Nightly News   |  November 13, 2009

Tim McGraw turns spotlight on hurricane recovery

Nov. 13: Making a Difference: The country music megastar talks about the work he and wife Faith Hill are doing to help their home region recover from an epic disaster. NBC's Amy Robach reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> e e e e e

>>> the music heralds our final installment of this week's special "making a difference" series. tonight, a global country music superstar. tim mcgraw . he's sold more than 40 million albums. he's just pout a new one. both mcgraw and his wife, the singer faith hill , were raised in small southern towns where tim says neighbors helped out neighbors all the time. and because he's never forgotten that, he's doing his part as we hear now from our own amy rowback. to make a difference.

>> reporter: in his trademark black cowboy hat and worn blue jeans , tim mcgraw is right at home under the hot stage lights. but on this particular night outside pittsburgh he's turning the spotlight away from himself and donating every dollar to a good cause.

>> this goes to the neighbor's keeper fund, mine and my wife's charity.

>> reporter: he calls these concerts bread and water shows.

>> typically, when we do these shows, it will cost you $100 for the neighbor's keeper to do a request. but if it's really bad, it costs you 200 for us to stop. that's usually the way we do it.

>> how much money can you raise?

>> playing badly, we can raise a lot.

>> reporter: he and his wife country singer faith hill founded the neighbor's keeper in 2004 to strengthen xunts in need. they've support aid youth baseball league and raised money to build homes. but their project took on new meaning after hurricane katrina devastated much of the area they call home.

>> faith frs mississippi and i'm from louisiana. all i could think of was a kid being in their bed and having their teddy bear with them and going to sleep and all of a sudden the next morning none of that being there.

>> reporter: the images from the storm were haunting. perhaps more heartbreaking the ones children recreated on paper depicting what they'd seen and endured. sister judith braun began an art therapy program in baton rouge .

>> this is a body floating in the terribly murky water. but the child who drew this experienced tremendous relief.

>> reporter: to get it out on paper.

>> to get it out on paper.

>> reporter: through their fund tim mcgraw and faith hill sent a million dollars to sister braun 's organization which today provides counseling to many people struggling to rebuild their lives, including lolita williams.

>> mentally it's still -- it don't matter if it was four years ago.

>> reporter: while mothers here are counseled, the children work on their confidence.

>> look how beautiful you are.

>> reporter: at this art therapy session they help their mothers paint their safe places, pictures that reflect the positive changes that are slowly taking place.

>> our hope is because we have been able to intervene not just immediately but on a longer term that we really will have the opportunity through tim and faith's generosity to make a lifetime of difference.

>> you've got a request. boy, this is going to get ugly really fast, isn't it? but it's all for a good cause.

>> i can remember growing up seeing a lot of times where we were in a position where we needed help from others. and i never forgot that. * skydiving *

>> reporter: a few weeks after our visit sister braun finally got the chance to meet and thank tim mcgraw and faith hill at a gathering in washington, d.c.

>> when you're helping somebody who really needs help, you that really can't buy that feeling. and there's no show that can do that.

>> reporter: sister braun brought a small collection of art from baton rouge . a humble makeshift exhibit but extraordinary in meaning.