A long list of A-list celebrities are coming together this week to raise money for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The telethon will air on all major networks (ABC, CBS, CMT, Fox, NBC) on September 12th at 8 p.m. ET. It will also stream live internationally on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The special is being called Hand in Hand and it was organized by Houston rapper Bun B along with Scooter Braun. While the event was initially planned to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, on Friday it was announced that the fundraiser would expand to also help those affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
Experts anticipate that recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the resultant flooding will take years. It will likely cost well over $100 billion. A number of charitable organizations are on the ground to help and fundraising efforts for these organizations are underway. The Hand in Hand telethon will be raising money for a number of them, including the United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas, and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
Celebrities will join the telethon from Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville. Included on the long list of who will be participating are Beyoncé, George Clooney, Oprah, Kelly Rowland, Jamie Foxx, Michael Strahan, Drake, Justin Beiber, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Dwayne Johnson, Kerry Washington, and Matt Lauer. The star-studded show will feature a mix of performances and taped tributes. Celebrities will be manning the phone lines to take donations. The telethon will end with a live performance by George Strait and Friends from his concert in San Antonio, Texas.
Several celebrities have already stepped up with large personal donations to help Harvey victims. Kevin Hart took to social media to start a challenge, urging other celebs to join him in raising money for the Red Cross. He donated $50,000 himself. Several friends responded, including Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and DJ Khaled, who each gave $25,000, and Chris Brown who gave $100,000. A number of celebs also gave on their own to various organizations. Sandra Bullock gave $1 million, as did Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Hand in Hand telethon hopes to repeat or eclipse the success of a similar telethon in 2012 after Sandy. That event raised $23 million. Donations will be accepted via phone, text, and online from the start of the event through one hour after it ends. Join us in watching this star-studded show and giving what you can. It’s worth watching just because it will be Beyoncé’s first performance since the birth of twins Sir and Rumi.