Jon Bon Jovi recently donated $1 million to help the survivors of Hurricane Sandy and traveled to his hometown of Sayreville, New Jersey to meet with Governor Chris Christie.
The state leader's wife, New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie, chairs the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, which has now raised $38 million, thanks to the rock star's donation, which was made on behalf of himself, his wife Dorothea and his band Bon Jovi, NJ.com reported.
The group called him "a homegrown hero who never forgot the people who helped him and where he came from," according to a message posted on its Facebook page.
Bon Jovi gave a speech during his visit to Sayreville on July 8. Watch the video above and check out a transcript below.
- "For me, when I started playing at the block dances that they used to have here was what I thought was the big time, so I have to tell you that returning home is ... it's humbling."
" ... I want to use this opportunity to thank all the people who have spent the countless hours and long days and the months since Sandy, helping their neighbors. I want to say thank you to the unsung heroes and to the volunteers who went unnoticed but were compelled to help, to house, feed, clothe or just comfort each other."
"My being here is not political -- it's emotional, because I grew up here. I went to school here. I met my wife here and in the days following the storm when I visited these streets and spoke to the residents, one thought came to me time and time again, [which] was, 'What can I do?' One of the residents responded,' Use your voice. Let people know that we're suffering."
"So I know that this million dollars sounds like a lot but it's really just a drop in the bucket. And I know that there are people that are still suffering. But what I like to call the 'Power of We' coming together -- that means you, me, us -- 'we' are taking a step today to rebuild lives."
The singer formed Bon Jovi in his native New Jersey. In October, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the area and other sections around the East Coast, killing 72 people and destroying thousands of homes. The rocker visited his hometown after the disaster.
"I was in London when the hurricane hit and I was one of the naysayers," Bon Jovi told OTRC.com in November. "I thought, 'Oh, I have to go to work. I have no time for a hurricane and I don't believe it's going to strike us.' So I was in London, I got the phone call and I immediately dropped all work and ran back home to see what I could do."
His own charity, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, has also been helping with the relief efforts. Also, Bon Jovi performed at the 12/12/12 Concert for Sandy Relief on Dec. 12, 2012.