We may just have Kevin Hart to thank for the outpouring of donations going to Hurricane Harvey relief. On Monday morning the comedian took to Instagram to post an emotional message about the catastrophe, and challenged fellow celebs like The Rock, Beyonce, T.I., Chris Paul and Jay Z to put their money where their mouth is.
Now countless A-listers have been donating in droves, some answering Hart’s call to action, while others have just decided to help from the bottom of their hearts.
Houston Native Beyonce spoke with the Houston Chronicle exclusively Monday afternoon about her plans to help her hometown. “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. “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.”
Jennifer Lopez issued a statement via her Instagram page announcing she and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez would be donating $25,000 each. Meanwhile DJ Khaled, accompanied by infant son Asahd, pledged $25,000, as did Nicki Minaj, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who also offered a pep talk to those in Harvey’s devastating path.
Other stars went above and beyond Hart’s $25,000 challenge.
Chris Brown announced plans to pledge $100,000, though he admitted he was “skeptical about the Red Cross.”
❤️ AND IM SKEPTICAL ABOUT RED CROSS SO MY DONATION WILL GO TO THE PEOPLE! pic.twitter.com/GjUVWUDpuG
— Chris Brown (@chrisbrown) August 29, 2017
The Kardashian family donated $500,000 to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, Kim Kardashian tweeted on Tuesday.
In the sports world, Houston Texan star J.J. Watt’s fundraising efforts surpassed their original goal of $1 million thanks to a $50,000 donation from new Houston Rocket point guard Chris Paul.
Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice
Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.
On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.
It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.
So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.
“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”
Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”
And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.
For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”
Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.
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