Port-au-Prince, Haiti: From George Clooney to Lance Armstrong, celebrities tap star power to urge giving
To boost donations after the Haiti earthquake, MTV and George Clooney are teaming up to host a two-hour telethon on Jan. 22, while magician David Blaine will conduct a 72-hour Magic Marathon in Times Square.
As the first wave of international aid reaches Haiti’s shores, Hollywood is mobilizing its own “Help Haiti” juggernaut. Celeb tweeting, benefit concerts, and even round-the-clock street magic shows are helping to make the current fundraising effort the most successful post-disaster response in years.Skip to next paragraph
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Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.
Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. Jean has been tweeting news updates regularly – sometimes minute-by-minute – and urging his more than 1.3 million followers to make $5 donations via text messaging to his Yéle Haiti charity (text ‘Yéle’ to 501501).
More than $1 million has flooded in to Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fundraising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.
MTV announced Wednesday that it will team up with actor George Clooney to produce a celebrity-studded telethon on Friday, Jan. 22, to raise funds for Haitian relief efforts. The two-hour event will air on all of the worldwide MTV channels, along with ABC, NBC, HBO, and CNN.
But George isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.