Zach Galifianakis & Renee Zellweger give a homeless woman apt & stock her fridge

I really love this story, because it’s about celebrities doing a good deed together nearly two years ago, and for nearly two years straight, without a leak to the press until now. (I couldn’t do justice to this story in the title as there’s not enough space!) You get the sense that these two did this out of the goodness of their hearts and that they never expected the news to get out. So Renee Zellweger and Zach Galifianakis live in the same neighborhood in Santa Monica, and there’s a homeless woman who works at a local laundromat. (I doubt these two do their laundry in a public place, but they might, these are two celebrities who I could believe would do that and not think they’re slumming.) Anyway they were really upset to learn that this lady is homeless, and according to Star Magazine Zach made sure he got her an apartment, which he’s paid the rent and utilities on for over two years. His friend Renee Zellweger furnished the apartment and makes sure the lady has food in her fridge. This is getting me teared up!

Zach Galifianakis and Renee Zellweger have come to the rescue of one very lucky lady in Los Angeles. According to a source, Zach and Renee teamed up to take care of a homeless woman living in their neighborhood. “Zach befriended an elderly woman named Mimi, who worked at Fox Coin Laundry in Santa Monica,” a source tells Star. And when the Hangover funnyman learned that Mimi had no home or family, Zach took action! “It just broke his heart, so he decided to rent an apartment for her – and he has been covering her rent and utilities for two years now,” says the tipster, adding that fellow fluff-and-fold patron Renee wanted to help too, so “she furnished the apartment and makes sure that Mimi always has food in her fridge.”

[From Star Magazine, print edition, February 28, 2013]

This is so nice! We’ve heard several stories of Renee doing random acts of kindness, and I bet that she does it way more than we hear about. Plus Zach just seems like a decent guy. Again, the reason this story touches me so much is that it’s not just someone writing a check. Renee is visiting this lady and bringing her groceries while Zach is paying all her utilities and her rent every month. It’s really amazing.

Update! I found an interview with Mimi. Some reviews of Fox Coin Laundry say she’s in her late 80s.

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89 Responses to “Zach Galifianakis & Renee Zellweger give a homeless woman apt & stock her fridge”

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  1. Lipsy says:

    This story is full of WIN!!!

  2. lori says:

    Seniors are so very often forgotten.

    • mercy says:

      So true, and they have the best stories to share. I’ve loved history for as long as I can remember and there is no better way to learn about it than from those who were there.

      Props to Renee and Zach. If celebrities or anyone else wants to share good deeds like this, I’m all ears.

    • yoyo says:

      I’m always puzzled when people talk about seniors as though they were a different species. “Seniors” is you in 10,20, 30 years. Who ever you are now you will be the same just with saggy skin and more experience but it’s still you. You really think that bitchy 70 year old was sweetheart at 40? Or that that sweet 80 year old was a bitch at 30?
      It’s like when people talk about children as though they were a different species instead of future adults. That school yard bully will become a workplace bully, the pushover at school will become the pushover at work. Of course a few outliers might change but few and far between. Don’t kid yourself.

      Babies, toddlers, children,tweens, teenagers, adults , seniors aren’t a different species, it is a continuum of the same people. This constant modern day dumbfoundedness about age groups is beyond absurd. People now make an issue of everything! I have an african colleague who is completely puzzled as to why western children have to be “psychologically prepared” to have siblings, she’ s like “it’s just part of life. The vast majority of people have siblings. If their family ties are explained to them naturally they will understand they will have siblings too.”

      Because we now live in communities that are segregated by age now: before a lot of schools had all grades in one school sometimes even one class room! Grand parents lived with their children. Children, adults and seniors worked together. Older children looked after younger children so that by the time they had kids having a baby wasn’t a big mistery where you need to by 15 books, watch 10 videos and buy thousands of dollars worth of crap to look after said infant who couldn’t care less.

      I’m not saying the past was ideal, far from it: working at 5 yo isn’t acceptable but being infantilized at 20 isn’t either(not all are but a LOT, especially anyone middle class and above, I know, me and my friends were a bunch of spoilt brats and we weren’t exceptions!). By trying to protect their children parents have turned their adult children into big babies.

