The 9.0 magnitude earthquake that forced 500 mph ripples across the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26, 2004 was devastating. With the death toll now up to 212,000, many organizations around the world have been donating money, food and supplies to the victims and their families. Also, some celebrities and professional athletes are stepping up to the plate. Teri Hatcher, Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet and many others have taken their clothes off for the victims.Yes thatʼs right, theyʼve donated their clothing to be auctioned off in a fundraiser called “Clothes Off Our Back” which was created by Jane Kaczmarek, who plays the mother on “Malcolm In The Middle.” Armani, Donna Karan and Escada are just a few of the designers that have been donated, many of which were worn on the red carpet. The auction will be going on until Jan. 30, with almost all of the profits going to the UNICEF Tsunami Relief Fund.
News reports and articles mention the total donations of many celebrities and athletes. According to the Associated Press, actress Sandra Bullock donated $1 million to the Red Cross for the tsunami victims in Asia, which she had also done following Sept. 11, 2001. The rock band Linkin Park donated $100,000 to start the Red Cross Relief fund. Oscar-Winning actors Michael Douglas and Jeremy Irons handdelivered a check for approximately $26,000, which was accumulated through a Hollywood fundraiser, to Thailandʼs Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.
Pop singer and actress Hilary Duff is donating a portion of ticket sales from her upcoming soldout tour. Singer Celine Dion will donate approximately $1 million from her special Motherʼs Day Concert to the relief fund. Also, there are many fundraisers that will donate money to the relief fund. On Jan 29. in Calgary, the Concert for Tsunami Relief will feature Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk, Bruce Cockburn and more. Celebrities arenʼt the only ones being generous in this time of need. According to the Associated Press many professional athletes have stepped up to the plate as well. NBA players Kobe Bryant (27 points), Bob Sura (20), and Tracey McGrady (26) all donated $1,000 per point scored. Jermaine OʼNeal was part of this too, scoring 32 points, and he donated $55,000. Jalen Rose scored 21 points but increased his donated also, to $44,000.
New York Knicks Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston, Nazr Mohammed, Vin Baker and Moochie Norris also declared that they would give $1,000 for every point scored against Cleveland last week. The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger donated his first playoff check, about $18,000 to the relief fund.Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui donated $480,000 to Rumio Hirata, head of the Japanese Red Cross and mayor of Matsuiʼs hometown, said the Associated Press.
NBA teams are also helping the victims. Antoine Walker, donating $20,000, led the way for the Atlanta Hawks, who raised $64,000 for the relief fund. The NBA playersʼ union donated $500,000 to UNICEF, which the NBA will match. PGA player Vijay Singh is doing what he can to help as well. He is auctioning off an autographed 2005 Buick Rainier, a complete set of Cleveland clubs and tickets to fourteen PGA Tour Tournaments. He said that 100 percent of the profit will go to the relief fund.
NFL teams are assisting as well. The San Francisco 49ers are auctioning off memorabilia on their Web Site. All of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. The Atlanta Falcons collected money at their game on January 15 for CAREʼs Tsunami Relief Efforts. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, said that anyone who donates $1,000 or more to the New England Charitable Foundation will receive divisional playoff tickets.
With the success of the film version of “The Phantom of the Opera,” the
soundtrack has made its way back into the CD players of America. www.basketballboy.com Kobe Bryant and other basketball players donated one thousand dollars per point scored at their game to the relief fund.
The Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers all gave the fans a chance to help, raising $354,000 with help from Jim Isray, owner of the Colts, and Alex Spanos, owner of the Chargers. On January 2, the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks raised around $300,000 through their in-stadium collections.
With everything going on in the world today, itʼs good to know that some people will help out no matter what. Itʼs a relief that celebrities and professional athletes who make so much money are donating some of their riches to help out in this time of need.