By Emily Keahey
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that ravaged Haiti, celebrities have rallied together to help the relief effort.
As the death toll rises, not only have stars given large amounts monetarily, but they have come up with other creative ways to inspire the rest of the world to give, as well.
Sadly, even before the massive earthquake hit, the country was having problems.
Their infrastructure was failing; roads were crumbling, bridges were falling down, water was rarely sanitary, electricity was not readily available, the government was ineffective and they were regularly pounded by hurricanes, but when the earthquake hit, all their problems intensified.
An estimated 200,000 people have been killed, and another three million people are in need of emergency care.
Immediately after the natural disaster, celebrities jumped into action; many
donated money in large amounts to charitable organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross and Partners in Need.
Some of the generous donors included Gisele Bundchen who donated 1.5 million. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Oprah and Sandra Bullock all gave one million, along with George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Although times are tough, celebrities are urging others to give whatever is possible; they have come up with creative ways to spur donations.
Scarlett Johansson is auctioning herself. For the opening night of her Broadway show, A View from the Bridge, four people will not only get tickets to the show, but they will also get to meet her afterwards.
Many musicians, including Rhianna, Jay-Z, Linkin Park and Bono, have released songs, and the proceeds from online downloads will be donated to
Clooney organized and hosted a global telethon called Hope for Haiti Now.
This two-hour star-studded affair aired Jan. 22 on several networks, including ABC, NBC and MTV.
It had performances by Madonna, Sting, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Bono, Justin Timberlake and Coldplay.
In addition to those musical acts, Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others, told stories about some of the earthquake victims while other celebrities were in the background answering phones.
The event raised more than $61 million, which is going to be split up and given to seven different organizations.
A live album was also made from the performances at the telethon. It features 20 tracks and all the money from sales will go to Haiti relief funds. Since it has been released, the album has broken countless records, including first digital-only album to top the Billboard 200 album chart and the highest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history.
Wyclef Jean, who co-hosted the event with Clooney and is a Haitian-born musician, said in a statement, “I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse …. We must act now …. Haiti needs your prayers and support.”