Former Fugee and native Haitian Wyclef Jean has been hard at work since the 7.0 earthquake that rocked Port au Prince on Tuesday, using his Yele Haiti Foundation to raise money for his homeland, and traveling to the area to view the devastation first-hand. (Fox News called him “Haiti’s version of Bono, Haiti’s version of Bruce Springsteen.”) According to MTV News, he’s brought in over $2 million so far, much of it through a text-message donation system similar to the one the Red Cross has used to raise $8 million. (Major cell carriers Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have waived fees on donation texts.)
He’ll likely raise even more during Hope for Haiti, a multi-network telethon set to air next Friday, with Jean hosting in New York, George Clooney (who will be co-producing) in Los Angeles, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper reporting from Haiti.
Singer Maxwell, whose mother is Haitian, is also using his website to direct donations; Madonna donated $250,000 to Partners in Health and encouraged others to join her in a statement on her website; and Not On Our Watch, a charitable organization founded by Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon (among others) has sent $1 million of their own to Partners in Health.
How can you help? The two easiest ways are as follows:
Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 on behalf of The Yele Haiti Foundation
Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross
Please give what you can, and feel free to use this comment board as an open forum to share thoughts, prayers, and information about the ongoing tragedy in Haiti.
UPDATE 1/18/10: In response to allegations that he has paid himself with money from his Yele Haiti Foundation, Wyclef has posted the following video.
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Photo Credit: Scott Weiner/Retna