Big Names Help Harvey Victims by Getting Big Money to Relief Effort

As shelters are filling up with victims of the storm, many groups and individuals have announced and/or challenged others to show their support, financial and otherwise, to the city of Houston through social media

As victims of Hurricane Harvey fill Texas shelters, celebrities are pledging to make sizeable donations — and using their social media reach to challenge others to do the same — to bring relief to storm-torn areas in and around Houston.

Sports franchises and tech giants have also pledged to give money to relief organizations like the American Red Cross.

Here are some of the major contributions stars, CEOs and franchises have made: 

J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans football team, has raised about $6 million in crowdfunding since Sunday. Using Twitter, he has repeatedly upped the goal as it has been met. His goal is now $10 million.

The Houston Rockets had originally pledged $4 million to Harvey victims but later announced they had raised the amount to $10 million.


The Houston Astros-Texas Rangers baseball series was relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, but that did not stop the flow of donations and support for Houston.

The Rays announced that all ticket, parking and concession revenue from the three-game series would be donated to victims of Harvey.

Major League Baseball's communications office tweeted they would also donate $1 million "to various relief efforts for the damage throughout TX."

Comcast NBCUniversal (which owns this station) committed $1 million to relief efforts in the Houston area, including $500,000 to be shared between the city's Harvey Relief Fund and the American Red Cross. Its cable systems will also donate advertising time for Harvey-related public service announcements.

Facebook and Google announced they would match funds up to $1 million in donations for Harvey victims. 

Similarly, the New England Patriots have pledged to match donations made to American Red Cross, up to $1 million, to help the Houston area recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Actress Sandra Bullock also pledged $1 million to American Red Cross, E! News reported.

"I'm just grateful I can do it," Bullock, who owns a home in Austin, said in a statement obtained by E! News. "We have to take care of one another."

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The Kardashian family announced they would donate $500,000 — $250,000 to American Red Cross and $250,000 to the Salvation Army.

Kim Kardashian West announced the donation on Twitter on Tuesday, saying, "Houston we are praying for you." She used the hashtag #HoustonStrong.

Comedian Kevin Hart posted a video to Instagram, urging people to donate, and announcing his own donation of $25,000 on Monday. But that $25,000 has turned into more than $800,000 because of his crowdfunding page he set up in partnership with American Red Cross.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has donated $1 million to the newly established United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, which will go toward relief and recovery efforts for several years.

The $1 million from DiCaprio's foundation represents the inaugural donation to the fund and is the latest disaster relief support from the Oscar-winner's namesake foundation.

After making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Friday, the storm brought days of rain and intense flooding to the Houston area. On Tuesday, Harvey officially set a new U.S. record for rainfall from a tropical system as it continued to drench southern Texas. The tropical storm made landfall again on Wednesday, this time along Louisiana's coast.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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