Ike’s Diamond Lining

Neil Diamond has promised to donate 100 percent of the gross merchandise sales at 20 concerts to help rebuild the community of Oak Island, Texas, after Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on the area in September.

“These people are in big trouble and I want to help,” Diamond said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “It may only be a drop in the bucket, but I’m going to ask my audiences in every city that I play to help. So far they’ve come through to the tune of more than $700,000. I intend to keep asking until the end of this tour.”

The paper noted proceeds could reach millions of dollars.

After visiting the former fishing village following his concert at the Toyota Center in Houston Oct. 14, Diamond has shared the community’s sad tale with audiences at each of his shows.

The hurricane left rotting piles of debris and half of the homes in Oak Island washed away or uninhabitable.

As of the end of October, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hadn’t allowed anyone to move in to the trailers that were recently brought in. Some people have been forced to live in tents or cars next to their destroyed property.

The Chronicle noted FEMA officials offered to help with rentals in nearby Baytown but the commute between Baytown and residents’ jobs is too far for many.

“Texas would be surprised at the cities that have come through for them,” Diamond said. “My hope is to put as many people as we can back in homes as quickly as possible.”

Profits from Diamond’s merch sales will be passed on to Oak Island by the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund, the charity set up by Houston Mayor Bill White.