Haitian American rapper Wyclef Jean has done incredible work raising funds for his birthplace, Haiti, in the wake of the massive quake that hit the Carribbean nation earlier this week. Through $5 dollar text message donations that route to the charity he founded in 2004, Wyclef has raised over $2 million dollars.
(Help that number grow by texting Yele to 501501, which will automatically credit $5 dollars from your cell phone bill.)
Next Friday, he’ll host an MTV Telethon, “Hope for Haiti” alongside George Clooney to raise money for Haiti.
On the ground in Port-au-Prince, Wyclef is sending live reports to US media outlets and making those far from the quake aware of the devastation.
“This is apocalypse,” Jean told Fox News. “The reality here at the airport has nothing to do with what’s going on on the ground right now… We spent the day picking up dead bodies, all day that’s what we did. There’s so much bodies in the streets that the morgues are filled up, the cemeteries are filled up. So we participated in picking up the bodies and finding a place that we could put the bodies…I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse…”
Jean founded the non-profit Yele Haiti Foundation in 2004 to provide scholarships for Haitian children and worked with the UN World Food Programme to send food assistance. You can visit Yele.org and click “donate” to help, but be aware that US media outlet Gawker is investigating the organization’s shady financial history — which includes a lack of filed tax returns and $82,000 payouts to organizations with no verifiable existence.
Check out our run-down on other charities doing good work, images from the devastating earthquake on our slideshow, and a plea from pop singer Amerie calling upon you to donate to UNICEF.