diddy hand in hand
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Hand in Hand

Scooter Braun and Bun B’s Telethon Raises Over $44 Million for Harvey/Irma Victims

The Hand in Hand telethon, created to assist survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, raised more than $44 million. The telethon was a joint effort of Bun B and music manager Scooter Braun, featuring participation by the likes of Diddy, Beyoncé, Drake, George Clooney, Kerry Washington and many more.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction of parts of Houston, Rockport and other cities on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Braun (manager to Kanye West and Justin Bieber), and Houston native Bun B announced the Hand in Hand telethon, which would raise funds for those affected by the storm, which our president often giddily reminded us was of epic proportions. In the time between the announcement of the telethon and the actual event, which was broadcast live on several major networks, Hurricane Irma moved through through Florida and Georgia, leaving behind fatalities and mass catastrophe.

It was Stevie Wonder’s sharp critique of climate change deniers that served as the telethon’s defining moment. “Anyone who believes that there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent,” he said.

At one point during the the telethon, Stephen Colbert announced a $5 million donation from Apple, and Chris Paul came forth with a $500,000 donation from the NBA Players Association, plus a promise that the player advocacy group would be matching donations of up to $20,000 by any pro basketballer.

Beyoncé, also a native of Houston, added some pointed remarks about the importance of unity at this time via pre-recorded video:

Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage and forever change lives, leaving behind contaminated water, flooded hospitals, schools and nursing homes, and countless families are now homeless. Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn’t matter if you’re from [Houston neighborhoods] Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together.

You can watch an hour-long stream of the telethon below.

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