Celebs Rally to Raise $44 Million During Hand in Hand Telethon for Hurricane Relief Efforts
Celebrities from music to movies and television teamed up to raise $44 million during Tuesday’s Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief.
Streamed live from phone banks in Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, actors and singers spoke to callers to take donations that will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas, Habitat for Humanity, The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation), Save the Children and United Way of Greater Houston.
The death toll of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma stands at approximately 85 thus far in Florida and Texas, according to the New York Times.
Matthew McConaughey spoke live from San Antonio, Texas, where Miranda Lambert and George Strait sang Strait’s song “If It Wasn’t For Texas.”
“Do not give up hope, we cannot get tired of doing good work. Let’s do it so these people can keep living,” McConaughey said.
Oprah, Cher, Kelly Rowland, Hilary Duff, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Matt Lauer, Michael Strahan and Norah O’Donnell shared real-life stories of victims who suffered loss and devastations from Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
Usher and Blake Shelton had a brief Voice reunion to perform “Stand By Me” while Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi teamed up for the ballad, “Hallelujah.” In addition, Justin Bieber led a group in prayer.
Throughout the night, Beyoncé, Dwayne Johnson, Drake, Taraji P. Henson, Selena Gomez, and Will Smith.
Other famous faces who appeared during the telethon included Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Gwen Stefani, Dennis Quaid, Stephen Colbert, Diddy and Kerry Washington.
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Musical performances also included Dave Matthews’ rendition of “Lift Up Your Hearts” and a collaboration of “With a Little Help from My Friends” between Darius Rucker, Demi Lovato and Brad Paisley from Nashville.
Billy Crystal closed the show, saying: “This is what America is all about … a gathering of people from all across the country.”
Hand in Hand streamed live across the States on all major networks including ABC, Bravo, CBS, E!, Fox and NBC. In addition, the star-studded benefit was shown on Apple, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
To donate to the Hand in Hand Fund, call 1-800-258-6000 or text GIVE to 80777.