Celebs giving money, asking fans to help devastated island.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie donated $1 million to Doctors Without Borders to help the international relief organization bring rescue workers and medicine to Haiti, two days after a massive earthquake struck the Caribbean nation. Musician Wyclef Jean, who was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, and his wife, Marie Claudinette, are leading a relief effort through Wyclef's charity, Yele Haiti. Tiger Woods is considering a $3 million donation, according to Russell Simmons, which will fund a mobile hospital staffed by 50 EMTs. And Alyssa Milano, who donated $50,000 to UNICEF, is looking for a corporate donor to match the gift. Other celebrities, including Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, and Ashton Kutcher, are urging their Twitter followers to donate to the Red Cross, UNICEF, and other relief organizations bringing aid to the devastated nation.
Angelina has been a United Nations goodwill ambassador since 2001. Yesterday she released a statement saying, "It is incredibly horrible to see a catastrophe of this size hit a people who have been suffering from extreme poverty, violence and unrest for so many decades." Brad continued, "We understand the first response is critical to serve the immediate needs of countless people who are now displaced from their homes, are suffering trauma, and most require urgent care."
Regarding Tiger's participation, Russell Simmons's rep said today, "I am waiting to have the conversation [with Tiger] tomorrow morning. I am hopeful that it is a yes. I am just asking for his heart and his hand, to meet the needs of the people."
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, also released a statement expressing their support for Haiti. "Maria and I send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti as they continue to respond to this tragedy, and on behalf of all Californians, we send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims," Schwarzenegger said. He also authorized search and rescue teams from Los Angeles to head to the country to help. Rescuers from Fairfax, Virginia, are also working in Haiti to look for survivors of the earthquake.
At the Golden Globes this weekend, celebrity attendees are invited to autograph items that can be auctioned off to support relief efforts in Haiti at Platinum Publicity's Hollywood Helping Haiti Lounge. And a New York event producer, Unik Ernest, is planning a benefit concert next month to raise more money for relief efforts. The Haitian-born Ernest is the founder of the Edeyo Foundation, which built a school in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and he says celebrities who will participate in the benefit include Rihanna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Usher, John Legend, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Kerry Washington, and Susan Sarandon.
This morning President Obama announced a $100 million aid effort for Haiti, and asked former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to help lead the response. "This is one of those moments that calls out for American leadership," the president said. He has deployed members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division to Haiti; they are expected to leave North Carolina today. "None of this will seem quick enough if you have a loved one who's trapped, if you're sleeping on the streets, if you can't feed your children," he said. "So today, you must know that help is arriving. Much, much more help is on the way."
Photo via Bauer-Griffin.