As Hurricane Harvey hit land for a second time on Wednesday in Texas, musicians, athletes, and others from the entertainment world have stepped up to help with relief efforts.
Houston native Beyoncé was one of the first to pledge her support to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, telling the Houston Chronicle, “My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help. I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor [Rudy Rasmus at St. John’s in downtown Houston] to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”
Rev. Rasmus said of Beyoncé in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, “She’s starting out with a significant donation, and that donation is getting us to launch out into some areas that help us more effectively impact the communities that have been the most affected. She has, over the years, been very generous to our cause, and we continue to work together. She has been a huge benefactor to our efforts here in Houston, Texas.”
The comedian Kevin Hart posted a video on Instagram, saying, “I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the Internet, some meaningful some meaningless…”
Houston Texans’ star defensive end, J.J. Watt started an online fundraising campaign on Sunday afternoon, using a Youcaring account. He recorded a video, pledging $100,000. By late morning Tuesday, his effort, helped by increasing goals he set, reached $1.5 million. Each time he raised a goal, it was surpassed. On Wednesday morning, it topped $6 million. His new goal is $10 million.
Residents of Houston and other nearby towns on the Gulf coast find themselves submerged under a record rainfall of nearly 52 inches since the storm began. Houses and highways are underwater from the most devastating hurricane the state has seen in decades. On its second inland pass, Hurricane Harvey has caused massive flooding in Beaumont and Port Arthur as well as parts of southwest Louisiana.
As of Thursday morning at least 38 deaths have been reported that were related to the storm. Those deaths include a veteran of the Houston police force who died on his way to work, a family drowned in their van while trying to escape floodwaters and a mother who was swept into a canal with her child. The National Guard has conducted over 8,500 rescues and more than 32,000 are in shelters. FEMA has supplied 5 million meals to evacuees.
Money and supplies are pouring into the region from all corners of the United States as well as from the international community.
If you would like to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort in Texas, here are a few informative links: