These Celebrities Raised a Staggering Amount for Hurricane Victims
'Hand in Hand' telethon gave the country a night of much-needed togetherness, common purpose, and even love
“We’re unstoppable when we unite,” actor Jamie Foxx said early on in the “Hand in Hand” telethon Tuesday night.
Yes, celebrities of all stripes did unite for the goal of raising money for the many victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Aside from a brief moment of political divisiveness from musician Stevie Wonder — who opened the event — other celebrities such as Selena Gomez reiterated Foxx’s sentiments about working together for a greater good.
"Natural disasters don't discriminate," said Beyoncé.
Actor Will Smith later quoted his hero, Muhammad Ali, to cameras with the message: "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."
The night also included the appearance of artists such as Bruce Willis, Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Craig, and many, many more who worked the phones — while others told stories of some of the heroes who chose to help others in the wake of the destruction left by two deadly hurricanes.
Major surprise donations rolled in throughout the night, including a $5 million gift from Apple — or, in other words, "the cost of the new iPhone," joked late-night host Stephen Colbert when announcing the donation. Apple also pledged to match donations from its employees.
The night — put on by talent manager Scooter Braun and rapper Bun B — was a rare moment of togetherness and light from celebrities. It was an emotional evening that showed the power that influential artists can have when they focus on positive works.
The night ended with the appearance of actor and Texan Matthew McConaughey on a stage in San Antonio, Texas. He recalled meeting a woman who was returning to her destroyed home in Houston. He asked her what she needed next. "I need direction," she told him.
"We can't bring back what was lost," McConaughey said to the crowd. "But we can help provide the next step for them [the hurricane victims] ..."
He added as a message to those still suffering from the damage from the hurricanes, "Do not give up hope!"
The actor then introduced such country singers as George Strait and Miranda Lambert — who appropriately ended the night with a rendition of "If It Wasn't for Texas."
The total donations announced at the end of the evening were north of $14 million. "This is what America is really all about," said actor Billy Crystal after announcing that number.
Proceeds from the event will go to charities like the Rebuild Texas Fund, United Way, and Feeding Florida. To donate, click here.