The country has been completely shattered over the last few weeks by weather-related incidents. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relentlessly made their way through parts of Texas, Louisiana, most of Florida, and even Georgia, leaving billions of dollars in damages and countless lost lives.
Today, the entire country came together to support the victims of these deadly and devastating hurricanes in Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief, a special telethon aired simultaneously on the major TV networks. Celebrities from George Clooney and Beyonce to Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey were present at the event, some performing, some taking calls and donations from an audience eager to help the incalculable number of victims.
The event was a complete success. Over $14 million were donated today with the help of donors, A-list celebrities, and multiple companies preoccupied for the well-being of all their neighbors in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean.
Technology giant Apple donated $5 million, while Albertsons Cos. and Merck donated $1 million each. The NBA Players Association donated $500,000 and promised to match any of their player’s donations up to $20,000.
While people happily donated to the cause, a point was made by hosts throughout the event — including Drake and Beyonce — about the country needing to unite regardless of political preference, race, gender, religious beliefs, or ethnicity. “When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions,” said Stevie Wonder.
“It just loves.”
The telethon was originally planned for Hurricane Harvey victims, who are still recovering from the devastating storm that hit Houston and the Gulf Coast from August 17 to September 2, leaving over $70 billion in damages, and 71 confirmed fatalities.
But the Category 4 hurricane was quickly followed by another hurricane, even more devastating. Hurricane Irma formed on August 30 and finally dissipated today, leaving dead and devastation as it passed by. Victims in several islands in the Caribbean are still suffering from the aftermath of the storm, as well as victims in Florida.
The decision to make a telethon to relief victims of both catastrophic events was an easy one, as there are so many victims of these fall storms that it was only logical.
Donations are still under effect, and there are a few ways you can help. The American Red Cross lets you choose which cause to support as you make your monetary donation. Diapers can be donated for victims of Irma at the Miami Diaper Bank as well.
The road to getting their lives back on track might be a long one for the victims, but with your generous help, it will certainly be easier.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]