And many of the other big names who stepped up for disaster relief after Harvey and Irma
On Tuesday, celebrities gathered to raise money for relief from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which devastated large swathes of Texas, the Gulf Coast, and Florida, in recent days and weeks. Altogether, they raised $14.5 million in donations during a live telethon broadcast on multiple networks.
The “Hand in Hand” telethon brought together the likes of Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Lupita Nyong’o, and others, all of whom worked the phones and accepted donations while Stevie Wonder, Usher, Blake Shelton, Dave Matthews, Demi Lovato, and others sang uplifting songs to empower victims of the damage to get back on their feet.
The telethon is the latest in a series of efforts undertaken by politicians and celebrities to aid hurricane victims. On August 31st, President Donald Trump pledged to donate $1 million of his “personal money” to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He joins Academy-Award winner Sandra Bullock and singer Miley Cyrus, two of the latest in a slew of stars to announce donations to recovery efforts.
Bullock donated $1 million to the Red Cross this week, and Cyrus announced on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that she will give $500,000 to the cause. Celebrity chef Rachael Ray also gave $1 million to “various animal welfare organizations,” operating in Texas and Louisiana, according to a statement on Facebook.
Meanwhile, the Leonardo diCaprio Foundation gave $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, Oprah Winfrey has donated to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and Kevin Hart issued a $25,000 challenge to celebrities, which has inspired others to rally for the cause. The Kardashians, for their part, have given a combined $500,000.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 30, 2017
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) August 29, 2017
Hart was one of the first celebrities to step up publicly, saying in a video Sunday: “I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the Internet, some meaningful, some meaningless… I’m challenging a lot of my celebrity friends to follow my lead in donating $25,000 to Hurricane Harvey, to the Red Cross.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson responded to Hart’s call, donating $25,000. In a video, he called on fans to donate “a buck or two” where they could, and recalled riding out Hurricane Andrew, a category five storm, in 1992, which he says enables him to empathize with Harvey’s victims.
“You’ve got to stay strong and you’ve got to hold onto faith,” Johnson told victims.
Musician DJ Khaled also donated $25,000, and Houston native Beyoncé Knowles told the Houston Chronicle that she is coordinating relief efforts through her foundation BeyGood to “help as many as we can.”
— DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) August 29, 2017
Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez both dedicated $25,000 to the recovery efforts, announcing their combined $50,000 donation in a video posted to Lopez’s Instagram account on Wednesday.
Actor Jamie Foxx joined in, too. “Just want to let everybody in Texas know that we’ve got you,” Foxx said in a video Wednesday. “From a fellow Texan, my heart goes out, and my prayers go out. I’ve given $25,000 to Global Giving … and also September 12th, we have a telethon we’re doing…where we can raise as much money for everybody down there,” Foxx added.
Earlier this week, Ellen DeGeneres pledged a donation to the recovery, announcing on her talk show: “Because of Hurricane Harvey, a lot of people in Texas have lost their homes… so I’m donating $25,000 to the Red Cross. The show is donating another $25,000 to the Red Cross. And I am also donating another $25,000 to the SPCA of Texas.”
“We love you, Texas,” DeGeneres added.
Far and away, the greatest single fund started by a celebrity has been organized by NFL Houston Texans football player JJ Watt, whose YouCaring.com fundraiser has pulled in $32 million.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 31, 2017
“It’s very tough to watch our city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help,” Watt originally told his nearly four million Twitter followers, appealing to them for help. “I want to start a fundraiser… Whatever you can donate, please donate to help these people out.”
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 27, 2017
This story has been updated from one originally published on Aug. 28, 2017.
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