For Billy Porter, Giving Back Is Personal: A Charity Helped Me When I 'Didn’t Really Have a Lot'
Billy Porter has partnered with PayPal for the company's #GivingTuesday initiative
Billy Porter is spreading the gift of giving!
The Pose star, 50, spoke to PEOPLE about his new partnership with PayPal for the company’s #GivingTuesday initiative, where PayPal will add 10% (up to a total of $600,000) to your contributions to non-profits and charities.
“I’m a year-round giving person,” Porter tells PEOPLE. “It sort of brings me joy to have that posture in my life. It’s not just Christmas for me, it’s every day for me.”
The Emmy Award-winning actor has not just contributed to non-profits and charities throughout his life — he’s also benefitted from them.
“When I was down and out, [The Actor’s Fund of America] paid my rent, they paid my medical bills, they paid my utility bills,” he says. “They kept me buoyant through a period of time where I didn’t really have a lot.”
He adds, “It’s been a wonderful organization to be involved with on the side of giving and also on the side of receiving.”
Now, Porter is focused on helping others realize ways to give generously beyond monetary donations, encouraging people to discover local non-profits near them and how they can help a stranger.
Last year, 55.1 million people contributed $9.6 billion to more than 665,000 charitable organizations via PayPal.
“One of the things I learned early, early on is about giving to others, it’s about helping others, about paying it forward,” says Porter.