As Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc on Texas, celebrities are stepping up to do their part in contributing to relief efforts.
Comedian Kevin Hart attempted to kick off a chain reaction of donations Monday with an Instagram video where he pledged $ 25,000 to the Red Cross and urged others to do the same.
“I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the internet, some meaningful, some meaningless, but we’ve all done them,” he said. “At this point, this is a serious matter. I think the people are in bad shape and they need help. I’m going to lead the charge and step up this way.”
Hart called on his “Jumanji” co-star Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Steve Harvey, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, JAY-Z, Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake to make donations of their own and continue his challenge by tagging their other famous friends to keep the donations rolling.
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Hip-hop singer Chris Brown was quick to jump on Hart’s donation train, and pledged $ 100,000 to relief efforts.
“We need to come together. I’m donating $ 100,000,” he said in a Twitter video. “It’s for everybody out there in Texas for the relief in everything. So, I accept the challenge, man, and I implore and encourage everybody else who can change and make a change for this to please donate and help out.”
Brown opted not to give to the Red Cross, as he is “skeptical” of the organization, and instead said that he would send his donation directly “to the people.”
Matching Brown’s whopping sum was country singer Chris Young, who pledged $ 100,000 of his own to a GoFundMe page benefiting the Red Cross.
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“I have friends and family there and I’m almost certain my house down there may have to be torn down as it was in one of the areas that was hardest hit by winds and flooding,” he wrote. “But that’s the least of my concerns. I’m worried about the people there — my friends, family and neighbors — and I want to help.”
Fellow country stars Lady Antebellum stepped up to the plate, too, and revealed that all proceeds from merchandise sales at their Saturday concert in Dallas would go toward hurricane relief.
Houston native Beyoncé said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle that she was working with her team at BeyGOOD to put together a plan of action to help, and rap star Drake wrote on Instagram that he was doing the same, and was working with DJ Future the Prince to “aid and assist the people of Texas in anyway (sic) we can” by helping out local relief groups.
Meanwhile, others like Ellen DeGeneres, “Hamilton” scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda and “The Office” actress Jenna Fischer urged their Twitter followers to donate by sharing links to various charities and organizations.
Harvey has claimed at least 10 lives, and the number is expected to rise as officials begin recovery efforts, according to the Houston Chronicle. Catastrophic flooding is expected to continue over southeast Texas for the next few days.
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