Will Smith performed in Times Square to hundreds of people sleeping outdoors Saturday night in honor of the World’s Big Sleep Out, a worldwide fundraiser to end homelessness. Events in New York, London and New Delhi were just a handful of the 50 events that took place around the world to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Smith, who performed a rendition of the theme song for his hit ’90s show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as a “bedtime story,” told the crowd how his role as homeless man Chris Gardner in his 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness changed him, reports The New York Post.
“It makes me emotional thinking about it right and you know to not have a place to go and go be able to lay your head down with your children at night is a horrendous tragedy,” said Smith.
— Kadeem Lundy (@KLunJuly9) December 8, 2019
At the London event, which took place in Trafalgar Square, Dame Helen Mirren took on the duties of reading a bedtime story, while musicians Jake Bugg and Tom Walker performed.
In Pasadena, California, Ziggy Marley, Ellie Goulding, Meghan Trainor and Sean Kingston kept provided entertainment for crowds at the Rose Bowl, reports The New York Times.
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The goal of the Big Sleep Out was to raise $50 million for local and international charities with 50,000 people participating and sleeping outside. “Having worked with homeless people for the last seven years, I know how invisible and forgotten people can feel. What the incredible 60,000 people who slept out all over the world have done tonight is to shine the spotlight on this global issue and show that we care,” Big Sleep Out founder Josh Littlejohn said in a statement. “I am truly blown away by the response to our campaign, in NYC and all over the world, and am sincerely grateful to every single person who has given up their beds tonight to raise the funds and awareness needed to make an impact. I hope that what happened in this campaign demonstrates a clear mandate for political action to tackle the homelessness crisis in NYC and all over the planet.”