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$44 Million Raised For Hurricane Relief During ‘Hand in Hand’ Telethon

Some of Hollywood’s top names band together to raise funds for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The ‘Hand In Hand’ telethon, which aired on several networks and online platform featured performances, heartfelt messages raised over $44 million for charities and organizations, helping victims of the natural disasters.

Nicki Minaj, Lupita Nyong’o, DJ Khaled and Jamie Foxx,  are among the A-List celebrities who teamed together to raise money for victims of the recent natural disasters affecting Texas and Florida. Athletes, musicians and actors solicited telephone and online donations for the duration of the telethon and used the platform to speak on climate change, racism and human compassion. Legendary musician Stevie Wonder opened the telethon, performing ‘Lean On Me’ with a message of love.

“”We come together today to love on people that have been devastated by the hurricanes” says Stevie Wonder.

The telethon originally created solely for victims of Hurricane Harvey grew to benefit victims of Hurricane Irma which devastated residents of Florida, days after Hurricane Harvey impacted Texas.  Beyonce, a native of Houston which was largely affected by Hurricane Harvey, used the telethon to address the issue of climate change producing these disasters in such a small window of time.

“The effects of climate change are playing out around the world every day.  Just this past week we’ve seen devastation from the monsoon in India, an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico, and multiple catastrophic hurricanes.” says Beyonce, addressing the issues of climate change and the environment.

Other celebrities who sent messages of hope and shared heartfelt stories include Kerry Washington, Justin Timberlake and Oprah Winfrey.  Usher, Blake Shelton,  Cece Winans and more all took the stage performing live at the telethon. Other celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Julia Roberts were answering phone calls, accepting donations. Donations poured in from across the country and included notable amounts.

Stephen Colbert announced that Apple was donating $5 million to hurricane relief efforts. Jimmy Fallon relayed that Albertsons Cos. and Merck each gave $1 million.  NBA player Chris Paul announced that the NBA Players Association who donated $500,000 would match NBA player donations up to $20,000.

The $44 million raised will go to charities such as the Rebuild Texas Fund, Feeding Florida, Habitat for Humanity and more.


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