‘Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief’ Telethon Raises More than $44 Million in Donations

The star-studded Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief aired on Tuesday night (Sept. 12) with the help of big name celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o, Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Nicki Minaj, and Dwayne Johnson. The hurricane relief telethon was organized by Houston born and bred rapper Bun B, with the help of talent manager Scooter Braun, who helped organize Ariana Grande’s Manchester benefit concert. The telethon aimed at benefiting various areas affected by the recent hurricanes aired on 15 networks and the telethon itself has raised over $44 million to show for it.

That $44+ million dollars will be donated to a variety of organizations including Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity, ASPCA, and the Rebuild Texas Fund.

Kicking off Tuesday’s telethon was the iconic Stevie Wonder who gave a gospel rendition of the Bill Withers song “Lean On Me.” He also expressed his opinion on the commentary surrounding whether or not climate change is a reality or a myth. “Anyone who believes there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, please save us all.”

Beyoncé, who has been seen in Houston over the weekend helping Trae tha Truth give back to the Hurricane Harvey victims, gave a pre-recorded message for the telethon. She articulated items that the people of Houston are in need of while also echoing the importance of coming together despite our differences to help those in their time of need.

“Natural disasters don’t discriminate,” she said in the video. “They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together. Seeing every one of different racial, social and religious backgrounds put their own lives at risk to help each other survive, restored my faith in humanity.”

The recovery process from both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma means the road to rebuilding will be a long one. In both Texas and Louisiana, Hurricane Harvey has been estimated to have left behind an estimated $75 billion in its wake. Assessment of the damage that Hurricane Irma has caused is still underway, but the recorded death toll is reportedly 24 people, in the US alone.

There’s no telling of how much damage and how much work needs to be done in the islands the hurricane hit before the US.

Photo Credit: Nicki Minaj/Instagram

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.