One America Appeal
|Founded||September 7, 2017|
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
|Focus||Recovery efforts for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria|
|Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands|
The One America Appeal is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded on September 7, 2017, by all five then living former U.S. Presidents: Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. This joint appeal originally aimed to encourage support for recovery efforts for Hurricane Harvey, but was then extended to include areas most affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The appeal was launched when the five former Presidents aired a joint PSA on the NFL’s regular season opening broadcast.
All funds collected through this fund will go into a special account established through the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation and then all proceeds will be distributed to assist hurricane victims.
According to an update issued on October 21, 2017, the effort has raised $31 million in funds from more than 80,000 donors. The appeal concluded fundraising on December 31, 2017 and raised $41.3 million in total from around 110,500 donors.
A benefit concert, "Deep from the Heart: The One America Appeal", was held on October 21, 2017 at the Reed Arena at Texas A&M University in College Station and headlined by all five living former U.S. Presidents (Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter). Ticket sales and other proceeds went to the special hurricane recovery effort. The concert was hosted by Lee Greenwood, with Martin Guigui as Music Director, and featured the country music band Alabama, Sam Moore, Yolanda Adams, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance, performing "Million Reasons", "You and I" and "The Edge of Glory" at the concert. The Texas A&M University Singing Cadets also made an appearance to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless the USA" (alongside Greenwood), and "Lean on Me" at the end of the concert. A pre-taped video message from sitting US President Donald Trump was shown during the concert, in which he described the effort as "tremendous".
Donations to the fund will be distributed to these organisations:
- Houston Harvey Relief Fund
- Rebuild Texas Fund
- Florida Disaster Fund
- Juntos y unidos por Puerto Rico
- The Fund for the Virgin Islands
Five living former U.S. Presidents were co-founders of the One America Appeal in 2017. (George H.W. Bush died on November 30, 2018.)
- "One Nation. One Appeal". One America Appeal. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "All 5 living ex-presidents to attend hurricane relief concert". CBS News. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Beavers, Olivia (October 21, 2017). "Campaign from former presidents raises $31M for disaster relief". The Hill. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "One America Appeal Raises Over $41 Million for Hurricane Relief" (PDF). One America Appeal. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
- "Why five former U.S. presidents are putting politics aside". NBC News. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Calvario, Liz. "Lady Gaga Joins Former Presidents at One America Appeal Benefit Concert in Texas, Donates $1 Million -- Watch". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Kenny, Caroline; Malloy, Allie. "Ex-Presidents attend hurricane relief concert". CNN. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- The White House (October 21, 2017). "President Trump Delivers a One America Appeal Message". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via YouTube.
- "Former Presidents Obama, Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41 and Carter to Headline Oct 21st Concert Benefiting Hurricane Relief Efforts" (PDF). One America Appeal. Retrieved October 22, 2017.