Houston rapper Bun B to lead telethon to aid hurricane disaster relief victims

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter
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HOUSTON - Houston rapper Bun B is spearheading a national telethon called "Hand in Hand" to help raise money, not only for Hurricane Harvey survivors, but for people also in states that may soon be impacted by Irma.

READ: Beyonce, George Strait among stars to participate in telethon for Harvey victims on NBC

“It was initially created to get funds here for Hurricane Harvey, but now with the impending Hurricane Irma coming in, we’re realizing now that some of these resources might have to be sent to the people of Florida,” said Bun B, whose real name is Bernard Freeman.

The rapper said he partnered with his friend, Scooter Braun, who helped get big names like Beyonce Knowles, Oprah Winfrey,  Michael Strahan, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, George Strait, George Clooney, Justin Bieber, Adam Sandler, Barbra Streisand, Blake Shelton, Julia Roberts, Kelly Rowland, and many others to help with the telethon.

Bun B said he knows many of the people who were in Harvey’s path are people who go to their concerts, buy their music and watch their movies. He said they want to give back.

“These are people that, on social media, they tell you that they love you, support you. They buy your merchandise, T-shirts, hats. They go to the shows, buy the albums, everything. We want to let them know that we appreciate it, and we know they’re hurting, and (we're ) not going to let anybody forget about them,” Bun B said.

The "Hand in Hand" telethon will air on KPRC Channel 2 News Tuesday, at 7 p.m.

“We just want people to tune in and even if they give just a dollar, if everyone who tunes in gives a dollar we’ll have hundreds of millions of dollars to give people, so whatever you got, whatever you can give, and not just to the telethon, call your local church, call your local shelter in Texas area and just give whatever you can to whoever you can, we all really appreciate it,” Bun B said.

The money will go to charities such as Rebuild Texas Fund, United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Texas, Direct Relief, along with Mayor Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Freeman said while he and his immediate family were not severely impacted by Harvey’s wrath, he can’t say the same for his extended family in Port Arthur.

“It’s been stressful, obviously me and my immediate family came out probably a lot better than most people. We didn’t have any structural damage, we didn’t lose any vehicles and most importantly, we didn’t lose any lives. But when I get down to my aunt, my cousins and other people in my family we do have a lot of issues,” Bun B said. “Some people have lost all their belongings, others have been severely traumatized by having to wait 12 hours or 15 hours in 4, 5, 6 feet of water to be rescued. Some of them will never go back to their homes again, not because of the condition, but because of the trauma they ensued going through something like this. We’re all very lucky that everyone survived, but that being said, we see our neighbors, co-workers, our friends, our classmates, even still suffering, still going through a lot."

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