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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donates $1 million to Harvey recovery

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped up with a $1-million donation to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, which has dumped historic levels of rain on the Gulf Coast over the last several days. 

United Way Worldwide announced Wednesday that it has started the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund with a seven-figure donation from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

The money — 100% of it, according to the charity — will go to help victims of flooding with mid- and long-term recovery over the coming years. There are 23 United Ways that operate in the path of the storm, which made landfall Aug. 24.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation,” United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher said in a statement. “Responding to Hurricane Harvey requires the best of all of us — and that’s what this gift represents."

DiCaprio has been urging support of the United Way and American Red Cross this week on his Twitter account and retweeting stories talking about Harvey and climate change.

Di Caprio's foundation “has been committed to climate-related issues and environmental projects since 1998," Terry Tamminen, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a statement. "We support efforts to build climate resilient communities and protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems across the planet, and have supported disaster relief and victim funds in the past. We hope others will step up and support the United Way and other organizations."

Earlier this week, Sandra Bullock, who has a home in Texas, gave $1 million to the American Red Cross, repeating the lump-sum generosity she showed after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. 

Ellen DeGeneres was also in the seven-figure donation tier. The comic and talk-show host dropped $1 million in the relief bucket on Wednesday via J.J. Watt's foundation. The effort by the Houston Texans' star player topped $10 million on Thursday, with Watt chronicling its progress all week via videos on social media.  

Update, 8:50 a.m.: This post was updated with information about DeGeneres' donation to Watt's fund.

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