Ahead of Sunday’s benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester terror attack, Ariana Grande reached out to fans still recovering. 22 people died in the suicide attack on the Manchester Arena at the close of Grande’s concert on May 22nd, with at least 50 more injured. Most of the victims were young girls, including 8-year-old Saffie Roussos, the youngest killed in the bombing.
Grande released a powerful statement shortly after the news of the attack broke and the talk of a benefit started almost immediately. A slew of stars agreed to join Grande for the performance, but it has been the pop star herself that is making the biggest impact. Friday night saw Grande surprise fans recovering at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, a “much-needed respite” for those in the hospital according to CNN:
“Ariana brought everyone a sunflower and a teddy bear,” Lauren Thorpe told CNN. “It was unbelievable.”
Thorpe’s eight-year-old daughter, Lily, suffered a shrapnel wound in her back and is currently recovering from surgery.
“Lily’s face lit up and Ariana was amazing with her,” Thorpe said. “She knelt by her and sat on her bed with her and told her ‘I’m so proud of you, you are so strong and doing really well’.”
Thorpe added that the visit helped those involved focus on “all the good and kindness” instead of the hate that could’ve easily taken over the aftermath. Manchester as a whole showed great resilience and unity following the attack, not allowing the attack to split the community apart.
130,000 fans are expected to attend the benefit on Sunday, with tickets selling out immediately. Proceeds will go to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund to benefit the victims of the attack.