A fundraising campaign launched by all five living former U.S. presidents has raised $31 million in donations for disaster relief so far, after a series of hurricanes tore through different parts of the country.
"[T]he One America Appeal today announced its campaign to help Texas, Florida and the Caribbean recover from this catastrophic hurricane season has, to date, raised $31 million in tax-deductible, private funds from over 80,000 donors," according to a press release that thanked major donors for their contributions to the cause.
Their raised funds aim to help cover the steep cost of recovery and repairs, according to David Jones, CEO of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation.
“With damage estimates from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria topping $300 billion and requiring months and years of rebuilding ahead, we hope this strong start to the One America Appeal is just that — a start,” Jones said in a statement.
“The former presidents want to thank each donor who, out of the goodness of their hearts, has given of themselves in such a selfless way to help their fellow Americans,” he continued.
The announcement comes hours before the campaign's benefit concert is set to begin at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena, where country music stars will take the stage and perform to help raise money for communities in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean affected by the storms.
President Trump released a video message ahead of the concert in which he said the country will "come back stronger than ever before" following the devastating storms, while praising his White House predecessors for organizing the concert for hurricane victims.
Former Presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward MORE, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter are leading the joint effort to inspire donors to contribute funds to the 501(c)(3) organizations United for Puerto Rico and The Fund for the Virgin Islands.
The campaign, which was first launched last month after Hurricane Harvey battered the Gulf Coast, expanded its efforts after hurricanes Irma and Maria barreled through other regions of the U.S.