Celebrities including Alex Rodriguez, John Leguizamo, Tony Danza, Ashanti, Darby Stanchfield, Kevin Jonas, Andrew Shue, the stars of “The Chew” and Rascal Flatts’ members Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus appeared live on “Good Morning America” today to raise over $13 million for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, a deadly storm that has devastated much of southeastern Texas.
The celebrities answered phone calls from “GMA” viewers Thursday in a telethon to support Disney’s Day of Giving.
“We’ve been receiving calls all morning, from California to New York to Florida,” Rodriguez, an ABC News contributor, said on “GMA” Thursday. “We encourage everybody to come out and continue to help. Every little bit helps, even if it’s five cents.”
Disney’s Day of Giving donation tally: $13,026,418
To donate, call 1-855-999-GIVE, donate at www.RedCross.org/ABC or text “HARVEY” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Jason Derulo performed live on “GMA” today, to officially close out Disney’s Day of Giving, and shared a message to those affected by Harvey.
“I just want to say that we all stand with you,” Derulo said. “America stands with you and I almost want to say the world stands with you. This has been such a huge deal for all of us and I’m super proud of how the U.S. has stepped up.
“[T]his time, I feel like we’re standing together and it’s beautiful to see.”
Celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, Reba McEntire, Lecrae, Dennis Quaid, Michael Douglas, Viola Davis, “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell and “The Goldbergs” star Wendi McLendon-Covey sent in messages of support of Disney’s Day of Giving for Harvey relief.
Disney, the parent company of ABC News, is hosting the Day of Giving across ABC, Freeform, Radio Disney, and all digital and social platforms, calling on everyone who wants to help with the massive relief efforts. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised during the Day of Giving will go to the American Red Cross for recovery efforts in areas devastated by Harvey.
Harvey has left at least 31 people dead, displaced thousands and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. Much of the region is still reeling and left in dire need of assistance as people begin to rebuild their lives and communities in wake of the harrowing storm.
As the full scope of the devastation continues to come into focus, stories of remarkable heroism, courage and community have begun to emerge, giving hope to those affected by the catastrophic flooding.
“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,” Bob Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement announcing the Day of Giving.
The Walt Disney Company and ABC station KTRK in Houston jointly pledged a $1 million cash commitment to the American Red Cross in support of humanitarian efforts for communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Take part in Disney’s Day of Giving: To support people impacted by Hurricane Harvey, call 1-855-999-GIVE, donate at www.RedCross.org/ABC or text “HARVEY” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The designated ways to donate by phone, online or by text — outlined above — will remain active for the next 30 days.
Celebrities answer calls on live ‘GMA’ telethon
Alex Rodriguez: Houston ‘will rebuild’
Rodriguez watched his hometown of Miami recover from Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago and said Houston, which has been devastated by floodwaters, will do the same.
“[Hurricane Andrew] wiped out our high school and we came back and won the national championship,” he said. “We rebuilt and Houston will rebuild too.”
The baseball star played for the Texas Rangers for three years and recalled his memories of the resilient state.
“Everything in Texas is big — big characters, big dreams, big hopes,” he said. “I have a lot of friends there and have been talking to them a lot.”
He said of the storm’s devastation, “It’s a horrific time.”
The retired New York Yankee and his girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, have each donated $25,000 to the Red Cross.
Olympic superstar Simone Biles lends a hand
One of Houston’s hometown heroes, Olympic superstar Simone Biles, was at her home in the Houston area when the storm struck. She is now assisting with the relief effort and said boxes and tape are needed at the shelter where she has been helping evacuees.
“I feel like Houston is one of the strongest cities in the world,” Biles said on “GMA” from the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center in Conroe, Texas. “It is amazing to see everyone giving back. Even people that have lost everything in this storm, they’re even coming and volunteering so that’s super exciting to see.”
She added, “I like the hashtag we have going on right now, it’s #Houstonstrong, and I believe that if any of the cities have to go through it, it is Houston, because we all have to come together as a community.”
‘Dancing’ pros and TGIT stars answer calls
Celebrities including “Dancing With the Stars” pros Maks Chmerkovskiy and Val Chmerkovskiy and “Scandal” star Scott Foley answered calls at the Disney Day of Giving phone booth in Los Angeles.
Also manning the phones in Los Angeles were three natives of Houston: famed choreographer Debbie Allen and “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Chandra Wilson and Loretta Devine.
Robin Roberts’ message to Harvey survivors
Roberts watched 12 years ago as her hometown of Pass Christian, Mississippi, suffered a devastating blow from Hurricane Katrina.
“[My] mom went back with Windex and some paper towels and she had no idea of the destruction,” Roberts recalled. “That’s the mindset of people there. They’re just doing whatever they possibly can.”
She said of the response from good Samaritans in Texas, “You talk about seeing the good of people that are coming out, that’s what we’ve seen time and time in the Houston and outlying areas these past few days.”
Roberts also sent a message of hope directly to the people of southeastern Texas as the Day of Giving telethon kicked off.
“I want to say to all of you affected, you’re going to get there and we’re going to start this morning,” she said.
JJ Watt, Drew Brees, NFL Commissioner on league support, outreach
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees shared how the return of football to New Orleans helped unite the city after Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago.
“It symbolized that if we can rebuild the [Super]dome and bring the team back there…then we can rebuild this together,” he said. “And not only will we come back but we will come back stronger than ever.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called it “inspiring” to speak with people from around the country making donations. He added that while tonight’s preseason game between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has been canceled, the league’s support for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey continues.
“Tonight we’ll have 15 other games and each of those teams will be reaching out and trying to do what they can to support the people in Texas,” he said. “We [donated] $1 million, the Texans have done $2 million and many of our individual clubs have also done significant contributions, so we’re proud of the effort.”
Just four days after Houston Texans star J.J. Watt announced a fundraiser for flood relief in Texas, the NFL player has raised more than $9 million.
“Right now we’re filling up semi-trucks with water, generators and cleaning supplies, baby food and baby clothes to take directly out to the people,” Watt said today on “GMA.” “I’m going to take it directly to the people who need it the most, to the hardest hit areas, and that’s only the first days. We want to get this thing going as quickly as we can so we make sure we help the people at their most needed time.”
He added, “Houston we all love you and we’re all behind you.”
John Leguizamo: People’s hearts are ‘really breaking’
The “Bloodline” star said he spoke with people from across the country who wanted to donate after seeing images from Texas, including the image of nursing home residents stranded in waist-deep water.
“People [are] really moved by what they see, the footage that they see,” he said. “People just say their heart is just really breaking.”
Rascal Flatts perform moving tribute
Rascal Flatts members Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus answered donors’ calls during the live telethon on “GMA.”
The country music trio later performed their song, “I Won’t Let Go,” as a tribute for those impacted by Harvey.