What do Maroon 5, Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce and Spike Lee have in common? They’re three of dozens of celebrities who are concerned about the situation in Haiti and are doing something about it.
This month celebrities around the world are joining forces to launch the “Haiti: Aid Still Required” campaign to raise public awareness and fund the next wave of support for the Haitian people.
“It’s impossible to hear what’s happening in Haiti and not want to help,” says NBA star Blake Griffin. “For a full year they’ve lived through the worst nightmare.”
On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, killing 230,000. Today life remains grim – less than 5% of the rubble has been removed, more than a million people are still living under tarps and tents (subject to every kind of violence and sexual attack), and cholera is spreading.
But, although the recovery has seemed agonizingly slow, there are oases where care, education and rebuilding are taking place.
“This outreach campaign is supporting projects which are offering free schooling to middle and high school-aged children, and free medical care and counseling to women who have been attacked,” says Aid Still Required co-founder Andrea Herz Payne. “The school is the only free secondary school in Port-au-Prince. With literacy at 50%, how will the people of Haiti pull themselves out of this quagmire if their youth aren’t educated?”
Other participating celebrities include music stars Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Janet Jackson, Chris Brown, Common, Jackson Browne and Tom Morello; NBA stars Pau Gasol, Kevin Durant, Tyson Chandler, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and Greg Oden; film/TV luminaries Mia Farrow, Olivia Wilde, Chelsea Handler, Lauren Conrad, Seth Green, Monique Coleman, Madeleine Stowe and Hans Zimmer. All are using their Twitter accounts, Facebook Walls and fan sites to report on the current situation in Haiti and request contributions. For a full listing of participants, click here.
Proceeds will support projects through Aid Still Required (ASR), a non-profit organization focused on creating and supporting innovative, environmentally friendly solutions to natural disasters and human crises after they have left public awareness.
ASR develops and seeds innovative projects that provide for long-term sustainability and improve the quality of life for affected families, communities and societies for generations to come. Other ASR campaigns focus on Darfur, New Orleans and the region affected by the 2004 Tsunami.
For more information on Aid Still Required and how you can help, click here.