One America Appeal Hurricane Relief Concert Raises $2.6 Million

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Five former U.S. presidents reunited for the first time in four years on Oct. 21 at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena for the “Deep from the Heart,” hurricane relief charity concert. The event featured surprise guest artist Lady Gaga and raised $2.6 million for One America Appeal. Roughly 6.5 million people viewed all or part of the event online, which was livestreamed on YouTube, various Facebook pages, Twitter, and the campaign’s website OneAmericaAppeal.org.

Since the start of the concert at 7pm Saturday, One America Appeal has raised $1.5 million through its website, another $100,000 through Facebook, and $75,000 through Text To Donate courtesy of AT&T. Ticket sales for “Deep from the Heart,” meanwhile, raised another $970,000 for hurricane recovery thanks to underwriting that covered all event expenses.

In terms of digital viewership, the YouTube video of the concert (available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XfPL43Bwg0) has been watched more than 250,000 times. The Facebook livestream had 5.7 million views, the Periscope video through @AmericaAppeal had more than 450,000 views, and OneAmericaAppeal.org had more than 100,000 users in the first 24 hours. On Twitter, the campaign had 1.5 million impressions of its tweets from @AmericaAppeal.

“Deep from the Heart” was also broadcast live (all or in part) by Fox News Channel, CNN, C-SPAN and NewsMax. On radio, iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks simulcast the event across Texas to Corpus, Beaumont, Houston, Bryan, McAllen, and Waco.

“We could not be more grateful to the broad range of media partners that helped us bring our ‘Deep from the Heart’ appeal to a global audience,” says David Jones, CEO of the Bush Library Foundation that organized the event. “We especially want to thank YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook who came together behind this important cause helping our fellow Americans recover from this devastating hurricane season.”

Just prior to the concert on Saturday, One America Appeal announced raising more than $31 million since the start of the campaign on Sept. 7 following Hurricane Harvey. The campaign expanded twice to encompass recovery efforts in Florida from Hurricane Irma, and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria.

During her surprise performance Saturday night, Lady Gaga announced that she is donating to the One America Appeal to support the mental and emotional recovery of survivors in Texas and Florida. The funds are a part of her commitment to donate $1 million to help those impacted by recent natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Tax-deductible donations of any amount are being accepted at OneAmericaAppeal.org, and cell phone users can text “OneAmerica” to 50555 to give $10. A special restricted account has been established through the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation to collect and distribute donations to every dollar given goes to assist hurricane victims. Donations will be distributed to:

  •  Houston Harvey Relief Fund, focusing on the greater Houston region
  • Rebuild Texas Fund, assisting hurricane-ravaged communities across the state
  • Florida Disaster Fund
  • Juntos y Unidos Por Puerto Rico, launched by First Lady Beatriz Rossello and a private sector coalition
  • The Fund for the Virgin Islands