When Hurricane Katrina hit back in August 2005, celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney came out in droves to offer up any help that they could. In the days following the storm, nearly 2,000 people lost their lives.
According to AP reports, 18,500 survivors were housed in the Houston Astrodome and over 120,000 refugees were in shelters across Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. Another 100,000 people found safety in local hotels, motels, churches, and private homes.
With that many people in need, a few charitable celebrities decided that it was time to lend a helping hand.
- Celebrities who donated $1 million to help the cause include The Rolling Stones, actor George Clooney, singer Celine Dion, actor Nicolas Cage, comedian Jerry Lewis, and Beyonce's man rapper Jay-Z.
- Angelina Jolie sent letters to members of Congress and the White House, asking for increased efforts in the disaster relief. Angelina found herself shocked at the images coming from New Orleans, a city she has often referred to as being very close to her heart.
- John Travolta, a licensed pilot, flew to Baton Rouge with his wife Kelly Preston, carrying much needed food supplies and tetanus vaccines. The Scientologist couple then toured the flooded city of New Orleans and visited shelters and rescue workers. "What we've seen in the shelters is wonderful, because people are being taken care of. What we've seen in the city is disastrous," the actor said.
- Singer Macy Gray paid a visit to a camp in Houston, Texas and gladly handed out clothing and toiletries to those in need. "I just really wanted to help out. I think the most important thing to them is their futures. It is crazy when you don't know what is going to happen to you the next day," Macy said.
- TV host Oprah Winfrey decided to cut her summer vacation short to visit those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Oprah called on her friends including Julia Roberts and Jamie Foxx to help her bring hope to the victims of Katrina. Oprah said that she was shocked by the tragic situation she found in New Orleans and that nothing could have prepared her for it. "I was sitting at home feeling frustrated and useless, like so many other people, so I came down to personally assess how I could best be of service," Oprah said in a statement.