As the rain continues to pour down in southeast Texas, celebrities are beginning to use their power and influence for good—urging fans to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in any way they can. In addition to sharing fundraising links on social media, some stars are putting their time and money where their mouth is, volunteering with local aid groups and making sizable donations to the cause.
ABC’s Bachelor franchise is not typically synonymous with model behavior, but one of the show’s former stars, Sean Lowe, made headlines for all the “right reasons” (shout out to any Bachelor Nation fans reading this) this week, after he posted a series of heartfelt Instagram photos showing him piloting a boat through the flooded streets of Houston.
Today I had the chance to do what I could to help some people in the Houston area. I couldn't believe the devastation. My heart broke for all the elderly who are immobile and the mothers trapped in their homes with young babies. But I was encouraged by the selflessness of so many Texans who came to help where they could. Definitely a day I'll never forget.
Lowe, who met his wife Catherine on season 17 of the show, lives in Dallas and explained he felt compelled to “do what I could” to help his fellow Texans.
“I couldn’t believe the devastation,” he wrote on Instagram of the experience. “My heart broke for all the elderly who are immobile and the mothers trapped in their homes with young babies. But I was encouraged by the selflessness of so many Texans who came to help where they could. Definitely a day I’ll never forget.”
Lowe isn’t the only Lone Star State resident to lend a hand. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the career of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt that the NFL star is doing whatever he can to help his city. Frustrated by the fact that he was relocated with his team to Dallas in the days leading up to the storm, Watt started a small fundraising campaign on Sunday to help victims. As the Washington Post reported, Watt set up a Youcaring page and pleaded with fans in a video message in hopes of raising $100,000.
“Who knows where this can go?” he said in the video “Who knows how much money we can raise? Thank you to everyone who’s supported it. Thank you to everyone who’s spread the word. Please keep it up. Unbelievable. Houston, stay strong. We’re thinking about you, we’re with you, we’re gonna help you.”
Within hours Watt had blown past his initial goal, and the page has thus far raised some $1.8 million and counting.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 29, 2017
Country music star Chris Young was among the first stars to publicly pledge money for the relief efforts, donating $100,000 to to the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations. Young, who had family and friends in the storm’s path, said in a statement that communities in Texas “are going to be dealing with so much damage and loss of life for a long time to come.”
“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 said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle. “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.”
For his part, comedian Kevin Hart is attempting to rally the troops in Hollywood, posting a video message asking fellow artists to donate at least $25,000 to his Harvey relief fund.
Thus far, Chris Brown, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the Kardashian-Jenner family have all made sizable contributions to the charity. In pledging his support, The Rock encouraged the people of Houston t “stay strong” and “hold onto faith.”
(H/T: One Country)