Star-studded ‘Hand in Hand’ telethon raises more than $44 million for hurricane relief

By: Meaghan Wray

George Clooney,Julia Roberts and Oprah led a long list of A-list stars who hopped on phones to collect more than $44 million in pledges for victims of the recent hurricanes that have devastated the southern United States, namely Texas and Florida. The Hand-in-Hand telethon went live on Sept 12 from New York, Nashville and Los Angeles, giving stars from coast to coast the opportunity to use their platform to raise money and spirits for those in need.

TAP FOR ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THE TELETHON

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx opened the one-hour special after revered musician Stevie Wonder delivered an emotional performance of “Lean On Me.” Texas natives Beyoncéand Matthew McConaughey gave passionate speeches about the destruction in their beloved states while Hilary Duff and Reese Witherspoon shared some heartfelt real-life accounts of hurricane victims. The show also featured a moving performance by Tori Kelly and Luis Fonsi before Justin Bieber led a group prayer.

Money raised will benefit a series of organizations, including, Rebuild Texas Fund, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas, Habitat for Humanity, The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief, Save the Children and United Way of Great Houston.

Many famous musicians and actors continue to be personally affected by the natural disasters. According to CNN, comedian Jay Leno’s 90-year-old uncle is still trapped on the seventh floor of an apartment building in Florida.

Getting ready to raise some money y'all. In the room where it happens. #handinhand

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Down in Florida, Kristen Bell has been hunkered down in an Orlando hotel to seek refuge from the storm. She made headlines earlier this week when her Frozen co-star Josh Gad publically thanked her for helping his family get to safety.

Taking to social media, the actor wrote, “So @kristenanniebellliterally saved my parents and my entire family tonight from#hurricaneirma. When they were stranded in Florida, she got them a hotel room at her hotel in Orlando and saved them, my brothers, my sister-in-law and niece and nephew. They don't make them like this girl. Thank you Kristin. You are truly an angel sent from above. And thank you @ewablueeyesfor bother her when I asked you not to!!!!”

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