Glee Cast Launches Holiday Fundraiser in Honor of Late Friend Naya Rivera
"This year the thing we’re thinking about most is our incredible friend Naya and the wonderful memories she’s left us with," Jenna Ushkowitz said
The Glee cast is rallying together to raise money in honor of the late Naya Rivera.
Dianna Agron, Heather Morris, Chord Overstreet, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Matthew Morrison and more of the show’s former stars all took part in launching a GoFundMe for Alexandria House, an organization Rivera passionately supported.
"The connection I feel with [Alexandria House] and the people who reside and work there has been the biggest blessing and made such a huge positive impact on myself and my son," Rivera once said of the charity, according to the GoFundMe page. "We truly have found a home away from home through the time we spend volunteering there."
Alexandria House is a Los Angeles-based transitional house "that provides safe and supportive housing for women and children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to permanent housing," the description stated.
As of Friday afternoon, the page had raised more than $24,000 toward an overall goal of $50,000 in about 12 hours.
In addition to promoting the GoFundMe and making donations of their own, Rivera’s former castmates made a video in which they took turns reading out the fundraiser’s description.
"As the holiday season approaches we can’t help but reflect on the year that’s passed," McHale began.
"And this year the thing we’re thinking about most is our incredible friend Naya and the wonderful memories she’s left us with," Ushkowitz added.
“We loved Naya, as all of you did,” Agron said. “She made a massive impact on this world.”
They went on to share that the fundraiser is happening in place of Rivera’s annual Christmas party, which she dubbed "Snixxmas." Every year, the actress would ask guests to bring a gift to be donated to a child in need.
“It was a blast but it wasn’t all just glitz, glamour and gay apparel. No, every holiday season, Naya not only managed to find a way to give something great back to her friends and family, but something great back to her community,” Darren Criss said.
“Naya said that working with Alexandria House was the biggest blessing of her and Josey’s lives. She not only raised funds and donated she also volunteered her time,” Chris Colfer added, referencing Rivera’s son Josey, whom she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.
They then urged others to donate to the GoFundMe, or volunteer their time in honor of their late friend.
“We will all be making a donation in Naya’s name to Alexandria house and we have started a GoFundMe so that you can contribute as well,” Morrison said.
Jane Lynch concluded, “We ask you all to join in our effort to bring a little Snixxmas cheer into the lives of those in need.”
Rivera's body was found in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, on July 13, five days after she disappeared in the water during a boating trip with her son Josey. Her cause of death was ruled as drowning and the manner of death was determined to be an accident.
"We are forever grateful to Naya's friends and colleagues for having the desire to put such a beautiful fundraiser together," her family said in a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Everyone will always be remembered and loved by her entire family. Naya loved Christmas and we are pleased to know that her Christmas parties left a lasting impression on all of our lives. This fundraiser is an extension of Naya’s love for families, children, and holidays. To honor her in this manner is evidence that her love for others is endlessly alive. On behalf of Naya and her son Josey, the family would like to donate items from her Jojo & Izzy clothing line. We appreciate all who continue to shine Naya’s love and light."