Matthew McConaughey on Helping Fellow Texans Rebuild After Devastating Storms: 'There Are Immediate Needs'

The actor will host a virtual benefit, We're Texas, on March 21 to raise money for citizens in need

He's traveled all over the world, but Matthew McConaughey will always be a Texan at heart. So when a series of winter storms ravaged his home state in February, the Oscar-winning actor knew he had to take action.

"In Texas, we're used to a hurricane, a tornado, a drought, heat, but not a freeze," McConaughey, 51, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "It's something we weren't prepared for."

Along with his wife Camila and j.k. livin, the foundation they launched in 2008, McConaughey organized a star-studded virtual benefit, We're Texas, to take place on March 21, airing on the actor's YouTube channel and in Texas on Spectrum News 1.

The event, which is hosted by McConaughey and features A-list stars like Renée Zellweger, Kelly Clarkson and Kacey Musgraves, will provide direct relief to families and vulnerable communities still hurting from the aftershocks of the storms.

For more about Matthew McConaughey, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey. Noam Galai/Getty

"I want to make sure that everyone who will hopefully give knows that you're giving to people who want to help themselves, but are unable to right now," says McConaughey. "And we're trying to keep this a vital issue so that everyone understands. There are immediate needs."

Indeed, the climate disaster that left more than 70 people dead, devastated local businesses and left millions without power or water continues to take a toll.

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

"The main long term damage now is water damage," says McConaughey. "And that's an invisible killer. You don't see it from the street, but once you go in the front door you see, 'Oh there's no clean water, this is unlivable. That's why we're doing the benefit. It's incredibly relevant."

But ultimately, McConaughey says he knows his fellow Texans will get back on their feet.

"One of the great things about Texas is that it's in our spirit to pull our bootstraps up and go, 'Let's deal,'" he says. "We like to help ourselves. And we need to all help each other."

Related Articles