When tragedy strikes, Americans know how to come together. From endless lines of supply trucks and Red Cross buses full of volunteers to the “Cajun Navy” and tireless first responders, Americans have descended on southeast Texas to help those in need after Hurricane Harvey. Hollywood has shown up too. In most cases, stars have come out with little fanfare, leveraging their celebrity to increase donations or make connections. One of these helpful stars is Texas native, Jensen Ackles. You may know him as one-half of the lead in the long-running TV drama, Supernatural.
Ackles is stuck in Vancouver filming on location, but that hasn’t stopped the star and his family from lending a hand … and asking others to do the same. He and his family are asking for donations to a charity he co-founded with fellow Supernatural player, Misha Collins. As of this writing, their combined effort has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. This includes a personal donation of $50,000 directly from Ackles.
Speaking to CNN about his friends and family in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Ackles said, “I’m not there; I’m not able to do anything physically… But I’m here, and what I can do is rally this incredible community that has been growing for more than a decade now, and I can try to harness some of that power and use it for good.”
Ackles, of course, is far from the only star out there helping Houston and other flood-devastated areas of Texas. DJ Khaled has offered $25,000 to kickstart a charity campaign. When announcing this effort, Khaled spoke about his experience during and after Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida back in 1992.
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart offered $50,000 in aid fund, challenging his Hollywood pals Steve Harvey, Dwayne Johnson, Justin Timberlake and Kim Kardashian to follow suit. The Kardashian clan seriously upped the ante on that bid by promising $500,000 to the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Many wondered when they would hear from one of Houston’s most famous exports: Beyonce. The uber-star told her hometown newspaper that she is in the process of “Implementing a plan to help as many as we can…” This announcement was followed by social media posts indicating that her personal charity, BeyGOOD will collaborate with several local charities in order to help directly by working through groups on the ground in the city.
These are just a few of the big-name stars of stage and screen who have spoken out, challenged friends and stepped up to help when needed.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.