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‘Hand in Hand’ Hurricane Relief Telethon Raises More Than $55 Million

Variety logo Variety 9/20/2017 Erin Nyren
© Provided by Variety

Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” announced Wednesday that the hourlong telethon featuring the likes of Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and George Clooney had raised more than $55 million, which will aid the victims of both hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

A whopping $14 million was raised during the live telethon, while the remaining $41 million was collected after the event had ended. Stephen Colbert announced during the telethon that Apple had donated $5 million, with Albertsons Co. and Meck donating $1 million each.

“It has been truly amazing to witness the reactions in our country in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects and executive producer of “Hand in Hand.” “In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s important that we take action and care for our neighbors. There is still so much rebuilding to be done and our hope is to not only continue to raise funds but also inspire others to do what they can to help. People are still in need, and will continue to be for a very long time. We all need to do our part.”

Comic Relief USA, the organization behind Red Nose Day, will take the reins in distributing the funds from “Hand in Hand” to the organization’s partnered charities, including Rebuild Texas Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Florida, Feeding Texas, Direct Relief, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, United Way of Greater Houston, United Way Irma Recovery Fund, and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered through the Greater Houston Community Foundation).

“Our team is focused on getting funds out to work on the ground as quickly as possible while donations are still coming in,” Comic Relief USA CEO Janet Scardino said. “The incredible response and generosity of millions of Americans is going to make such a difference for so many people who really need our help in the aftermath of these devastating hurricanes.”

“Hand in Hand” was broadcast live on several television, radio, and streaming networks, garnering an audience of more than 40 million viewers across all platforms combined. The one-hour special featured appearances, performances, and messages of support from more than 130 celebrities, musicians, and personalities from four different locations.

Related video: The Star-Studded Hand in Hand Telethon: What You Didn't See Behind the Scenes (via ETOnline.com)

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