      There’s a real disconnect between generations nowadays that is going to ripple through future generations and create massive problems in the western world where we like to invent problems that never existed. While on other continents this nonsense is unheard of.

      *yoyo storms off in a huff shaking her head*

      • Becky1 says:

        Good points, Yoyo!

        In regards to Zach and Renee, it’s really nice to hear about celebrities doing something good without feeling the need to publicize it.

      • Liberty says:

        What an amazingly well-written comment…and one I agree with. When I lived in a village in Bavaria for a few years not long ago, you really didn’t see this ageism or weird disconnects. Everyone lived, worked, socialized, played together. It wasn’t some butter-pie utopia, but it was civil, young sophisticated kids hung out talking to grandparents, and even the most pampered younger people treated others like…well…people. We all helped each other; there might be gossip and squabbles and little romantic scandals, but everyone cared.

        Aside from that, bravo to Renee and Zach. How wonderful.

      • Jennipurrr says:

        Interesting comments, but a little random. Seniors often *are* forgotten by their families and fall through the cracks in their communities. That doesn’t mean the op thinks they are subhuman.

      • Isa says:

        I agree with some of your points yoyo. But when I’m that lady’s age ill be a senior. I don’t see the issue with labeling. As a senior ill face some of the same issues such as declining health and issues that can arise from that.

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        I love you yoyo!

      • MacScore says:

        Very well put, yoyo! A 20 year old family member of mine, brought up in a different culture from me, basically behaves like a 10 year old over-entitled brat. She does not know how to relate to her grandparents and is basically rude to them. Another 13-year old family member, brought up elsewhere with much greater access to elderly relatives on a daily basis, is evolving into a caring, helpful individual. Of course, there may be many other factors at work here, but I think you have made some very good points.
        Oh, nearly forgot! – kudos to Renee and Zach. Don’t know much about him, but yet more reasons to love Renee. Thank goodness people still do good deeds without expecting praise and reward themselves.

      • OutstandingWorldCitizen says:

        Thank you Yoyo!!!

        Our society has become so over analytical about every aspect of life. As if dissecting it makes it more important as a stand alone issue. Of course we need to care for our aging population but should not treat it as if it is a condition. The condition is called life. Thank you very much.

        This is a great story. Renee and Zach stepping in the help a destitute elderly woman. What makes this story infuriating to me is how we live in a country that continually mindlessly funnels money to defense contractors. CEOs make 500 times more than the average workers and so on and so on. What’s worse is the general public thinks this is ok.

        It is disgraceful and downright irrational. So much scorn for poor people. So much adulation for the wealthy. And we smile and trumpet people who do the right thing. Again I am not spitting venom and RZ and ZG. They are kind and generous but we should have programs in place and less red tape so people do not have to rely on the kindness of strangers.

  3. Jenny says:

    Wow! Nice to hear a story of this kind of do-gooding. It reminds me of the cop who bought a barefoot homeless man socks and boots around the holidays.

  4. MonicaQ says:

    Aww, that’s very nice of them. And it feels like they didn’t do it because of publicity on top of just being nice.

  5. Redheadwriter says:

    That’s so awesome.

  6. brin says:

    Wow, that’s awesome…love stories like this!

  7. aims says:

    Thats amazing!! Good job Zach and Renee.

  8. Samigirl says:

    I needed this story this morning. Beautiful <3 Good on Zach and Renee!

  9. Celeste says:

    How sweet. I love this story. We need more selfless celebrities like them. More selfless people in the world as a whole.

  10. spinner says:

    A good deed that was quietly done. Truly heartwarming.

  11. Eleonor says:

    This story is wonderful, and kudos for them to keepin it secret.

  12. I Choose Me says:

    I could do with more stories like this. It seems kindness is such a rare trait these days. Zach and Renee are awesome human beings just for doing this.

  13. Jayna says:

    Where does it say Renee is visiting her? Making sure she has food in the fridge is probably done via an assistant or grocery account set up for her.

