Disclaimer: One Direction are currently on hiatus and are producing solo material.
When you hear the words “boy band,” you probably think about a group of boys in their late teens or early twenties who wear matching outfits and have choreographed dance routines to their generic teenie-bop music. One Direction never really fit that mold. However, they weren’t solely focused on the music they were writing, either.
Photo courtesy of Josh Sorenson
Outside of One Direction, each member does amazing work with charities through the U.K. Their support rings through social media, including causes like Drop4Drop, HerforShe and the infamous ice bucket challenge, which helped raise money for ALS.
They’ve also worked with Prizeo to raise money for different charities in exchange for a prize from the band. In 2013, Harry Styles and Liam Payne co-sponsored a campaign for Trekstock, a charity that supports young people with their cancer diagnosis. Together they raised $784,845 for the program and gave away an afternoon in London with the two boys. In 2015, Liam joined up with Trekstock again and hosted a Great Gatsby-themed ball for the charity. His Prizeo campaign raised over $200,000. Their Prizeo campaigns benefited charities such as Stand Up to Cancer, Believe in Magic and Eden Dora Trust.
Each member of One Direction has a short list of causes that they often donate to or support. For Louis Tomlinson, Believe in Magic is closest to his heart. in 2015, Tomlinson hosted a princess ball for the charity, which supports seriously and terminally ill children in the U.K. Each child was asked to dress up as a prince or princess and were treated to a magical night by Tomlinson and his bandmate, Payne.
Being from the U.K., the One Direction boys also enjoy soccer, and they often use it to support the charities of their choosing. In 2012, Tomlinson put together a charity soccer game with his beloved hometown team to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. And in 2016, Niall Horan and Tomlinson sat on opposite sides of the field for Soccer Aid, which benefited UNICEF. Horan even developed his own charity soccer game, alongside other celebrities like Piers Morgan. Together they raised over $400,000 for Irish Autism Action, Heart and Minds Challenge, and Leicester Foxes Foundation.
While soccer is a great way to raise money in the U.K., Horan also uses golf. He, along with pro-golfer Justin Rose, teamed up in 2016 for the Horan and Rose charity event, which raised over 1 million dollars for Cancer Research U.K, Irish Autism Action, and the Kate and Justin Rose Foundation. The two men hosted a two-part event, which included a gala-style dinner and a pro-am to raise money.
Sometimes, they don’t even donate money. Many were shocked in 2016 to learn that Harry Styles had chopped off his magnificent mane of hair. However, he did it for an amazing cause. Styles donated his luscious locks to a charity called Little Princess Trust, which helps cancer-stricken children receive wigs for free.
They also donate their time as well. They often spend time before shows, and even their days off, with children from the Rays of Sunshine charity, which is a U.K. organization similar to Make-A-Wish. Each member of the band are Celebrity Ambassadors, which means that they regularly meet with children on behalf of the company.
Together, the One Direction boys lead by example, which in turn has benefited a lot of people. A Twitter account called @1DFansGive runs annual charity drives for each of the boys’ birthdays. All four drives donate to a charity that’s usually supported by each of them. Tomlinson’s largest patron charity is Eden Dora Trust. Horan’s drive helps Rays of Sunshine while Payne’s drive benefits a charity called The Way Youth Zone, and Styles’s drive assists Drop4Drop.
The drive for Tomlinson’s 25th birthday in 2016 raised nearly $30,000 after it was dedicated to his mother Jay, who passed away three weeks before his birthday. A drive was also set up for the passing of Styles’ step-father, which donated almost $7,000 dollars to Stand Up to Cancer last year.
Although each member of the boy band is currently releasing their own music, they still take time out of their busy schedules to help others. From donating thousands of dollars, to spending time with their fans in hospitals, the boy banders are some of the most charitable people around.
Rep image courtesy of Unsplash