Mayim Bialik chose to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness during her two weeks as Jeopardy! guest host. The reason is a personal one, as she explained during her first night behind the lectern on Monday.
“As you know, for all of us guest hosts Jeopardy! is matching the total winnings and making charitable contributions to our selected causes,” the Call me Kat star said. “My family has a history with mental illness, as do one in five Americans. So for the next two weeks, we’ll be raising money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization on mental illness. Let’s raise a lot of money for you and them.”
Jeopardy! shared her reasoning and opening monologue on Instagram.
“@missmayim shares her family’s history with mental illness and shows her support for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which will receive a donation from Jeopardy! as part of her appearance on the show. @namicommunicate,” the show posted.
Bialik also paid tribute to the show as well.
“I was raised in a very creative and academic family,” she said. “But it wasn’t until high school that I fell in love with science, and that love led me to a Ph.D. in neuroscience. I so appreciate that Jeopardy! is a show that tests all aspects of intellect and allows the brightest minds to shine.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Has Donated More than $1.5M to Charity
Since the show started matching the contestants’ winnings, Jeopardy! has been open-handed in spreading around cash to charities.
In fact, the show has donated more than $1.5 million to different charities chosen by the guest hosts so far. Dr. Memet Oz has raised the most for his charity HealthCorps. His $268,000 just edges out 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker’s $257,000.
The show made a surprise announcement last week when Jeopardy! producers said the show would give $250,000 to a charity close to Alex Trebek’s heart.
That money will go to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center. Trebek and his wife, Jean, cared for the plight of homeless men and women and wanted to provide them a second chance.
“It is so wonderful that Jeopardy! is supporting Hope of the Valley’s The Trebek Center in Northridge, California,” Jean Trebek said in an Instagram post. “The show’s generosity continues to reflect Alex’s desire to assist underrepresented communities.”
“Alex’s legacy will live on through the thousands of lives that will be cared for and transformed at the Center,” the post states. “The 107-bed Bridge Housing Facility will provide each resident with everything they need to end their homelessness and start their new life of independence and self-sufficiency.”