Who says reality TV can't make a difference in the world? A recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (executive producer: Farnaz Farjam), which showed the family highlighting the homelessness issue in Los Angeles, has prompted many viewers to do what they can to help. Former NFL player Branden Albert saw the Kardashians episode about homelessness and donated $1 million, according to TMZ. The athlete told the publication all about how the reality show inspired his gracious donation.
UPDATE: On Friday, Kim Kardashian posted a tweet thanking Albert for his donation. She wrote, "Thank you so much Branden Albert for your generous donation of $1 million to @ahouse_la. I’m told the money will be used to build a much needed additional complex to shelter hundreds of homeless women and children. Your support is inspiring and incredible. Thank you!"
EARLIER: Albert, who previously played for the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, told TMZ that he happened upon the particular episode of KUWTK and saw that Kim Kardashian had put on an event at Alexandria House, a shelter for homeless women and children in Los Angeles. He went on to say that he was moved by Alexandria House's mission since he grew up as the child of a single mother. So, in honor of his mother who passed away from pancreatic cancer five years ago, he donated the generous amount of money to the enrichment center.
According to an Alexandria House rep who spoke with TMZ, the donation could help the them buy another complex to house the 600 people they turn away due to lack of space in their current facility. Before his $1 million donation, the expansion wouldn't have been possible.
Kardashian tweeted about the donation, and the many donations from others, on Jan. 10. Since their episode aired on November 12, 2017, Alexandria House has been "flooded" with donations from people who were inspired by the episode's message.
In case you missed the episode, Kardashian and her family were struck by L.A.'s extensive homeless population and wanted to do what they could to help out those in need. Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian went to the Union Rescue Mission where the two learned about how serious this issue is in the city. It shined a light on just how many people were struggling because of issues like simply not being able to afford the cost of living (which has been increasing) in Los Angeles.
Kardashian later decided to put on a party for the women in Alexandria House, after hearing about their cause from (now former) assistant Stephanie Shepherd. The reality star partnered with brands like Priv to provide the women with some amazing products and services. She said in the episode that she really wanted to "bring awareness to this issue because I feel like there's a lot that can be done in our community and it starts with just getting the information."
Kardashian and the show undoubtedly brought an increased awareness to this cause, as the many donations suggest. And this isn't the first time that the show has veered into this territory. As of late, KUWTK has touched upon a myriad of social issues in order to raise awareness for them.
In another episode from Season 14, Kardashian and her sisters, Khloé and Kourtney, visited Planned Parenthood. As many know, there has been increased scrutiny placed on Planned Parenthood and certain services they provide. But, like Kardashian said in relation to Alexandria House, increased information on a cause can be beneficial in helping to curb that scrutiny. The sisters learned about services that Planned Parenthood provides such as cancer screenings and HIV testing, while they toured one of their facilities and spoke with some of the nonprofits' patients. Kardashian even said in the episode, "The perception of Planned Parenthood is that it's this abortion clinic. That's nothing like what it's like. Hearing that firsthand really made it real for me."
The crew also featured Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand in a 2016 episode of their show. The famous family had lunch with members of both movements and brought awareness to a need for greater gun control. This increased focus on social causes may be a bit of a change from their more classic reality TV fare of years past. However, like Kardashian has said, the family is trying to make a positive difference by highlighting causes that they feel passionately about. Since their show has tons of viewers every week, it's a great way for them to spread more information on these causes.
KUWTK may verge more into silly, shenanigan (yet, completely entertaining) territory sometimes. But, they do spend valuable time highlighting important causes, especially in recent seasons of their popular show. And, based on the recent increase in donations and Albert's incredible gift, it seems like that focus is truly making a difference.