‘Glee’ Cast Launches Holiday Fundraiser to Honor Naya Rivera

Janet W. Lee
·3-min read

Former “Glee” cast members are rallying together to raise money in honor of the late Naya Rivera.

On Friday, Dianna Agron, Heather Morris, Chord Overstreet, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Matthew Morrison and other former stars of the show took part in launching a GoFundMe for Alexandria House, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that Rivera 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 previously 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.”

The organization is a 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 Saturday morning, the fundraiser has raised more than $65,000 toward an updated goal of $100,000, after breaking its original goal of $50,000 in one day.

To promote the GoFundMe, Rivera’s former castmates created a video in which they took turns reading the fundraiser’s description.

“As the holiday season approaches we can’t help but reflect on the year that’s passed,” McHale read.

Ushkowitz continued, “And this year, the thing we’re thinking about most is our incredible friend Naya and the wonderful memories she’s left us with.”

“We loved Naya, as all of you did,” said Agron. “She made a massive impact on this world.”

They continued to explain that the fundraiser is happening in honor of Rivera’s annual Christmas party, which she dubbed “Snixxmas.” Every year, the actor invited guests to bring gifts to be donated to children in a need.

“It was a blast, but it wasn’t all just glitz, glamour and gay apparel,” said Darren Criss. “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.”

In closing, the “Glee” cast asked fans to donate to the GoFundMe or volunteer their time in honor of the late actor.

“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,” said Morrison.

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, best known as Santana Lopez from the hit Fox musical series, was found in Lake Piru in Ventura County, Calif. on July 13, five days after she disappeared in the water during a boating trip with her 4-year-old son. 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 wrote 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.”

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