The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation is giving $5 million to underwrite the costs of producing Bun B and Scooter Braun's upcoming hurricane relief telethon. The backing means organizers of Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief, scheduled for Sept. 12 on more than a dozen TV networks, will be able to channel all the money raised to those affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey.
In addition, Verizon has partnered with Hand in Hand to organize the 2,000-plus call center volunteers needed for a telethon this size. The telecom giant, which has given a $2.5 million up-front contribution, has also set up a mobile donation option where viewers can give $25 simply by texting "GIVE" to 80077.
Tasked with the actual collection and distribution of the donations will be Comic Relief USA, which has plenty of experience with telethon management, like with Red Nose Day and Idol Gives Back. Proceeds of the telethon will benefit a number of causes, namely the Rebuild Texas Fund, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas Habitat for Humanity and The Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
The one-hour special will air Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, E!, Bravo, HBO, MTV and its many sub-channels and Oxygen. It will be filmed from four locations: New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Antonio. The broadcast will be produced by SB Projects and Den of Thieves with Scooter Braun, Bernard ‘Bun B’ Freeman, Allison Kaye, Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager serving as executive producers.
In addition to previously noted appearances by Beyonce, Barbra Streisand and George Clooney, organizers announced on Friday a new batch of participants including Justin Bieber, Drake, Tom Hanks, Dwayne Johnson, Faith Hill, Sam Smith, Kerry Washington, Stephen Colbert, J Balvin, Sean Combs, Jimmy Fallon, Joe Jonas, Nicole Kidman, Jared Leto and Gwen Stefani, among others.