Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and More Rally to Raise Over $15M for Hurricane Relief Efforts
Hollywood’s biggest stars came out to raise millions of dollars for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief.
The televised program was broadcast on the major US TV networks from New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and San Antonio.
Stevie Wonder opened the telethon with a performance of his hit “Lean on Me” and several stars told emotional stories about those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
Beyoncé — who was born in Houston — pleaded with people to stick together in the wake of the horrific events.
"During a time where it's impossible to watch the news without seeing violence or racism in this country, just when you think it couldn't possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage and forever change lives, leaving behind contaminated water, flooded hospitals, schools and nursing homes,” she said in a video message.
"Natural disasters don't discriminate. They don't see if you're an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor."
She continued, “It doesn't matter if you're from Third Ward or River Oaks, we're all in this together. Seeing everyone of different racial, social and religious backgrounds put their own lives at risk to help each other survive, restored my faith in humanity."
The Biebs also gathered with religious leaders Pastor John Gray, Rabbi Ari Lukas, and Jihad Turk to pray for the victims.
A number of big names also worked on the phone banks, including George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, and Adam Sandler, and many took to social media to talk about the telethon.
"Just got the word, over 15 MILLION was raised tonight. You guys are AMAZING!!!! Had such a good time speaking to all of you. #HandinHand,” Nicki tweeted following the event.
Kerry Washington posted a selfie with P. Diddy and wrote, “Thank you to every single person who called, texted & donated online. You inspire me to be better. Magic happens when we lift each other up.”
Gwen Stefani shared a photo from the event with her pal Julia Roberts and added the hashtags, “#handinhand#prettywomaninandout❤️ #juliaroberts gx #cometogether.”
“Had a great night answering calls and raising money. Thank you to everyone who donated,” Joe Jonas wrote.
Demi Lovato, who performed “With a Little Help From My Friends” with Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley in Nashville, also shared a photo on social media.
“Thank you #HandInHand and everyone involved for an amazing event tonight!!” she wrote.
“Honored to perform alongside these super talented people at the Grand Ole @Opry for #HurricaneHarvey and #HurricaneIrma relief.”
Reese posted a photo with her Big Little Lies co-star Nicole Kidman and country singer Luke Bryan.
"Tonight we reach out our hands to aid those affected by the recent hurricane devastation. Tune in now and join us. Together, our voices support, and our hands rebuild."
To donate to the Hand in Hand Fund, call 1-800-258-6000 or text GIVE to 80777.