Two Hurricane Harvey survivors navigate floodwaters while carrying a worried looking dog in their arms.
Hurricane Harvey survivors navigate flood waters. (Photo from NBC News/YouTube)

Last week’s national telethon for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma raised more than $55 million in one hour, organizers said Wednesday.

“Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” was broadcast on Sept. 12 from Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. It aired on  CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and the CMT, drawing an audience of more than 40 million people across all platforms combined. The one-hour special featured appearances, performances, and messages of support from more than 130 celebrities, musicians, and personalities from 4 different locations.

“It has been truly amazing to witness the reactions in our country in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Scooter Braun, the program’s executive producer. “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 will manage and distribute all grants made from the fund to the Hand in Hand charitable partners, including the 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).

Additional charitable partners may be announced as the impacts from Hurricane Irma are further evaluated.

“Our team is focused on getting funds out to work on the ground as quickly as possible while donations are still coming in,” said Janet Scardino, CEO of Comic Relief USA. “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.”

Online, text and phone donations to the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund will continue to be accepted. Links to donate digitally via credit card or PayPal are available by visiting

–City News Service

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