WASHINGTON – A nude charity has received a major boost from a major celebrity.
The nonprofit “The Naked Kids” says it received a $2 million donation in April, just days after celebrity photographer Kate Upton, 25, posted nude photos of herself on social media.
It’s the first time the charity has ever received such a big gift from a celebrity, the organization said in a statement.
“The Naked Children” is based in Washington state, but has offices in New York and London.
It operates a nationwide network of nude-art classes and art workshops, and provides educational materials and a platform for those who want to learn how to be nude, said its founder, Katie Kuehn, 29.
“It’s a very different way of looking at art, and it’s a way of creating a community of young people,” she told ABC News.
Ahead of the donation, Upton tweeted a photo of herself, and later posted nude selfies of herself and her boyfriend, Michael, who has since deleted the photos.
In one, Upton and Michael are posing with the words “My first time ever, naked.”
The charity’s Facebook page shows a series of naked photos Upton shared on the social network with the caption, “The world’s first nude art class.
My first time out of my body.”
In one photo, Upton is shown sitting on a beach, while a man in a suit and sunglasses is behind her.
In another, Upton has a face full of dark hair, with a face covering her mouth and a mouth full of teeth.
In the next photo, she is shown wearing a red bikini, with her legs spread wide.
The charity says it has been working to spread the message of the “Nude Kids” since its launch last month, with its own Instagram account, which has nearly 3,000 followers.
Upton, who was born with a congenital heart defect, told the Los Angeles Times she started the nonprofit because she was afraid of the public response to her nude photos.
“People were really upset by the way that my images were leaked,” Upton told the newspaper.
“I was hoping for a bit of empathy, but it was like, ‘You’re the one who’s gonna have to deal with this.'”
Upton told ABC affiliate KNBC that she has received many comments, many from people who don’t believe her and have questioned her intentions.
“But I’m not going to give them an excuse, because I’m doing it to teach the world about their nakedness,” she said.