When it comes to philanthropy, George Clooney handles himself as effectively and confidently as Johnny Ocean, the clever enterpriser he played in the popular film "Ocean's 11." When Clooney grabs onto an issue, he brings considerable star power and influence, boosting the profile of the cause.
Clooney was involved with "Live 8," an event in July 2005 that called attention to poverty in the developing world through free concerts happening simultaneously around the world. "Live 8" organizers intended to leverage media attention and public participation to influence world leaders attending the G8 summit just days later. G8 leaders, representing the most affluent and powerful countries in the world, could significantly reduce poverty by doubling international aid, canceling debt and establishing more equitable trade relations with poor countries.
Clooney also supports the ONE Campaign, dedicated to fighting poverty in Africa through collecting signatures from U.S. citizens encouraging their government to increase funding for humanitarian aid by 1 percent of the U.S. budget.
Lending not just his face but his behind-the-scenes influence, Clooney helped organize "America: A Tribute to Heroes," in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and "Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope," a telethon for victims of the South Asia tsunami in December 2004.
"America: A Tribute to Heroes" was a concert and telethon dedicated to the memory of those lost on the September 11th and the families they left behind. The concert aired commercial-free on the four major networks just 10 days after the attacks. It featured performances by 21 artists, including Bruce Springstein and Sheryl Crow, and presentations by actors such as Julia Roberts and Al Pacino. The event raised more than $150 million.
NBC's "Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope" aired on Jan. 15, 2005, also featuring musicians and celebrities. The $18 million raised at this event was donated to the Red Cross and for disaster relief in South Asia.
There is power in numbers. Clooney has confirmed this with the success of his fund-raising efforts in response to crises around the world—natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and crippling poverty. Find a cause and join a team. Being involved means using your talents to help serve the greater good.
Get involved with the ONE Campaign. The ONE Campaign
is focused on long-term solutions—treating the
disease of poverty, not just the symptoms. Resolving
the poverty crisis means improving economic structures
through fair trade and debt relief. Go to the ONE campaign
website to sign the petition or join in events.
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