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January 22, 2010

'Hope for Haiti' airs on CNN tonight!

Posted: 05:43 PM ET

By Lisa Respers France

Programming Note: Watch "Hope for Haiti" starting at 8pmET tonight on CNN, CNN Live and on the CNN iPhone application.

(CNN) - If you're looking to watch "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" on Friday night, you won't have any trouble finding it.

The two-hour, star-studded telethon is set to be one of the most widely distributed prime-time televised benefits in history, appearing simultaneously on more than 25 networks - including CNN, where Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti during the event.

The show will also be available on CNN.com/Live and the CNN iPhone application. Other networks airing "Hope for Haiti" include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT. The show will even air on the Discovery's eco-lifestyle television network, Planet Green.

MTV is presenting the benefit, which will be helmed by Oscar-winning actor George Clooney in Los Angeles, California, and musician Wyclef Jean from New York. CNN's Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti.

Plenty of entertainers have joined the roster to raise awareness about the earthquake in Haiti that has left tens of thousands dead and many more homeless and injured.

Some of the big name performers scheduled to appear include Beyoncé, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Will Smith, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson, Muhammad Ali, Meryl Streep and former president Bill Clinton are just a smattering of names of some of the other celebs who are set to make an appearance.

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Celebrity News • CNN • Haiti Earthquake


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Arabs and Haiti...aid trickles in

Posted: 05:29 PM ET

By Octavia Nasr, CNN Senior Editor, Middle East Affairs

Determining how much Arab countries have contributed or pledged in aid to Haiti is a challenging feat. This is not unusual for someone who works the Middle East beat.

The great majority of Arab governments and leaders are slow to react to events – natural disasters included. Most Arabs react quietly, some might say inefficiently, and others would argue it’s out of modesty that they don’t “brag” about their giving.

More than nine days after the devastating quake, it is fair to conclude that with the exception of a few Arab nations, there is not much to be proud of in terms of official Arab outreach to help the victims of the catastrophic earthquake.

Here is what we know about some Arab donations or pledges to Haiti: Morocco, Kuwait and Bahrain pledged $1 million US Dollars each in aid to be delivered in various ways through each country’s Red Crescent organization. Jordan, which lost 3 peacekeepers in the quake, has sent two planes of aid and a medical team to set up a medical field facility in Port-au-Prince.

Qatar and Bahrain sent in planes each loaded with tons of food and medical aid. Lebanon flew in an official delegation that distributed aid, checked on the Lebanese community in Port-au-Prince and evacuated three Lebanese, ten Syrian nationals and five Palestinians. In addition to carrying tents, food aid and water, a Telecom engineer flew back to Haiti to join his colleagues who, according to Waleed Haidar, Foreign Ministry Consul who headed the mission, “insisted on staying in Haiti to help restore mobile services which are essential to the search, rescue and rebuilding efforts.”

At the same time, the Lebanese Red Cross and the Red Crescent in the Gulf region, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in particular, have launched campaigns to collect much-needed cash for Haiti. The United Arab Emirates has established a relief air bridge to Haiti and has already delivered tons of food and medical aid.

The charity ‘Dubai Al-Attaa’ is coordinating with NGO’s such as CARE and UNICEF to provide educational assistance to 200,000 Haitian children.

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Today is the day!

Posted: 12:12 AM ET

Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet is safe, but they are still desperately trying to bring him home. They will be documenting their journey and updating the LKL blog regularly on their progress. This is the fourth article in the series.

JILL:
I can’t remember what day it is. My “power naps” are so sporadic 24-hours a day that I have no idea what day it is, or how long I have been in Miami.

I cannot believe today is the day. Well, actually, I am not going allow myself to feel the emotions until Samuel Chancelet is in my arms. I am still very fearful of all that is involved in processing the children and getting them to the U.S. There are many “unknowns” and I am praying that they are allowed to go to their adoptive parents. We are in for a VERY LONG NIGHT.

Today has been so much fun, as I have been able to share some “private” time with some of the other adoptive parents who have been alongside us this whole time. I have somehow found myself trying to represent all of us and have felt such a heavy burden to “get this right.” Each one of us has a story to tell, and a battle to fight and I wanted all of us to win. We are all facing the same challenges, emotions, and exhaustion. This has been the journey of a lifetime and knowing we are not alone is so comforting. We were all discussing the documentation of this ordeal and how we will have an amazing story to share with our children.

I think I am fearful of what is to come. We don’t know what this means for our adoption. We don’t know what it is going to take to finalize it and that’s really hard. We have been through so much already (before the earthquake) and knowing there is another mountain ahead is not something I can process right now.

I am with my friends (yes, laptop on the table; I cannot live without it or my Blackberry. They are lifelines). I am taking a moment to try and relax; it is the first time in over a week I have been able to stop moving and it is the first “real meal” I have had since that time too.

Quick thoughts:

– A dear friend has helped me calm down, take deep breaths, and focus on the good that is about to happen.

– People are showing AMAZING support. I am truly humbled by what is happening around me. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

– I miss Joe.

– I am amazed at what God has done. Every change, every new thing I get hit with, I am working to just go with the flow, knowing He is in control. I am just trying to allow the plan to play out.

– Joe just text messaged me and said, “Are you ready to be a mom?” My heart just skipped a beat. Is this really happenin?

PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES BY JOE AND JILL WILKINS:

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Making progress

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Day 2

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: A couple's desperate journey

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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January 21, 2010

LKL Web Exclusive: Youth Are the Answer to Haiti Relief

Posted: 05:43 PM ET

This is a LKL Web Exclusive by Shawn H. Wilson, President of Usher’s "New Look" organization.

