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Paul Simon, Edie Brickell pledge $1M Harvey aid for small towns

The president and first lady revealed 12 charities will share their $1 million personal donation for Harvey relief. The outpouring for Harvey victims is also coming from corporationsathletes and artists around the country, like musicians Paul Simon and Edie Brickell. 

The couple, who’ve been married since 1992, usually keep their charitable donations private, but have decided to go public with their $1 million donation to Hurricane Harvey relief because Harvey was personal for them, reports CBS News’ Anthony Mason.

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriters will help raise money for the relief effort, too, when they join Willie Nelson at a benefit concert in Austin on September 22.

“I’m sad when it happens anywhere. When it’s your home state I feel a greater responsibility to come in and do what I can,” Brickell said. 
 
Other stars who have pledged million-dollar donations including actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Sandra Bullock. But it was Tyler Perry’s gift that caught Brickell’s attention.

“I was really moved by that and inspired by it,” Brickell said. “My mom and I, we like his movies a lot. That’s the first one I heard about and it opened my heart more and I talked to Paul. I said ‘I would really love to do that, too.’ If we can offer that same inspiration to give, that would be great.”
 
Simon has gotten involved after disasters before. He co-founded the Children’s Health Fund, which sent mobile medical units in after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“It was kind of a rare moment where the whole country was a community. Everybody focused on how to help. If we could bottle that, it’s a more efficient way of problem-solving,” Simon said.
 
The couple made a point of saying they wanted to help some of the smaller towns around Houston.

“People who feel forgotten, you know, in small towns. Out in the country they lose everything and who’s gonna help ’em?” Brickell said.


Singer-songwriters Paul Simon and Edie Brickell

CBS News

Brickell and Simon will target their donations to medical and rebuilding needs.

“Yeah, we’re not giving to one big umbrella. We’re giving a lot of little umbrellas all over,” Brickell said.

As generous as Brickell and Simon’s million-dollar gift is, it will take a lot more. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the cost of rebuilding may reach $180 billion.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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