Supernatural star Jensen Ackles is no stranger to “saving people” on screen as part of the “family business,” but usually that means staking vampires, exorcising demons, or shooting ghosts with salt bullets. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which has dumped a record breaking four feet of rain on his home state of Texas, Ackles is turning his attention to more natural threats, teaming up with his co-stars to raise money for hurricane relief.
Ackles, currently filming in Vancouver, lives in Austin with his wife and children, and has family and friends in Dallas and Houston. “I’m not there; I’m not able to do anything physically,” the actor told CNN. “What I can do is rally this incredible community that has been growing for more than a decade now, and I can try to harness some of that power and use it for good.”
Since Harvey first made landfall on Friday, the category 4 hurricane got downgraded to a tropical storm, just in time to hit Texas again. Parts of Houston have set a record for the most rainfall from a single storm anywhere in the continental U.S., reaching 51.88 inches. The Houston Police Department has rescued 3,500 people from flooding, and local officials in Texas have reported at least 46 flood-related deaths.
This weekend, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Brock Long said, “FEMA is going to be there for years,” referring to Harvey as “a landmark event.”
Ackles’ fundraising effort, a coalition between his Texas-based company Family Business Beer Company and Supernatural co-star Misha Collins’ charity Random Acts, set an original goal of $50,000 and has since far surpassed that number. As of this publication, the total stands at over $300,000, with a new goal of $350,000.
Ackles says that his wife, Danneel, who will be making a $50,000 donation of her own, gave him the idea for the fundraiser. He has taken to social media to promote the cause—as have Collins and fellow Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Richard Speight Jr.
Anything helps!! https://t.co/eYSYI5QfeB— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) August 27, 2017
The Harvey relief fundraiser, according to Ackles, will remain open until at least Friday.