Massive country stars making charitable donations are nothing new. In fact it can feel like a daily occurrence as they work to polish up their public personas while also making their accountants smile with tax deductible write-offs. But it’s very rare that a country artist makes a donation without some big check exchanging hands at a public ceremony, while flashbulbs from the press going off, followed up by a big public relations blast. But that’s what happened with the Lexington Habitat for Humanity last week when a check arrived for $10,000 for the organization completely unannounced, and the signatory was Chris Stapleton.
“We were thrilled when the check came in the mail. It was completely unexpected,” said Rachel Childress, CEO of the Lexington Habitat for Humanity chapter that helps build safe, affordable housing for low income individuals, of which Kentucky has plenty of in the dismantling of the coal mining industry. “It is beautiful when people use their resources to help others. Every dollar makes a difference and we know this gift will make a big impact on Lexington families. We are so grateful.”
Chris Stapleton also operates an organization called Outlaw State of Kind, a play on his song “Outlaw State of Mind” from his breakout record Traveller. The organization is administrated in part by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which identifies needs in the area and helps divert resources to them. In 2015, Chris Stapleton also made an under-the-radar donation to the United Mine Workers of America right after fellow Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson did the same thing.
Chris Stapleton was born in Lexington, Kentucky, but grew up in the tiny town of Staffordsville, which is near Paintsville where Stapleton went to high school. Stapleton has also made donations to his former school, including $57,000 in musical instruments, and pitched in to help the school build an outdoor stage. Stapleton’s father was a Kentucky coal miner, and his death is partly what inspired Stapleton to record and release the now certified triple platinum Traveller, and to do it his own way, cutting the tracks live with producer Dave Cobb.
Chris Stapleton is currently on his extended All-American Roadshow Tour.