Hope for Haiti Now: Let The Healing Begin
People are losing sleep, they are feeling helpless and hopeless over the tragic pictures they see on their TV day after day. Many people donate, offer food and volunteer at their local outreach organization, but nothing seemed to have soothed the nerves for millions of Americans as they watched top performers give their time and talent for the TV program that aired last night, Hope for Haiti Now Telethon.
George Clooney led and organized the stars to perform and answer phones in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. The fund-raiser which was one of the biggest events since the aftermath of attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, was expected to raise more than $150 million.
Clooney said Haiti's disaster was ''a tragedy that reaches across all borders, all boundaries'' and ''at the core of every religion is the belief that we take care of one another''. He further said, ''The Haitian people need our help. They need to know they are not alone.”
People who do not have money were calling trying to make pledges, even if it was only five or ten dollars. Of all the calls that came Pati Chasnoff’s way during a local telethon for Haitian earthquake victims, one stood out. The caller made only a $10 contribution but paid for it with her unemployment benefits debit card. “I was so touched,” Chasnoff said. “The woman said, this is my last $10.”
“I would guess many people would be surprised at the swiftness people have reacted as well as the depth,” said Furla, who is a board member of the Giving USA Foundation.
The performers included such greats as Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Neil Young, Dave Mathews, Jennifer Hudson and In one of the most moving moments, Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean, of the Fugees, who said ''I am a Haitian. From the ashes we shall rise.''
As of midday Friday, Americans had donated more than $377 million for Haiti, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. And much more was expected Friday night when the star-studded Hope for Haiti Now telethon, where celebrities even manned the phones. It was broadcast on all major television networks.
Nothing can heal the heart and soul as reaching out and giving in some way to help others. The telethon last night showed just how much the world is ready to heal and help.