LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Miley Cyrus and Oscar-winning actors Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio pledged funds to help victims of storm Harvey, while Beyonce on Thursday said she was sending a team to her Houston, Texas hometown to help with relief efforts.
A donation drive organized by Houston Texans NFL star J.J. Watt had reached $10 million in pledges from celebrities and ordinary people by Thursday, and singer Solange Knowles, Beyonce’s sister, announced benefit concerts in Boston and New York for September and October.
A tearful Cyrus, 24, announced a $500,000 contribution in an emotional appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“It just really makes me just really upset... I go home to my seven dogs and if I didn’t have that anymore, it would just be really hard. So I am really happy to help in any way I can. And I hope people understand and can put themselves in those people’s shoes,” Cyrus said.
Some 779,000 Texans have been ordered to evacuate their homes and another 980,000 fled voluntarily amid concerns on Thursday that swollen reservoirs and rivers could bring new flooding. Harvey roared ashore late last week as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in a half-century but has now been downgraded to a tropical depression. [L2N1LH090]
“Gravity” star Bullock, and DiCaprio’s foundation said this week they will each contribute $1 million to organizations helping people recover from the devastating floods.
Beyonce, one of Houston’s best-known celebrities, launched BeyGOOD Houston on her website. A statement said a team from her BeyGOOD philanthropic foundation was headed to the city to help with relief efforts, and the website asked fans to make donations to two local groups working there.
The “Lemonade” singer, who now lives in Los Angeles, has not said whether she is making a personal donation, but her pastor Rudy Rasmus said she tends to keep her charitable efforts quiet.
“Beyonce is extremely private and has done a lot that she has requested we don’t announce and publicize over the years, Rasmus told celebrity website TMZ.com in an interview this week.
“She has really stepped up and it has been a big blessing for us,” added Rasmus, who launched the non-profit Bread for Life in Houston in 1992 to feed homeless people.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Cynthia Osterman