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Lauren KellyBy Lauren Kelly

JJ Watt’s Houston Relief Fund started on Sunday at $200,000 and it continues to grown every hour.

The latest update from JJ came about 9 hours ago, and it said, “Massive thank you to @TheEllenShow for the $1 Million donation. We’re now over $8.5 Million. Let’s keep going!”

The most current amount on the website shows the fund is now at $9 mil dollars.

 

Grammy award-winning singer Gloria Gaynor best known for her 1978 hit song “I Will Survive,” posted a video of her singing a new version of the song to Texans on Wednesday.

“At first we were afraid, we were petrified.

Kept thinking Texas couldn’t live in flood waters this high.

We know you spent plenty of time preparing for this Hurricane.

Who could have known that it would come with so much devastating rain? But, we will strive. And you’ll survive.

With all our love and help and prayers we will stand strongly by your side. We are your neighbors tried and true and we’ll do all we can for you. And you’ll survive, you will survive.

You will survive.”

 

Whataburger announced yesterday that it is donating $1.65 million toward recovery efforts. Below is the statement from the company:

The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey is profound, and so many of our neighbors need our help.

Today, the company pledged an additional $1 million to the Whataburger Family Foundation to help our impacted employees with necessities like clothing, food, medical bills and monetary assistance.

The Whataburger Family Foundation provides emergency assistance to Whataburger Family Members who are experiencing an unforeseen financial hardship.

In addition, to serve our neighbors in need, Whataburger is donating $150,000 to the Red Cross, and another $500,000 to local food banks to be deployed in the areas of greatest need.

 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have agreed to donate $2 million in support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the commitment at a press conference yesterday.

“Our Texas family of customers and associates are experiencing devastating impact from this storm,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart. “We are on the ground to help our friends and neighbors in the Gulf region, and we’ll continue to be in the tough days, weeks, and months ahead.”

Walmart is also launching a customer campaign with the American Red Cross to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will also give additional cash and product donations totaling $10 million to support the Salvation Army, Feeding America, as well as other organizations assisting food distribution, sheltering and cleanup efforts.

 

Verizon is also stepping up with a HUGE donation of $10 million.

 

There’s going to be a telethon for Hurricane Harvey relief on September 12th on all the major networks. It’ll be held in three cities: L.A., New York, and Nashville.

Texas native Jamie Foxx will host from L.A., possibly with Hilary Duff, who’s from Houston. Michael Strahan will host from New York, and organizers are trying to get Kelly Rowland as his co-host. They’re both from Houston, too.

Reese Witherspoon and Blake Shelton will host from Nashville. Reese was born in Louisiana and raised in Tennessee . . . Blake is from Oklahoma.

 

Kevin Hart made another video calling out MORE celebrities and challenging them to donate $50,000…$25k more than his original challenge for celebs like The Rock, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce.

The Rock did respond to his original video accepting the challenge.

 

Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, and DNCE are among celebrities who announced donations yesterday. Leo’s foundation chipped in $1 million. Rachael Ray also donated a million for animal rescue efforts.

Fall Out Boy is playing Houston in November, and they’re donating all the profits to hurricane relief. Solange is donating concert proceeds, too. And Mark Hoppus from BLINK-182 is offering prizes to fans who donate clothing.

A 44-year-old woman who works at an animal hospital in Houston saved over a dozen dogs that got left behind in her neighborhood this week.

She has four of her own, and was also dog-sitting when the storm hit. She ended up trapped in her attic with 21 DOGS.

But a few guys with a boat rescued her, and also got the dogs out.

 

An elderly couple were reunited with a pair of Jet Ski-riding heroes who helped them to escape from their flooded home in north Houston earlier this week.

ABC News was able to connect the couple, Karen and J.C. Spencer, with their previously anonymous saviors, Keith Christensen and Winston Savice, Jr.

The Spencers said they were OK for the first couple of days of Hurricane Harvey, but things took a turn for the worse on Monday when their home began to fill with water.

The husband, J.C. Spencer, called the local Chick-fil-A, where the couple are regulars, and the manager sent a boat to help evacuate them.

“We had to get out of there so I called Chick-fil-A, now that sounds kind of funny,” J.C. Spencer said in an interview on “Good Morning America” Wednesday. “I ordered two grilled chicken burritos with extra egg and a boat. And can you believe that one of the managers of Chick-fil-A, she sent her husband to pick us up and we are so grateful.”

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