    But I applaud them both. The elderly are forgotten too often.

    • soxfan says:

      How do you know that?

    • Jaded says:

      Renee films in Toronto quite a bit where I live and she always does random food drops HERSELF at shelters and food banks and buys homeless street people food. Does it without any fanfare, although Canadians don’t get all up in celebrities’ faces, we leave them alone unless they’re doing red carpet events at TIFF or something.

  14. Lulu says:

    Aw, what an awesome thing for them to do. And the fact that they have quietly kept it up for two years now tells me what awesome people they are.

  15. diva says:

    Great story! Wish we could hear more stories like this!

  16. Lexie says:

    wow! so awesome of them – and doing it for two years, too…!
    i’m not surprised that zach galifianakis would do something like that, though. he seems like a really cool guy.

  17. renata says:

    this is perfect! made my day.

    I say we have a ‘no snark towards Renee or Zach EVER’ vote. They’ve earned it.

    Is there an Academy Award for goodness and decency?

  18. RHONYC says:

    you are giving me LIFE today, CB!!!

    excellent humans both!!! :-D :-D :-D

  19. La Calabaza says:

    God, I miss Renee! Where’s she been lately? Has she quit acting?

  20. Thiajoka says:

    Bless them. It’s nice to read something nice for a change.

  21. marie says:

    awesome, awesome story.

  22. Amsterdam says:

    Love it!!

  23. Skaffie says:

    This is how YOU do it:P. DIDDY, JAY Z & co!!

  24. MJ says:

    I think I read a blind item about this a long time ago. Cool to find out who it was about.

  25. lylaooo says:

    ohh myy!!! this is amazing! beautiful! graet news to start my day! ♥

  26. Gaby says:

    Ok, now I have a real reason for my crush on Zach, awesome story!

  27. JC says:

    Hell yes! Good one these two! I’ll forever think of them differently, especially because the kept it on the DL and didn’t whore it out to the press for so long.

    • EG says:

      Haha I must concur. He may not be the most physically attractive man, but I’ve always had a little crush too. He has that certain something…intelligence, self-deprecating humor, and (now we know) a big heart! Yay Zach!

  28. Rachel R says:

    I love, love stories like this! What kind hearts they have, and I love even more that this wasn’t for publicity.

  29. minime says:

    This made my day! Nice to see that people still do wonderful things for others.

  30. Jane says:

    I hope they don’t just give her a home and forget about it. Some people honestly can’t take care of a home or themselves very well. She might need help keeping her home (cleaning it, restocking it, getting help when things are clogged or broken.)

  31. nina says:

    Aww that’s so sweet ! I didn’t know Renee and Zach were friends… I guess they met through Bradley Cooper.

    • Enny says:

      I know, right? Doesn’t that just make this story even better? Knowing that, on top of being do-gooders, Zach G and Renee Z are buds and might even hang out together? So random! So awesome!

  32. Anne says:

    Ohhhh, is the best story of the day. So sweet, Renee and Zack shows humility helping another person.

  33. Reece says:

    I love this story for the pure awesomeness of it. It’s a loverly (typo stays :P )counterpoint to every thing else today that is head desk inducing.

  34. Janet says:

    They rule <3 <3 <3 We forget seniors and that is a crime.

    • mercy says:

      Forget them, make fun of them, warehouse them in terrible and expensive old age homes when their care is too much for their families, or they have no family left. There has to be a better way. Families need affordable help to take care of their senior members. Elderly need social workers and resources to help them live independently for as long as possible with other seniors in small group homes. The old age home industry needs a thorough inspection and scrubbing to get rid of the profiteers who only care about money and don’t pay for quality caretakers while charging strapped families with few options an arm and a leg.

      • Tiffany says:

        So true. I know a nurse that used to work in nursing home in a small town, and there were soooooo many nurses who wouldn’t take care of the patients. They would let them sit in filth, not be cleaned, not give them their drugs, etc. Because the patients were battling mental challenges, there was really no way for the families to know about the lack of care their family members were receiving, plus they were being charged vast amounts of money for this “care”.

