Oprah Leads Star Efforts to Help Victims
September 6, 2005

Oprah Winfrey broke down in tears as she took her show on location to cover the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. Armed with a convoy of trucks and an army of superstar recruits, including Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, John Travolta and Matthew McConaughey, Oprah comforted the survivors who packed into Houston’s Astrodome.

The daytime queen then traveled to New Orleans and toured the Superdome, where thousands of people lived in misery for days. "This makes me mad," Oprah said, crying. "This should not have happened."

Foxx delivered food and love at a shelter for Katrina victims in Dallas, not far from his hometown, where he heard one heart-wrenching story after another. "The one that really got me is a 62-year-old man who said, ‘I have a stint in my heart, I can take that,’" Foxx related. "But he says what he couldn’t take was the blatant disregard for someone like your 80-year-old grandmother sitting there, and nobody coming here to help her. This shouldn’t happen in America."

Oprah’s good friends John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston flew in five tons of food and vaccines on their own personal jet to Baton Rouge. And on Wednesday’s Oprah, Travolta tours a shelter and carries the message of hope.

Meanwhile, comedian Chris Rock broke down in tears when he saw the suffering of the victims. "This makes me think of my daughter," he insisted. "All you have is family."

Matthew McConaughey was also part of Oprah’s brigade in Louisiana, helping to reunite a woman with her missing daughter on the telephone.

And country superstar Faith Hill was on a mission of mercy in Mississippi, where she said, "I don’t think anyone who has watched the news for the past few days can go to sleep at night without having your heart bleeding."

Hill and her husband, Tim McGraw, packed up three truckloads of clothes and necessities and headed for Mississippi.

Other stars who will join Oprah on Wednesday’s show about Hurricane Katrina include Julia Roberts and Lisa Marie Presley.

Sean Penn has also joined the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort, piloting his own boat in New Orleans and rescuing several people trapped in their homes. And New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. literally gave a man the shirt off his back after he rescued him from floodwaters in front of his father’s house and carried him to safety.


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