A bunch of American celebrities, ranging from music to movies and television, have teamed up to raise over $14 million during Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief, a one-hour commercial-free special program on Tuesday.
Kicked off by Stevie Wonder with a performance of “Lean On Me” accompanied by a choir, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx gave the opening remarks in the program, which was streamed live from phone banks in Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.
Throughout the program, the celebrities spoke to callers to take donations that will benefit several organisations who are working to rebuild the hurricane affected areas, including Rebuild Texas Fund, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas, Habitat for Humanity, The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief, Save the Children and United Way of Greater Houston.
“Do not give up hope, we cannot get tired of doing good work. Let’s do it so these people can keep living,” said Matthew McConaughey, who spoke live from San Antonio, Texas, where Miranda Lambert and George Strait sang Strait’s song “If It Wasn’t For Texas.”
Among the celebrities, 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 devastation from Hurricane Harvey and Irma in the area.
Other famous faces of Hollywood, including Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Gwen Stefani, Dennis Quaid, Stephen Colbert, Diddy and Kerry Washington, also appeared during the telethon to raise funds for the victims.
Hand and in Hand was streamed live across the states of America on nearly all major TV networks including ABC, Bravo, CBS, E!, Fox and NBC. The star-studded benefit was also shown live in various social media outlets.