#HandInHand Starts Healing Process

Country Stars Are Force of Nature

Imagine calling to donate to hurricane relief efforts, and having Luke Bryan answer the phone?

That’s what it was like for so many charitable viewers watching the Hand in Hand benefit on Tuesday night (Sept. 12). The telethon aired simultaneously on CMT, Bravo, MTV, ABC, NBC, CBS, E!, FOX, HBO and Oxygen.

By the end of the night, it was clear that Harvey and Irma were no match for the compassion of the entertainment industry.

At the Nashville telethon, country stars sat by the phones waiting to take the calls from donors, and at the Grand Ole Opry, they took the stage to sing songs of hope. The songs from country stars during the hour-long show included “Stand By Me” by Blake Shelton and Usher; “With a Little Help from My Friends” by Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Demi Lovato and CeCe Winans; “If It Wasn’t for Texas”and “I Believe” by George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.

Bryan, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon did not perform, but they shared the stories of despair and loss — but also stories of rescues, hope and love — coming out of Houston and the Caribbean, the Florida Keys and so much of the southeast.

Other celebs making appearances and manning the phones were BeyoncĂ©, Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Andy Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Drake, Hilary Duff, Jourdan Dunn, Jimmy Fallon, Jamie Foxx, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Marcia Gay Harden, Kate Hudson, Dwayne Johnson, Joe Jonas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Karlie Kloss, Matt Lauer, Jay Leno, Zion & Lennox, Jared Leto, Eva Longoria, Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, Tracy Morgan, Norah O’Donnell, Gerardo Ortiz, Chris Paul, Tyler Perry, Dennis Quaid, Questlove, Jeremy Renner, Julia Roberts, Kelly Rowland, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, David Spade, Michael Strahan, Barbra Streisand, Sofia Vergara, Kerry Washington, Chandra Wilson, Oprah Winfrey, and Rita Wilson.

Proceeds from the night will support United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief Inc.

Enjoy scenes from Tuesday’s telethon:

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for George Strait
Rick Diamond/Getty Images for George Strait
Rick Diamond/Getty Images for George Strait
Rick Diamond/Getty Images for George Strait
John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images
John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images
John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images
John Shearer/Hand in Hand/Getty Images
Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.