Hillary Busis
November 02, 2012 AT 03:38 PM EDT

For many celebrities, Hurricane Sandy literally hit home — which explains why they’re so eager to help the storm’s victims. New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi, for instance, was in London when Sandy hit. But within days, he returned to the U.S. and got to work touring damage in the Garden State, urging his fellow Americans to donate to relief efforts, and preparing to perform in NBC’s upcoming Hurricane Sandy benefit concert.

The musician appeared visibly shaken on the Today show this morning, where he described the devastating experience of seeing firsthand how Sandy had destroyed his hometown. Bon Jovi said that his grammar school has been turned into a shelter; he also spoke with several “hard-working, blue collar people” whose houses were leveled when the hurricane struck. Footage of wreckage and flooded streets played as he spoke. Still, the rocker hasn’t lost hope — “I think as Americans, we all come together in these times of need,” he told the Today crew. “We’ve done it before.” See the clip below:

“Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” airs tonight on NBC Universal’s TV networks and HBO at 8 p.m. ET. It will also be simulcast on Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Radio station on SiriusXM and stream live on NBC.com.

Read more:

Viacom, Disney contribute $3 million to Hurricane Sandy relief

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert return to air, talk hurricane aftermath — VIDEO

Broadway and several New York City landmarks reopen; Statue of Liberty still closed

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