Celebrities highlight acts of kindness in path of Hurricane Irma


Josh Gad is thanking fellow actor Kristen Bell for saving his family in Florida, while Bell is pointing out how “every person I passed” was “assisting someone else” as Hurricane Irma heads toward the Sunshine State.

Gad, who worked with Bell on the animated film Frozen, posted a message on social media explaining his co-star’s role in helping his parents and extended family find shelter.

“When they were stranded in Florida, she got them a hotel room at her hotel in Orlando and saved them, my brothers, my sister-in-law and niece and nephew,” he wrote on Instagram late Friday.

“You are truly an angel sent from above.”

Bell, who documented on Instagram her efforts to hunker down in Orlando Friday, said “we didn’t have the option to leave, so here we are.”

“Every person I passed today was assisting someone else — #neighborshelpingneighbors — it was beautiful to see,” she wrote. “Sad that a hurricane has to bring out the best in everyone — but happy that the community will be holding hands through this.”

Bell, who is in Florida filming the movie Like Father, is taking shelter at a Disney hotel. She said she was “with a crew of 86 people, adding “there were not enough flights” and “roads are jammed packed” so they weren’t able to leave. Orlando is one of many areas under a hurricane warning, but is not close to the coast, which is expected to sustain the most damage.

After hitting Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and northern Cuba, Irma is barrelling toward southwest Florida. Officials have warned more than six million people to evacuate ahead of the destructive winds.

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, who rode out the hurricane inside a concrete wine cellar on his privately owned Necker Island in the Caribbean, said Friday he’s providing assistance in the British Virgin Islands.

“We’ve spent the day on Virgin —Gorda helping wherever possible — water, supplies, shelter. As with Necker & Moskito, buildings destroyed but people thankfully all seem ok so far,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. “Incredible spirit from everyone here.”

An event honouring the Miami film community at the Toronto International Film Festival was cancelled out of respect for those battling the serious storm.

“With anxiety over the potential threat to human life and property on all our minds, we ask for your support and prayers during this difficult time,” organizers from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Film Florida and Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival in statement.

The Miami Women’s Film & Art Festival also postponed a TIFF brunch scheduled for Saturday.

Last month, the devastation by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area prompted donations from a number of high-profile musicians and actors.

Celebs raise funds for Harvey relief

A host of high-profile figures, including (from left) singer Beyoncé, football player J.J. Watt, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West and comic actor Kevin Hart stepped forward to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Associated Press)

Drake, ​Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Hart were among the celebrities who gave money to relief efforts in Texas.

Beyoncé, who visited her hometown of Houston Friday and spoke to victims, will join Blake Shelton, Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey to headline a one-hour Harvey benefit telethon Sept. 12.


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