'Hand in Hand' telethon raises $44M for hurricane victims

By Karen Butler  |  Sept. 13, 2017 at 9:11 AM
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Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The star-studded, multi-network telethon Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief raised $44 million for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Tuesday.

"This is what we can give people with our donations tonight. We can't bring back what they lost, but we can help them know where to take the next step and provide some solid footing for them to place their next foot. A path to stability. To a place where they can rebuild," actor Matthew McConaughey said from San Antonio during the hour-long program. "This is what they need and this is what we can give them."

Stephen Colbert announced Apple had donated $5 million to the cause and Jimmy Fallon said Albertsons Cos. and Merck had each kicked in $1 million, ABC News reported.

The NBA Players Association also donated $500,000 and pledged to match any professional basketball player's donation up to $20,000.

The show was taped in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville and proceeds from the event are expected to go to Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, the Rebuild Texas Fund and the ASPCA, CNN noted.

Texas native George Strait sang a medley of songs live from San Antonio. Other performers included Miranda Lambert, Stevie Wonder, Blake Shelton, Usher, Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi.

People magazine said music superstar Justin Bieber led a group in prayer, and Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey, Cher, Beyonce, Dwayne Johnson, Selena Gomez, Will Smith, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Kelly Rowland, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Duff, Michael Strahan and Nicole Kidman spoke about the disasters and how they are impacting millions of people's lives.

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