As citizens of the world and citizens of the United States, offering a helping hand is woven into our fabric as a people. So when the Gulf Coast of Texas and the city of Houston were hit by Harvey, the former Category 4 hurricane and current tropical storm, some of the most well-known among us stepped up to facilitate relief efforts.
First to make headlines was Beyoncé, a Houston native, who told The Houston Chronicle that while her heart is always with her hometown, she will be making an extra effort to help those affected by the record flooding.
“My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help,” she said, according to HuffPost. “I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor [Rudy Rasmus at St. John’s in downtown Houston] to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”
But Beyoncé isn’t the only one to make headlines in helping Houston. According to People, Austin resident Sandra Bullock donated $1 million to the Red Cross relief effort. While the storm comes in the midst of a polarized political climate, Bullock said relief efforts should mobilize people to support their fellow Americans.
“There are no politics in eight feet of water,” she said, according to People. “There are human beings in eight feet of water.”
Others who have donated thus far include Kevin Hart, the Kardashian family, Wendy Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, The Rock and Nicki Minaj, reports ELLE.
To find out how you can help, click here.
Clean drinking water is a basic need, not a privilege. It is on this principle that Beyoncé is taking action to bring clean water to children in Africa via a new partnership with UNICEF.
According to HuffPost, the singer launched BEYGOOD4BURUNDI with UNICEF in order to supply children in the country with the potable water they need to survive and thrive. Described as a “multi-year partnership,” HuffPost reports that the project aims to ” improve the quality of and access to water in some of the hardest-to-reach areas of a country, where nearly half of the population struggles to find a supply of safe water.”
With BEYGOOD4BURUNDI sharing that 2.3 million people in Burundi spending at least 30 minutes a day retrieving water in the densely-populated area, the initiative is certainly much needed. President and CEO of UNICEF USA Caryl M. Stern said in a statement that the partnership will not only work to remedy a pressing issue, it will also demonstrate the power of collaboration.
“Addressing the global water crisis is one of the defining challenges of our time, and the children of Burundi are among the most vulnerable,” she said, according to HuffPost. “This unique partnership combines UNICEF’s decades of expertise in providing clean water to children in Burundi and around the world with the power and influence of the entertainment world to bring about social change.”
$80,000 is no drop in the bucket, and when it comes to contributing to the Flint water crisis, anything helps. And Beyoncé’s recent donation to the cause will certainly help aid in the water emergency.
According to the Huffington Post, as the pop queen wrapped up the North American leg of the “Formation” tour on Tuesday, June 14 in Detroit, Michigan, her team left a parting gift to contribute to the Flint water crisis.
“Bey’s management and entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment, in partnership with her philanthropic platform, BeyGOOD, presented a $82,234 check to the United Way of Genesee County to support the residents of Flint, Michigan,” reported the Huffington Post.
The sizable donation was made possible by Beyoncé’s fans, who were encouraged to donate to the cause as part of her world tour, says the Huffington Post. A press release from the tour explains that the funds will be used to “‘address long-term developmental, education, nutrition and health needs,’ of the children affected by the Flint water crisis.”
Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. president of United Way Worldwide, shared in a press release her gratitude for the singer and her fans’ efforts.
“We are so grateful for the support Beyoncé has given to those in Flint and the way she has inspired her fans to fight for the education, health and financial stability of everyone in their communities,” she said. “This partnership demonstrates just how easy it can be to give back.”
Good work, Beyoncé and fans!