Disney, Beyonce, Sandra Bullock Pledge Millions to Hurricane Relief
“Our hearts go out to everyone in the devastating path of this historic storm,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
The Walt Disney Company and Houston ABC affiliate KTRK jointly announced that they have pledged $1 million to the Red Cross to go toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
In addition, Disney is matching, dollar for dollar, employee donations to the American Red Cross and other organizations involved in Harvey relief efforts.
“Our hearts go out to everyone in the devastating path of this historic storm,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “It’s hard to fully appreciate the impact, in part because it isn’t over yet. But we know thousands of people have lost everything and now face the daunting challenge of putting their lives and communities back together, and we’re using our unique resources and reach to help those in need.”
Disney ABC Television Group will also host a Day of Giving on Aug. 31 to raise money for hurricane relief. Starting in the morning with local affiliates and ABC's Good Morning America, and continuing throughout the day on ABC, Freeform, Radio Disney and DATG social platforms, there will be a call-to-action to donate to the Red Cross.
Disney joins a number of organizations and public figures who've pledged sizeable donations to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
In addition to its Harvey aid, Disney also pledged $2.5 million to aid in humanitarian relief efforts across Florida, the Caribbean and other areas impacted by Hurricane Irma. The donation will support the disaster response and recovery efforts of the American Red Cross, UNICEF, Save the Children, and other nonprofit organizations.
The Houston Rockets have donated $4 million to Mayor Sylvester Turner's relief fund, the Astros have pledged $4 million to relief efforts and the Texans have pledged $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund, which the NFL Foundation agreed to match. Texans star JJ Watt launched his own fund, which has raised nearly $1.5 million as of Tuesday morning, thanks in part to a $50,000 donation from newly acquired Rockets player Chris Paul. Outside of Texas, the New England Patriots and owner Bob Kraft will match up to $1 million in Red Cross donations.
Amazon and Whole Foods agreed to match cash donations to the Red Cross made on Amazon.com up to $1 million. Apple made a $2 million donation to the Red Cross over the weekend and will match employee donations two to one. And Microsoft announced a $100,000 grant to the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, Houston native Beyonce is working to implement a plan to help "as many as we can." Kevin Hart has donated at least $50,000 to relief efforts and called on stars like Jay-Z, The Rock, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Harvey and Justin Timberlake to contribute. Kris Jenner said Tuesday that she accepts Hart's challenge and that she and her daughter will be donating $500,000 to the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, T.I. and Nicki Minaj also said they accepted Hart's challenge. Brown pledged $100,000 while Khaled, T.I. and Minaj have offered $25,000 each. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson also accepted Hart's challenge, announcing in an Instagram video that he and his companies would be donating money. Johnson himself committed $25,000 and urged the people of Houston to "stay strong," drawing on his own experience with Hurricane Andrew.
Sandra Bullock, meanwhile, made a $1 million donation to the Red Cross, People reported.
“There are no politics in eight feet of water,” Bullock said. “There are human beings in eight feet of water.”
She added, "I’m just grateful I can do it. We all have to do our part.”
Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation also gave $1 million to the newly established United Way Harvey Recovery Fund which will go toward short and long term relief and recovery efforts.
Spanish language TV network Telemundo also announced on Thursday that, in partnership with the Red Cross, it will present a full day of special programming on Friday across all of its daily shows and digital platforms. Donations can be made here.
Singer and actress Zendaya is partnering with faith-based, humanitarian organization Convoy of Hope to send emergency relief supplies to survivors affected by Hurricane Harvey and the monumental flooding it has caused.
In addition, Ellen DeGeneres and Walmart also donated $1 million to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt's Hurricane Harvey relief efforts on Wednesday.
In addition, Miley Cyrus said during a taping of DeGeneres' show, set to air Thursday, that she is going to donate $500,000 to relief efforts.
When praised by DeGeneres, Cyrus replied: "Thank you. I just — it will make me cry. So I can’t really talk about it. ... It just really makes me just really upset. So I really hope people know … you know my grandma is sitting here and my mom’s here and I go home to my seven dogs and if I didn’t have that anymore – it would just be really hard. So I am really happy to help in any way I can. And I hope people understand and can put themselves in those people’s shoes and just to know what it feels like to have everything taken away from you."
Following news of Hurricane Irma — a category 5 storm that struck the Caribbean island of Barbuda particularly hard Sept. 6, among other islands — Robert De Niro, a principal owner with the planned Paradise Found Nobu Resort on the island, issued a statement pledging to help the island's residents. "We are beyond saddened to learn of the devastation in Barbuda caused from Hurricane Irma and look forward to working with the Paradise Found Nobu Resort team, the Barbuda Council, GOAB and the entire Barbuda community to successfully rebuild what nature has taken away from us."
Sept. 12, 4:57 p.m. Updated to include information on Disney's new efforts to aid those affected by Hurricane Irma.