Celebs help 'Harvey' victims | SunStar

Celebs help 'Harvey' victims

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Celebs help 'Harvey' victims

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A PAIR of Oscar winners, Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio, are leading the way in stars' donations to relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Numerous other celebrities have pledged sizable amounts to charities.

Others extended other forms of help.

Jamie Foxx announced he will be leading a telethon to get donations for the survivors. He shared on Instagram: "Just wanted to let everyone in Texas know, we got you. From a fellow Texan, my heart goes out. My prayers go out. Sept. 12 we have a telethon that we're doing. We'll give you more details, so we can raise as much money as we can for everybody down there."

E! News learned that Reese Witherspoon and Blake Shelton have already committed to participate in the telethon.

Miranda Lambert, meanwhile, joined her MuttNation Foundation in rescuing 72 dogs to safety.

“@muttnationfoundation rescued 72 dogs today who are being transported to dry safe shelters across the country,” Shelton's ex-wife captioned a photo of a rescued dog and five of her pups, born last Tuesday.

Kevin Hart, for his part, launched the Hurricane Harvey Relief Challenge. So far, he has raised $1 million and counting.

Football player J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans set up a relief fund for Hurricane Harvey survivors where one of his biggest donors was talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who donated $1 million to his effort.

“When Texas needed him, J.J. Watt was there. I was honored to help make this amazing gift from Walmart possible,” DeGeneres tweeted.

“This was truly unbelievable. Thank you Ellen!” Watt replied on Twitter.

Some journalists covering the disaster took time to put down their pens and paper to help out.

They've lifted people into boats, connected families through social media, flagged down rescuers and, in one case, coaxed people out of a flooding apartment house while on television.

"I'm a journalist, but I'm also a human being," said David Begnaud, a CBS News reporter who guided residents out of a flooded house in western Houston to a rescue boat in which he'd been riding.

While on a live shot in western Houston Tuesday, The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore was approached by a man who was waiting for his daughter's family to be evacuated from a nearby apartment complex. When rescuers arrived, Cantore helped deliver their message on television that everyone should leave because they may not get another chance.

CBS News reported on the story of Brandi Smith, a reporter from the network's KHOU-TV affiliate in Houston, who reported live from a highway overpass when her station's studio flooded and lost power. On the road below, she spotted a truck driver with a rig caught in swirling water, and she urged him to stay put. She ran onto the highway to flag down some passing rescuers, who stopped and were able to pluck the driver to safety.

Afterward, Smith greeted the driver while still on camera.

"This is going to sound weird," she said. "But can I hug you?"

Veteran CNN reporter Ed Lavandera, his producer and cameraman were riding in the boat of volunteer Austin Seth in Dickinson, Texas, when they heard a woman's voice call out. They helped rescue the woman, along with her elderly father and mother. Cameras captured Lavandera helping to lift the man into the boat.

"I tend to view myself as an observer," Lavandera said. "But in that particular situation there's only one choice, making sure these people get out of there as quickly as possible."

Fox News reporter Matt Finn was interrupted during a live shot by a struggling woman lugging a television set. He motioned the camera away and helped her when his report ended.

Yet at a time that journalists are held in low esteem, even derided as enemies of the people, instances where reporters are seen helping the public can be valuable public relations tools. Reporter rescues have been repeated on the air more than once, and network web sites have highlighted acts of their reporters. (AP with JGA)

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2017.

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