children in danger of malaria – a disease from which a child in Africa dies every 50 seconds – Shakira can be assured that she’s carrying out her hopes of setting a great example for her son.
“When the baby is born, I’ll take him with me on charity trips,” she told Germany’s RTL in October of her approach to motherhood. “He shall learn that he is able to change the world.”
And while Shakira has met the challenges of raising funds for her latest UNICEF philanthropic outreach, another challenge lies ahead: She’ll be joining Usher, Adam Levine and Cee-Lo on the upcoming season of NBC’s “The Voice” in March.