        Especially with the baby boomers just hitting retirement age, as a society we REALLY need to address elder care. Many people do not like the government, but I think more oversight at nursing homes and greater funding for social workers would do a lot of good (in addition to other measures).

  35. mercy says:

    There are so many decent people who work hard to make an honest living and provide valuable services to others with no family or other means of support to back them up if their paychecque doesn’t cover basic living expenses. As education and health care costs continue to rise, fewer jobs provide a living wage or good benefits, and our society ages there will be more Mimi’s. Bravo to compassionate people and good citizens like Zach and Renee who have the means and take the initiative to help, but they can’t do it alone.

  36. Sweet Dee says:

    Love it! This is not the first time I’ve heard of Zach being a wonderful guy, I’ve long been a fan of his, but I’m a new fan of Renee today.

  37. e.non says:

    is this a great country or what…. homeless elderly left to fend for themselves unless extraordinary strangers come to their rescue..

    major props to them for their generosity — and empathy.

  38. SCREEEE says:

    A lovely story…

    Sadly, doesn’t it say more about the lack of frameworks in place to help all the Mimis out there who don’t live near extraordinarily rich and kind movie stars?

  39. Alexa says:

    Just want to share that I was saved by my own angel this past Monday in Bennington, VT. All I know is that her first name is Alice, and she truly went out of her way to help me – a stranger – and I will never forget it. Thanks Alice! And thanks to all of you who’ve practiced acts of kindness (random or otherwise)!

  40. Agnes says:

    Awesome. Good to see celebrities do something good with their time and money.

  41. apsutter says:

    Ya know, I’ve heard stories about Renee secretly doing good deeds for a long time. Plus she likes to keep out of the spotlight so I think she’s just a cool chick who likes to help people because she has a good heart.

  42. tc says:

    This is a sweet story, but I have to disagree a bit with the commentary in this article. There is nothing wrong with “just writing a check” to a charity. If you can afford to “write a check,” please do so! We could use the money! Moreover, we have dedicated our lives to our respective causes. So in most cases, we are more knowledgeable than the average rich person about the needs of the communities we serve. Experience and expertise matters.

    This is in no way a knock on Mr. Galifianakis’ and Ms. Zellweger’s generosity. They are helping Mimi and that’s great. But the fact of the matter is, the same amount of money in the hands of local organization would have done more good. Local charities have pre-existing agreements with area housing units and food pantries, which gives them more bang for their buck. Had Mr. Galifiankis and Ms Zellweger donated their money to a local charity, they could have taken five people off the street, instead of just one. Something to think about before congratulating the next rich person for “not just writing a check.”

    • andrea says:

      I agree, absolutely nothing wrong with just writing the check. One of my clients is a charity and I’ve been told that it’s the “heavy hitters” who just write them checks but don’t really do the photo op thing or regular visits who keep them alive. It’s great for awareness when celebrities come to visit and do fundraisers (and their fans get to feel a great sense of accomplishment as well) but they really can’t thank the silent big check writers enough.

    • mercy says:

      Good points (and might I add those organisations employ people, too). I bet people like Renee and Zach write checques as well, but in this case it sounds like they made a personal connection with Mimi and treated her like a friend or family member.

    • Tessa says:

      I see your point, but high profile people being really awesome citizens and helping others inspires the masses. This story alone probably got a few people off their duffs to go out and help someone in some way. Sometimes the story and the photo op really do a lot of good. Writing the check keeps the charities going, but the stories and photo ops about what charity can mean to people do as well. They have to go hand in hand.

  43. Tessa says:

    I’ve always loved Renee. I consider myself a huge huge fan, which I don’t think she has a ton of. I’ve loved almost all of her work, and she’s such a cool person IRL. This is sort of a typical Renee thing. She’s very giving and kind.

  44. F5 says:

    Awesome story:) And they didn’t have cameras following them around to record their “best sad face” that would make it about them, instead of person in need.

  45. Lakemom says:

    What a great story!

  46. Mazunte says:

    Wonderful story!!! Renee has always given me very lovely person vibes.

  47. candigirl says:

    So sweet of them, I love this story!

