The Weeknd matches mask sales to donate $500K to hometown hospitals

The Weeknd is dedicating $500,000 to hospitals battling COVID-19 in the east-Toronto neighbourhood where he grew up.

The Scarborough-bred singer, songwriter and record producer said he made the donation as he felt “it was important to give back to the community that raised me.”

The donation to Scarborough Health Network Foundation comes from proceeds from the sales of XO-branded face masks which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the artist, born Abel Tesfaye.

The Weeknd launched his $20 cloth masks back in April, promising all proceeds would go toward COVID-19 relief.

The Scarborough foundation said the donation will bolster its own emergency fund, used to purchase vital equipment. That includes ventilators, ICU beds, vital signs and ECG monitors, as well as personal protective equipment and health and wellness supports for frontline workers.

Scarborough Health Network Foundation supports patients across three hospitals and eight satellite sites.