America's Call to Action in the Late 80s

Spearheaded by the success of the hit release "We Are The World," the nation saw a need and worked tirelessly to lend their aid.

1985

1986

January

A press conference is held to announce the appointment of Lily Tomlin, Kenny Rogers, and Pete Rose as co-chairs of the Hands Across America campaign and a subsequent Super Bowl XX video.

1987

May

Distribution is completed of all Hands Across America short-term and intermediate funds, totaling $12 million to 1,651 organizations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The commemorative monument is unveiled at the Hands Across America line Pacific end-point.

March

“We Are The World” is released. Selling an excess of 20 million copies, it is the eighth best-selling sing of all time.

March

The Hands Across America single of the same name is released and simulcast with “We Are The World” on Good Friday.

July

The global concert, Live Aid, ends with all performers singing “We Are The World” led by Lionel Richie and Harry Belafonte.

November

USA for Africa announces long-term domestic grants totaling $3.8 million. This completes the distribution of the Hands Across America donations.

May

"Rally in the Ally" - Broadway stars organize for Hands Across America.

Nearly 7 million Americans join hands-on Hands Across America Day!

A co-financing package for long term economic development in Africa is signed with the African Devlopment Banl.

September

The Domestic Hunger Committee meets and drafts the first set of funding guidelines.

October

​Hands Across America is

announced with Coca-Cola as their premiere sponsor.

July

The Corporate Task Force meets for the first time. The Domestic Task Force meets to finalize Hands Across America guidelines. Hands Across America book is published.

September

USA for Africa Medical Taskforce announces nearly $1.5 million in grants for eleven African-related projects.

October

A press conference is held to announce the Hands Across America grants process. “We are the World” tops its goal of $50,000,000 and almost $8,000.000 in recovery and development grants are also announced.

November

An exhibit of original cartoons from The Cartoonists Thanksgiving Day Hunger Project opens at the United Nations.

The first distribution of Hands Across America money, totaling $567,000 in grants is announced at a press conference. $200,000 in “We Are The World” domestic grants are also announced.

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Hands Across America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS committed to finding ways to help provide food and shelter to the hungry and the homeless.

Hands Across America 501(c)3 has no relation or affiliation with the 1986 Hands Across America event nor any affiliation with USA for Africa.