Celebs Raise Cash, Visibility For Haiti Projects

Celebs Raise Cash, Visibility For Haiti Projects

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With more than 150,000 bodies recovered, the Haitian earthquake of January 12, 2010, will go down as one of the worst calamities of our time. Not since the Indian Ocean Tsunami of Christmas 2004—which killed 230,000–have so many people perished, with the final death toll in Haiti expected to rise as the recovery effort continues.

Vast Global Response

Are Your Listening?The global response has been tremendous as nations have committed troops, supplies, and equipment to expedite rescue and recovery. Organizations such as the International Red Cross, Yele Haiti Foundation, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, and others have raised tens of millions of dollars in donations, monies which will be used to provide food, clean water, shelter, and other assistance to homeless Haitians.

Influential people including Hollywood celebrities, musicians, sports stars, and business executives have mobilized to respond to the disaster with the goal to help raise as much money as possible. Among the notable efforts recently put forth include the following:

Hope For Haiti Now: If you had your television turned on this past Friday night, then you likely discovered that a number of stations pre-empted their regularly scheduled broadcasts to telecast the Hope For Haiti Now two-hour telethon. Operators manning the phones for the event broadcast from studios in Los Angeles, New York, and London read like a Who’s Who list of Hollywood stars such as Greg Kinnear, Benjamin Bratt, Charlize Theron, Randy Jackson, Keke Palmer, Billy Crystal, Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, and scores more. To date, more than $58 million has been raised with the proceeds assisting several organizations including the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam, Unicef, and Partners in Health.

Artists United For Haiti: Gospel singer Kirk Franklin wrote a song eight years ago in tribute to Haiti, but never recorded it until now. With the Haitian quake front and center, Franklin contacted Cece Winans and dozens of other artists including Natalie Grant, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar, Jeremy Camp, Judith McAllister, Bebe Winans, and others to produce “Are You Listening” which can be downloaded by visiting Verity Records. The song was introduced Friday evening on the Gospel Music Channel by Franklin.

Celebs Visit Haiti

A handful of celebrities have made their way to Haiti in order to extend help first hand. For example, Sean Penn traveled to Port-au-Prince last week, delivering 1000 water filters while assessing the damage. According to USA Today, Penn praised the response of the American military while taking in the needs of the people. Penn traveled to Haiti with a team of doctors and with an unnamed US businesswoman with whom he has founded a private aid organization centered on Haitian relief.

Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) has mobilized their resources to help Haiti. One orphanage that this group had already supported was destroyed, killing all of the children inside. With an advisory board consisting of numerous influential people including Josh Brolin, Meryl Streep, Natasha Koifman, Oliver Stone, and Oliva Wilde, APJ will be holding a charity auction in Los Angeles this Thursday in a bid to raise more money. Several of these same people auction off clothing worn at the recent Golden Globes award in Beverly Hills.

Others people of note will be making trips to Haiti in the near future with teen star Joe Jonas pledging to work with a missionary organization there in the near future.

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