On CNN's "Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help" telethon Monday night (June 21), Kathy Griffin joked that if she and Ryan Seacrest — a frequent comedic target of hers — could sit in a room together, surely folks could contribute money to a Gulf-relief fund. But Griffin and other celebrity volunteers meant serious business during the two-hour drive.
Larry King hosted the relief effort, which benefits the victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill. Proceeds from the televised event will also go toward a number of charities, including Nature Conservancy and United Way. Pete Wentz, Nicole Richie, Alyssa Milano and other stars took phone calls, while Herbie Hancock, Dr. John and India.Arie all performed during the live show.
Other stars taped pleas for donations, including Justin Bieber, who appealed to his young fans to do their part. "The oil disaster in the Gulf has been a big problem, but every little bit can help," Bieber said. "There's no such thing as being too young to pitch in, and this is urgent. What we do now can affect our future. You can donate money or time or anything to the groups you've heard about on this show."
Taking a break from working the phone lines, Wentz told Seacrest: "A lot of people have been writing me and asking me why they should donate money. This is a crisis that is affecting everybody, and we need to address it immediately. We should come together and ... be hopeful now."
Richie said it was important to get people involved and give them a way to help out. "Every little bit counts," she said.
King, who also interviewed actors and Louisiana natives Ian Somerhalder ("Vampire Diaries") and Sam Trammell ("True Blood") during the show, pleaded with viewers to step up and check in. "We're all in this battle together," he said.
"We're losing about a football field of wetlands every day," Trammell said, clearly startling King. "The oil is now going into killing the grass."
Griffin said people were asking why they should contribute, given that the crisis stemmed from a corporation. Her reply: "I think this is beyond a financial solution. We all have to help each other. We may be the ones to get out of this," she said.
Share your well-wishes with the people of the Gulf or let us know how you've helped out, in the comments.
Head to Think.MTV.com to find a community where you, your friends and your favorite celebrities can get informed, get heard and take action on the issues that matter to you most.