Hurricane Harvey has recently swept across the United States Gulf Coast, devastating Texas and ravaging large parts of Houston. With highways and homes underwater, the intense rain and floods have displaced over 30,000 residents, and over 60 people have lost their lives in the wake of the widespread destruction.
Though citizens and celebrities across the nation cannot replace what so many have lost and will lose in the wake of these catastrophic storms, many have pitched in with funds, donations, and much more.
This is what your favorite celebrities are doing to help hurricane victims rebuild their lives and heal from the heartbreaking loss.
The Houston native and songstress was especially moved to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. A segment of Beyoncé’s charity, BeyGOOD Houston, teamed up with Bread of Life and Greater Houston Community Foundation in an effort to raise funds to begin tackling the over $3 billion in damage. Though the Lemonade songstress is building efforts for long time revitalization, BeyGOOD Houston will also provide baby products, cots, feminine products, wheelchairs, and blankets for displaced residents in the interim.
Beyoncé will also appear on Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief — a one-hour telethon which will air Sept. 12 on ABC. The telethon will distribute the funds it raises to various charities throughout Houston. George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey are also set to appear.
Perhaps one of the most vocal celebrities in the effort to begin rebuilding Hoston has been J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans. Through his charity The Justin J. Watt Foundation, Watt has raised nearly $20 million in funds to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Celebrities have also contributed to Watt’s Foundation, including Drake, who donated $200,000, and Ellen DeGeneres, who donated an astounding $1 million.
Drake said on Instagram, “Houston has truly been a home to me over the last eight years. Myself and @futuretheprince are working with local relief groups to aid and assist the people of Texas in any way we can and in the most immediate way possible.”
The comedian was one of the first celebrities to step up to the plate publicly in the midst of Hurricane Harvey. Kevin Hart launched a Hurricane Harvey Relief challenge via Instagram, in which he encouraged his famous friends to give as much as they could. The Upside actor donated $50,000 himself to the fund while many other celebrities joined in the cause.
Hart said of the challenge, “I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the internet. Some meaningful, some meaningless, but we’ve all done ‘em. At this point, I’m going to start a real challenge.”
Many celebrities responded to Hart’s call to action, including Nicki Minaj, who donated $25,000; Chris Brown, who donated $100,000; and DJ Khaled, who made a donation of $50,000. Thus far, Hart has raised nearly $1 million.
The Academy Award-winning actress refused to sit down and do nothing. Donating $1 million to the American Red Cross, Bullock said, “There are no politics in eight feet of water. There are human beings in eight feet of water.”
The Oscar-winning actor is known for his charitable work, and with Hurricane Harvey, Leonardo DiCaprio showed up once again. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donated $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund. The Fund aims its efforts at both short and long-term relief for victims of this horrendous disaster.
United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher said in a statement, “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation. Responding to Hurricane Harvey requires the best of all of us — and that’s what this gift represents.”
The CEO and founder of Dell Technologies has donated a whopping $36 million to hurricane victims through his MSDF Foundation. He will also be matching all of his employees’ donations.
As he tweeted, “A Texas-sized disaster deserves a Texas-sized response.”
Paul Simon, along with wife Edie Brickel, pledged to donate $1 million to smaller and often overlooked towns in Houston. Simon took to Instagram and wrote, “Medical emergencies and restoration of homes are seen as priorities.”
"Thanks to your support of our @Nutrish brands, we are able to donate $1 million today, through The Rachael Ray Foundation, to help support various animal welfare organizations who are actively working in Texas and Louisiana to care for animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey. $100,000 donations have been made to @SPCATexas and @AustinPetsAlive!, who are already providing disaster relief to animals in need. We will continue our commitment to work with national and local organizations to assess needs and provide the additional earmarked funds. Thank you to all who are donating their time, effort and money as goodwill to our neighbors is most important during times like these." -RR [Photo credit Austin Pets Alive!] #hurricaneharvey
Through The Rachael Ray Foundation, the famous chef was able to donate $1 million to animal shelters, places that are often overlooked in the wake of natural disasters. While many traumatized families try to contend with the events around them, their pets are also displaced.
Though the Texas native is currently filming Season 13 of his hit CW series Supernatural, that didn’t stop Jensen Ackles from reaching out to aid his hometown.
The “What About Us” singer is one of the many celebrities who donated to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey quietly. Red Cross Los Angeles announced on their Twitter page that Pink had given $500,000 to its charity to help those in Houston.
The organization tweeted, “Thank you @Pink from the bottom of our for your donation of a half million dollars to @RedCross #HurricaneHarvey relief efforts!”
In a Facebook post, the prolific writer-producer-director pledged to donate $1 million to help hurricane victims in Texas. Tyler Perry said he would be donating to a “boots on the ground” organization that would be able to get to victims as quickly as possible.
However, Perry’s donation was not without controversy. He also pledged $250,000 of that money to megachurch pastor Joel Osteen’s Houston-based Lakewood Church. Osteen has come under fire for not immediately opening his church doors for Hurricane Harvey victims.
The 23-year-old singer looked visibly disturbed after seeing video and photos from the destruction in Texas. Justin Bieber took to his Instagram to share his thoughts and announce his donation of $25,000 to the Red Cross to aid hurricane victims.
He said in the video, “Just looking at these photos here from Hurricane Harvey; I just want to say that, man, I am sorry to all the families that have lost their homes, people have lost their lives.”
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
The newly minted celebrity power couple was moved to act after seeing all of the horrible images coming out of Houston. They each pledged to donate funds to the American Red Cross for a total of $50,000 in hurricane relief funds.
Donating to The Justin J. Watt Foundation, the former Governor of California pledged $100,000 to help aid in the effort to rebuild Houston.
He posted on his Facebook page, writing, “I love what you’re doing for Houston, J.J. Watt, so I’m sending some of my money. It’s time to raise the goal again.”
Kim Kardashian took to Twitter recently to announce that she, along with her sisters and mother Kris Jenner, would be donating half a million dollars to both the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army to aid Hurricane Harvey victims.
The Rock joined Hart’s Hurricane Harvey relief challenge by pledging to donate $25,000.
The Ballers actor took to Instagram to say, “Me and my family know what you’re going thru. We survived the eye of Andrew and became stronger — so will you.”
The legendary rapper was vocal about giving a generous donation to Hurricane Harvey victims. Master P’s native New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina just over a decade ago, so he knows what the residents of Houston are facing.
However, Master P suggested the way in which Hart challenged celebrities to give was not the way to go. He said, “Let them give from their heart. Whatever you can do, small or little. People need food, water — transportation is messed up in Houston. Like with Hurricane Katrina.”
Country star Chis Young donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and he got on social media to encourage his fans to donate as well.
The Atlanta rapper also had no problem donating $25,000 to the relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. However, he was adamant that he was not donating to the American Red Cross.
T.I. said on Instagram, “They say Faith without works is DEAD!!!! We ALL need to WORK on coming together & utilizing our resources collectively to do some meaningful sh*t to people who need US more than ever!!! @kevinhart4real salute for responding with a challenge that WE ALL NEED TO ANSWER!!!! #Pray4Houston #USorELSE.”
Actress Ruby Rose earned some shocking backlash after announcing her donation of $10,000 to the Montrose LGBT Center in Houston for Harvey relief.
As she got attacked from all sides, Rose calmly responded to the haters, saying, “All Love. I suggest instead of attacking me just donate what you can to the organization you feel is ‘right.’ Even 1 dollar helps.”
Follow Aramide Tinubu on Twitter @midnightrami.
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