Hand in Hand Telethon Raises Over $44 Million for Hurricane Victims

Last night's celebrity fueled relief benefit, Hand in Hand, raised more than $44 million for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

A-list celebrities came out to run phones, ask for donations and perform songs during the hour long event.

Major companies like Apple pledged to donate $5 million and Albertsons Cos. and Merck each gave $1 million.

The NBA Players Association donated $500,000 and said they would match any professional basketball player's donation up to $20,000.

Stevie Wonder opened the night with  "Lean on Me" and gave a message of unity

"We come together today to love on people that have been devastated by the hurricanes. When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity, no religious beliefs, no sexual preferences, and no political persuasions. It just loves."

Originally, the Hand in Hand telethon was meant to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas but was later expanded to include those affected by Irma, which hit the south.

Both storms caused between $150 billion and $290 billion in damage to both Texas and Florida.

At least 70 people died during Hurricane Harvey, and 22 deaths have been reported from Hurricane Irma.

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