NBA All-Stars, NFL players, MLB standouts and celebrities continue to publicly show their support for those affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, which continues to pummel the Houston area, displacing residents. While many have escaped the rising floodwaters and pouring rain, others are still seeking refuge.
President Barack Obama, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kelly Rowland, Chris Paul, James Harden, Eva Longoria, Drake, DeMarcus Cousins and other celebrities have tweeted their support, pledges and prayers to the people of Houston and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, many are going beyond social media to donate money and time. Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander donated $10 million to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which was started by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“Our hearts are heavy seeing the devastation that so many of our friends, family and neighbors are experiencing,” the team said in a statement.
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart took to Instagram with a call to action urging others to pledge funds.
“This is a serious matter,” Hart said in the video. “I’m going to lead the charge and step it up in this way.”
Hart said he was donating $25,000 and beckoned for other stars such as Beyoncé, The Rock, Justin Timberlake and others to join in and spread the word.
Houston native and music superstar Beyoncé is giving back to her hometown. She released a statement to the Houston Chronicle saying, “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.”
Beyoncé added, “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.”
Established in 2013, the BeyGood organization does philanthropic work worldwide.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt started a fundraiser Sunday to help the people of Houston.
“That’s our city,” he said in a video. “There’s going to be a lot we need to do to help rebuild.”
He originally set a goal of $200,000. After that goal was reached, he raised the stakes to $500,000. Paul’s $50,000 donation pushed the total collected by the fundraiser to $500,000. The total increased to $1 million by Monday night, prompting Watt to raise the fundraiser’s goal to $1.5 million. To date, that goal has been reached and the new goal is $2 million.
“I can’t even begin to describe what it’s like to see people come together for a common cause,” Watt said.
Singer Carl Thomas posted a video on Instagram with a message that says, “This is happening now.” He is seen in the video on a boat assisting in the evacuation process.
“I’m evacuating right now. I’ve got my dogs with me. Y’all pray for Houston. I’m not really worried; ultimately I know that whatever happens, it’s gonna be all right. It’s gonna be all right.”
Nicki Minaj and DJ Khaled responded with $25,000 pledges. Chris Brown pledged $100,000 and took the time to express skepticism about donating to Red Cross, while rapper T.I. lent his support.
The Houston Astros ownership group pledged to donate $4 million to the relief efforts. The Texans and owner Bob McNair donated $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund. The NFL Foundation said it would match the $1 million donation, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family pledged to match all funds donated to the Red Cross in support of Harvey flood relief up to $1 million.
Major League Baseball also contributed to the cause, joining with the players association to donate $1 million to the Red Cross and relief organizations chosen by the players.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter, who is from the Houston area, said in a tweet that he will donate $10,000 to relief efforts for each home run he hits for the rest of the season.
Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, a native of the Houston area, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson he will donate $25,000 to relief efforts and an additional $5,000 for each sack he makes this season.
MusiCares, a four-star charity established by the Recording Academy, started a relief fund to support members of the music community affected by the recent devastation of Harvey. The organization offers confidential preventive, recovery and emergency programs to address musicians’ financial, medical and personal health issues.
Assistance includes basic living expenses such as shelter, food, utilities and transportation; medical expenses, including doctor and hospital bills and medications; clothing; instrument and recording equipment replacement; relocation costs; home repairs; debris removal; and more.
“Now is a time when we must come together and take care of those who need help, as we are only just beginning to understand how life-altering Hurricane Harvey will be for its victims and their communities,” Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the Recording Academy and MusiCares, said in a statement. “It’s important that we step up and support the creative community, and take action to provide immediate assistance to members of our music family.”