  48. DGO says:

    I love this story.

  49. Mandy says:

    Awww!! How awesome.

  50. Gemini08 says:

    Wow! This is SO wonderful. It is really nice – and REFRESHING to read a story like this.

  51. jaye says:

    Such a great story. I work in customer service for a credit card company and quite a few of our customers are senior citizens. Some of them call everyday or once a week and I think it’s just for human contact. I love talking to them, so many of them have great stories and are just so sweet. A lot of them are so trusting and if I had a dollar for every time a senior called saying that someone conned them into giving them their card numbers I’d have a nice little nest egg. One sweet lady told me that her own grandson stole her credit card and charged up thousands of dollars. It makes me sad and angry that seniors are preyed upon this way because they don’t have anyone to look after them.

  52. emma says:

    absolutely wonderful!

  53. stinkyman says:

    Wonderful she is getting help but sad she is living in a society that doesn’t have proper safety nets for the elderly.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Just to expand a little on what yoyo said above…years ago, elderly parents lived with their adult children, and if the adult children were at work, then their kids came home from school and help grandma or grandpa…it was all about FAMILY…today…we all expect the government to take care of everybody…and that is one of the reasons we are in such debt…I’m not saying there is no need for some assistance…It just seems like parents expect schools to take care of there kids…and people feel that for some reason it is wrong for teens to take care of sibling or grandparents…teens could learn alot by spending time with aging grandparents and maybe the kids today wouldn’t be so spoiled and have so much time on their hands to get into trouble…

      • jwoolman says:

        Not everybody has kids and not everybody has family. Also many people live far far away from any family because there were no jobs for them where they grew up. Also many families don’t have enough resources themselves. I only have an older brother who has never made enough money for his own limited needs. He had to go on early social security to avoid getting evicted when his work drastically cut back his hours. I don’t see how he will manage if he loses that job. I’ve tried to make up the difference but the economy’s problems have cut down on my ability to make money for several years after a relatively minor illness put me out of work for several months, thanks to medical incompetence and greed, racking up ridiculous unnecessary medical bills and putting me into big debt to pay those bills plus to stay afloat while unemployed. I had to drop medical insurance a few years ago when the premiums went up to 53% of my income, not leaving even enough to pay the deductible in the low income years I’ve been having. The insurance companies try to push us out of the pool once we start getting older in just this way. Without government programs, such as they are (meaning not much help in the USA unless you’re just a tad poorer than I am…), people like us would be in bigger trouble than we already are.

      • Jaded says:

        Totally agree – it used to be that you brought your aging family members back into the family when the time came. My 90 year old widowed mother lives with me, I would NEVER shove her off into some horrible draconian old folks home, she’s my mom and I want her last years to be with me!

      • Jaxx says:

        To Jaded–doesn’t sound like you are too “jaded” to me if you take care of your 90 year old mother like that. What a good daughter you are, and she’s lucky to have you at this time of her life.

  54. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I truly love Renee & Zach now. That interview w/ Mimi is priceless! She’s a total character! I’d hang w/ her!

  55. Mia says:

    Zach has always creeped me out and looks like a serial killer to me, so this is pleasantly surprising. What these two did for this woman is unbelievably kind, thoughtful, and giving. I also feel that she shouldn’t have been homeless and hungry in the first place. When destitute, hungry elderly people don’t have family ( or any loved ones) to care for them or look after their interests, they should be able to turn to government and social services! Ugh…I’m so irritated with the crummy social services in this country that can’t even keep little old ladies with no family or resources clothed, fed, and off the streets.

  56. Miss Jupitero says:

    These are my kind of people. Love, love, love to them both.

  57. dholmas says:

    This article is wonderful after reading about all the other crap. Kardashian family in particular. They could learn a lesson or two from this.

  58. Becks says:

    They are awesome ……wish there were more celebrities like them.

  59. Lucy2 says:

    That’s really lovely and kind.

  60. yariv rock says:

    you can follow Mimi on facebook:

    Mimi, the queen of Montana Avenue

  61. debisis says:

    God bless these two!