Hollywood stars lead Haitian quake charity drive

Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:52pm EST
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MIAMI (Reuters) - Haiti's devastating earthquake has moved Hollywood and pop music stars to lead a rally for disaster relief donations and open their own wallets, led by Haiti-born hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were the first to reach out to Haiti by donating $1 million from their foundation to Doctors Without Borders, which has been tending to victims of the quake that demolished buildings in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday. Tens of thousands are feared dead.

Madonna donated $250,000 through Partners in Health and said in a statement on Friday she was praying for the Haitian people.

"I can't imagine the terrible pain and suffering they are experiencing," she said. "I urge all my friends and fans around the world to join me collectively to match my contribution or give in any way you can."

Jean launched a texting campaign, calling on fans to donate $5 each to his Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund charged to their cell phone bills by texting "Yele" to 501501.

Jean raised more than $1.9 million by Friday for the disaster relief effort and is in Haiti "giving aid and assessing the situation," according to his www.yele.org website.

Actor George Clooney will host a commercial-free telethon called "Hope for Haiti" presented by MTV next week to raise funds for victims of Tuesday's earthquake, the music network said on Friday.

The event will be in Los Angeles and New York and be broadcast on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, HBO and all MTV Network channels next Friday. Clooney will be joined by Jean and as yet other unnamed pop music and movie stars.

Grammy-winning Latina pop singer Shakira asked her fans for donations to help rebuild Haiti to be channeled through UNICEF and Jean's foundation.   Continued...