Earlier this week, Holly Turner, a freelance photographer, turned to Tumblr to ask for help during the coronavirus pandemic — and Taylor Swift came to the rescue.
Based in New York City, Holly had lost much of her income due to ongoing event cancellations, and she estimated that it wasn’t long before she would no longer have the financial means to pay for her home. That all changed thanks to a $3,000 donation from Taylor.
On Wednesday, March 25, Taylor became the latest celebrity (following Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Ariana Grande, and more) to reportedly donate thousands of dollars to fans, Holly included. Sharing a screenshot of the donation, Holly captured the note that accompanied Taylor’s donation: “Holly, you’ve always been there for me. I want to be there for you right now. I hope this helps. Love, Taylor.”
Speaking with Teen Vogue, Holly said that the donation immediately left her in tears. “At first I had only seen that she followed me on Tumblr, and I was just freaking out because of that,” she said. “My roommates came in and we started celebrating, and only a few minutes later did I see the PayPal notification. They knew that I was having a rough time financially so then after that we all just started sobbing.”
Holly has been a longtime fan of Taylor, telling Teen Vogue that the singer’s Reputation album is her favorite, and has been a source of comfort amid the pandemic.
“That album focuses on the feeling of rising up against whatever gets thrown your way, and that message has really meant a lot to me. The community of fans on Tumblr has honestly been a huge help, as well.
I’ve been a part of that for a few years now and everyone on there has always been so supportive of me. I had been posting about how stressed I was all week, and I had been getting so many kind messages from people on there and it was the only thing keeping my head up for a while,” she said.
The freelance concert photographer told Teen Vogue that until the donation, she had concerns about the possibility of whether she would be able to stay in New York City.
“It felt like everything I spent the last nine years of my life working towards was about to come crashing down around me,” she said. “Completely because of her, I now get to stay living here, which means I get to keep all of the clients I have, and that I get to stay in one of the biggest cities in the world for my industry and can continue to pursue my dream.
I had so many tours I was booked for that were cancelled because of the pandemic, and I’m just really really excited to get back to doing what I love once it all ends, for rescheduled tours and for new ones.”
As for what Holly wants Taylor to know — aside from the fact that there were five holes in her fence picture — she just wants to express her thanks.
“She’s the sole reason why I get to stay living here and keep my dream alive, and there aren’t words that can explain how much that means to me,” Holly says. “Her music has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life, and this is just one more thing she’s done for me that I won’t ever be able to thank her enough for.”