Hurricane Harvey pounded southeastern Texas over the weekend prompting some celebrities to step up to support Houston by pledging donations while rallying for relief efforts via their own charities.
Comedian Kevin Hart set the wheels into motion—leading the charge on Sunday night by donating $25,000. To ensure that more relief refunds would flow into helping flood victims in Houston, Hart challenged his celebrity friends to donate to the American Red Cross amid catastrophic flooding in the Lone Star State.
“I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the Internet, some meaningful, some meaningless, but we’ve all done them. I’ve been a person that’s partaken in several of them,” Hart said in an Instagram video.
“At this point, this is a serious matter,” he added. “I think the people are in bad shape and they need help. I’m going to lead the charge and step up in this way.”
In his challenge to bring more attention to the plight of those affected by the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, Hart called on his “Jumanji” co-star Dwayne Johnson, comedians Jerry Seinfield, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, and Dave Chappelle.
He also rallied for relief efforts by calling on Beyoncé Jay-Z, and Justin Timberlake to make donations and tag someone else to do the same.
Beyoncé, known for her philanthropy and charity work was already a step ahead of the pack in helping her hometown. A Houston native Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland had already taken to social media with posts about their hometown on Instagram, sending thoughts and prayers to the state that launched their careers.
Beyoncé gave a statement to the Houston Chronicle, saying she would be working with her charity BeyGOOD to figure out how to distribute money and support:
“My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help,” she said. “I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John’s in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”
Chris Young. “The Man I Want to Be” singer posted a heartfelt YouTube video about his Texas home being destroyed. Showing concern for his family, friends and others affected by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey, Young donated $100,000 to relief efforts to a GoFundMe campaign to benefit the American Red Cross.
I am incredibly amazed by the donations to https://t.co/4gHYEi6B9y thank you guys… also organizing some great things with country radio!!!
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) August 28, 2017
Kim Kardashian West posted a message on Twitter informing her following and the publc that she along with her mother and sisters would be donating to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross
Houston Texas Star J. J. Watt launched an online relief fund for Hurricane Harvey victims on Sunday with an initial goal of raising $200,000. Incredibly, the fund has raised more than $4 million and is still growing. Taking to Twitter he spoke about the massive damage from the Harvey and rebuilding the communities.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 27, 2017
Speaking with Mass Appeal about the storm’s devastation, Bun B was quick to point out that money isn’t exactly what the city needs at the moment. After being asked about Kevin Hart’s money-raising efforts, Bun explained that he’s feeling urgency for those still trapped in the city:
“I’m not saying that we don’t need money. It’s going to take a lot of money to rebuild the city of Houston. I’m putting together things right now to organize ways to raise money on a massive scale, not on a smaller scale, on as large a scale as we can possibly do. And money is going to be needed, but I’m saying right now, people stuck in an attic, they don’t need money right now. They need someone with a boat to come save their lives. I’m talking right now, real time, what people need.”
Harvey, one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history, made landfall on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane, later weakening as a tropical storm on Saturday, dropping up to 24 inches of rain on Houston in 24 hours.
Toronto native Drake, a resident of Houston for the last eight years, said that he and DJ Future the Prince are currently working with local relief groups “to aid and assist the people of Texas in any way we can and in the most immediate way possible.”
“I also want to thank all the men and women of service and volunteers for their courageous efforts to help people in need,” Drake said on Instagram. “I encourage everyone to do what they can to assist the people of Texas knowing whatever effort you can make to help will go a long way.”
Katy Perry spoke about the catastrophic event in Houston, during her stint as host of the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. At the time, Perry urged viewers to donate to the Red Cross.
“All of us here at the VMAs are sending love to the people of southeastern Texas and everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey right now,” Perry said onstage. “We’re praying for your safety in the days to come and we stand with you as you rebuild because we’re all in this together.”
Much of Houston is reportedly under water from the impact of Hurricane Harvey, leaving thousands in need of shelter and supplies or trapped in their homes. At least 15 deaths have been reported and will more than likely increase as waters recede.
The storm’s size is massive and unprecedented. The National Weather Service reports that Harvey continues to bring catastrophic flooding to southeast Texas, torrential rains spreading into southwest Louisiana. Harvey has brought over 25 inches of rain to portions of southeast Texas since Thursday night.
Another 10 to 20 inches is expected over parts of the upper Texas coast into southwestern Louisiana. Storm totals in some locations may approach 50 inches. This is producing devastating flooding. Numerous Flash Flood Warnings are in effect.
By LeNora Millen 08-29-17