Covenant House held a star-studded fundraiser on Monday night to help continue its lifesaving work with homeless youth.
“We’ve all been destabilized by COVD-19, and kids experiencing homelessness are really hard hit,” Dickerson said at the start of the two-hour event. “More than four million young people will experience homelessness in the U.S. alone, and the virus has it out for them. It takes advantage of their weakened bodies and their anxious minds. But they are not alone; the Covenant House is there. The doors are still open 24/7 just like before. The hope is still there. The courage is there. Love is there because people may be discovering the good that is inside us during this pandemic. That light is always on at Covenant House.”
The night featured appearances and performance by Jon Bon Jovi, Alex Newell, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Andrew Rannells, Randy Jackson, Tony Shalhoub, Rachel Brosnahan, Zachary Levi, Keala Settle, Ben Pasek, Justin Paul, Deborah Cox, Jeremy Jordan, Lisa Loeb, Stephanie J. Block, Zachary Quinto, Chris O’Dowd, Dawn O’Porter and Martin Short.
“Let me just say to all the young people out there tonight watching this at Covenant House: I believe in you. I love you. I’m praying for you and rooting for you more than you could imagine,” Dolly Parton said.
Some of those young people from throughout the U.S. provided their first-hand experiences living at the facilities.
“Yes, this virus dragged into our lives armed and pummeled us,” Covenant House International president and CEO Kevin Ryan said. “There is no question about that, and this is a time of great agony and uncertainty. The worst agony may be yet ahead of us. It’s impossible to know for certain, but here is what I do know for certainty — the boundless beautiful bounty of love is here and it is battle ready…Love is not letting go.”
Stephen Colbert, appearing on behalf of the organization’s workforce development program, provided some comedy while recalling working construction when he was in high school.
“If they were renovating a house, they would give me a sledge hammer and they would say, ‘Go tear down everything we’re going to replace.’ That was the most they would trust me with,” he joked.
Couple Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis talked about the challenges of homeschooling their eight-year-old son Russell. “Math is killing me,” Day said.
The fundraiser was livestreamed on Broadway On Demand.