In the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, several telethons have been organized to help raise money.
Those celebrities lending a hand include Wynton Marsalis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and band Green Day. Jerry Lewis’ annual Muscular Dystrophy Association will donate $1 million to help victims in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
“I need the American people to know I don’t want you to forget my [MDA] kids because that suffering is ongoing,” Lewis said at a Beverly Hills news conference on Wednesday. But he called on donors to divide their compassion in half. “If you want to send me 20 bucks for my kids, send 10. Send the other 10 to these people in this trouble,” the actor-comedian told The Associated Press.
Lewis‘ annual broadcast begins at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday and ends at 5:30 p.m. EDT Monday (check local listings for station). A special 800 phone number will be used for the Katrina donations, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army in the hard-hit states, AP reports.
Additionally, “A Concert for Hurricane Relief” will air on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC at 8 p.m. EDT Friday, NBC Universal Television Group announced Wednesday. The hourlong special, to be hosted by Matt Lauer, will feature performances by those with ties to the hard-hit areas, such as Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr. and Tim McGraw, with expected appearances by DiCaprio and other A-listers.
MTV, meanwhile, will start with a Saturday, Sept. 10 music special on MTV, VH1 and CMT. Besides Green Day, scheduled performers include Ludacris, Gretchen Wilson, Usher, Alicia Keys, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, David Banner and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. The special can also be seen on MTV2, mtvU and VH1 Classic, in addition to broadband networks MTV Overdrive and VSpot.
Also announced Wednesday: Viacom, MTV’s parent company, will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross and will match employee donations worldwide.
Earlier this year, NBC aired a benefit that raised nearly $20 million for victims of last December’s earthquake-triggered tsunami that struck parts of Asia and Africa.