Organizers behind last week’s Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon have released updated fundraising totals, now putting the figure at more than $55 million raised to aid those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Previously, it was reported the Sept. 12 event raised $44 million.
The one-hour telethon was organized by artist manager Scooter Braun and Houston rapper Bun B and broadcast across several television, radio and streaming networks reaching an audience of over 40 million. More than 130 celebrities showed up to man the phones or ask for help, including Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Nicki Minaj, Kings of Leon, Oprah Winfrey, Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake, among others.
“It has been truly amazing to witness the reactions in our country in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Braun in a statement. “In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s important that we take action and care for our neighbors.There is still so much rebuilding to be done and our hope is to not only continue to raise funds but also inspire others to do what they can to help. People are still in need, and will continue to be for a very long time. We all need to do our part.”
Comic Relief USA has been tasked with managing and distributing all grants from the relief fund to partner charities, including the Rebuild Texas Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Florida, Feeding Texas, Direct Relief, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, United Way of Greater Houston, United Way Irma Recovery Fund and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
“Our team is focused on getting funds out to work on the ground as quickly as possible while donations are still coming in,” added Janet Scardino, CEO of Comic Relief USA. “The incredible response and generosity of millions of Americans is going to make such a difference for so many people who really need our help in the aftermath of these devastating hurricanes.”
Donations are still being accepted by phone, text and online here.