"My hope is that this donation will help more bold and brilliant girls reach their fullest potential," the former first lady said

By Adam Carlson
December 03, 2019 10:17 AM

Michelle Obama is taking Giving Tuesday very seriously: The former first lady, 55, said she will donate more than $500,000 in proceeds from merchandise around her bestselling memoir to support girls’ education worldwide.

“Over the past year I’ve been incredibly blessed and humbled by the response to my book, and I’m proud to channel that enthusiasm toward girls around the world,” she said in a statement. “My hope is that this donation will help more bold and brilliant girls reach their fullest potential, continuing upward on their path toward becoming the women they are meant to be.”

Last year, The Obama Foundation, set up by Former President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama, launched the Girls Opportunity Alliance to support international efforts to ensure more girls have lasting access to education.

She will travel to Asia this month with Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager, actress Julia Roberts and others as part of the foundation’s work — spotlighting girls and organizations that empower them.

RELATED: Julia Roberts Will Join Michelle Obama for Girls’ Empowerment Trip to Vietnam and Malaysia Talk

Former First Lady Michelle Obama
Scott Olson/Getty

“I’ve always thought of helping others as a responsibility,” Mrs. Obama said Tuesday. “This duty of giving back is what my parents and grandparents taught me, and it’s a value I’ve tried to live by my entire life — because it’s not enough just to make your way through life, thinking only of yourself.”

The money Mrs. Obama is donating on Giving Tuesday — so-called because it occurs each year after Thanksgiving and encourages people to be charitable — is the proceeds from merchandise around Becoming, her memoir published last fall which has so far sold more than 11 million copies.

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The donation “will fully fund existing projects that are supported by the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund and fund new projects being released, including a new series of projects being supported by the Fund in Vietnam,” according to The Obama Foundation.

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