Last week a massive earthquake struck Haiti. It is the largest natural disaster the country has ever seen and many communities, families and youth are in dire need of assistance. As with many disasters, out of the rumble comes a renewed sense of service and charity from people around the world looking for ways to give back and support people in need. Within hours of the disaster there were messages flooding the internet, television and radio giving people an answer to the question of the day: “How can I help?”

Who will answer the call? Traditionally we turn to the government, celebrities and foundations to supply donations and support. However, we often forget about one group. This group represents more than half the world’s population. This group has the power, creativity and innovation to have a serious impact on global problems. This group has the savvy to mobilize millions. Who am I talking about? Young people!

Even though there are so many people working to help Haiti right now, we need to understand that a real solution to help Haiti lies in youth. It is estimated that there are over 3 billion people in the world under the age of 25. That’s 50% of the world’s population. This group is not only strong in numbers, but in ideas, ability and power. Furthermore, youth really do understand what the founder of our organization, Usher Raymond IV, calls “heart work”.

Youth have the desire and the power to serve. With this in mind Usher’s New Look, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and partners around the world, is calling on all young people to show the rest if the world they have the power to contribute the solution to Haiti’s needs. Over 50% of Haiti’s population is under 25 too, so it is only right for youth to help their peers as they work to recover and rebuild a country.

If every young person around the world contributed one penny to support relief in Haiti we can raise $30 million. Of course, it is unrealistic to try to raise funds from every last young person, but what if only a small percentage got involved? Imagine if just 1% of the world youth population committed to raise $5 each for the UN Foundation’s relief in Haiti. They would raise $150 million.

(Read more of the LKL commentary HERE)

**NOTE:  USHER WILL BE OUR GUEST TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE TO DISCUSS THE LATEST AIDE EFFORTS IN HAITI – TUNE IN TONIGHT AT 9PMET!!

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Usher


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January 20, 2010

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Making Progress

Posted: 04:00 PM ET

Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet is safe, but they are still desperately trying to bring him home. They will be documenting their journey and updating the LKL blog regularly on their progress.

Several of us have adjoining rooms at the hotel in Miami. It has become like “command central.”  We are just average people, but we are working to move mountains. I am currently sitting on the bathroom floor typing, so as not to wake my roommate. I needed to get this out before the craziness hits. There is just no time once we start moving. Things change EVERY 15 minutes.  Last night, we helped some kids get reunited with the gracious help of Samuel Dalembert (Philadelphia 76er) last night (will try to get some pics posted later.) We needed to think clearly – and we got all the legal stuff documented (pictures, signatures, etc…).

The women I am working with here are STRONG. I am in good company.  Please pray that God gives us all clear thoughts as we move forward.

Dixie Bickel, director of God’s Littlest Angels orphanage, is working hard today to figure out what our next steps will be.  She needs your prayers RIGHT NOW.  She will most likely be traveling to Port-au-Prince, making decisions of what makes the most sense to get the kids out.  Pray for her, please.

 We had amazing help from Carlos, a friend of a friend, here in Miami, who went out and got a bunch of baby supplies to have on hand, as we were expected to get some children who needed our help on our charter flight back. The kids didn’t make the flight in time. However, we may need to do the same in the next 24-48 hours. I got to the hotel and the room was stocked with stuff for 3-5 babies!  Carlos – THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  You didn’t even think twice!

People are asking how to help…   These are the best things you can do right now:  Please continue to support God’s Littlest Angels by donating funds, spread any links or media coverage you can and… PRAY. (God is bigger than this and he is with us every step of the way.)  Pray for “command central” in the States today, but even more so, pray for Dixie and the people making decisions about our kids.  We are all hoping we hear some good news soon.

After we received this email from the Joint Council on International Children’s Services yesterday (see below), we knew we needed to work harder than ever. I have to be honest, I was so disappointed that we had Skype issues AND that the political discussion trumped our Larry King Live segment.  We needed help to get this message out.  There is talk of more media coverage today, so please watch for these and please spread links if you see them.  Larry King Live has been great to work with; they are all working hard to continue to get us help and I thank them for that, from the bottom of my heart.

Things are changing so often.  You have to be ready to completely give up what you are doing and move on to the next.  We need supplies today for whatever might come.  We need to be ready to get kids out and are working with many contacts (stay tuned.)  We will not give up until we have the kids out!

JSCIS 1/19 Email:

Another day come and gone and no change.  Despite extensive Congressional support and all of your calls to your Members of Congress we have hit roadblock after roadblock.  At this point we respectfully ask that you stop contacting your Members of Congress requesting their assistance with obtaining security, transportation, and water for the location. The Department of State has not and apparently will not provide the small assistance that we have requested.

Given the current circumstances, at this point we are recommending that someone from each orphanage escort the children who qualify for humanitarian parole or adoption visas to the U.S. Embassy in Port-A-Prince.  We recommend that the orphanage staff arrive with the children and any adoption paperwork that has not been destroyed as early as possible in the morning in order to attempt to obtain visas or parole for the children.  Please understand that this option may not be considered safe and that the U.S. Embassy did not allow some orphanages onto the premises today.  Additionally, please note that it has been reported that there is no food, water or facilities for the children to use while at the Embassy.  As noted during our conference call earlier today, these are our recommendations only and should not be used to replace your or your orphanage director's good judgment.

There are so many more things to say… but I just can’t seem to capture it all right now.  My mind is racing with things to get done.  And soon, the chaos of the day will begin.

Previous Blog Entries By Joe and Jill Wilkins:

Bringing Samuel Chancelet Home: Day 2

Bringing Samuel Chancelet Home: A Couple's Desperate Journey

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live


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Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: Day Two

Posted: 02:57 PM ET

Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet is safe, but they are still desperately trying to bring him home. They will be documenting their journey and updating the LKL blog regularly on their progress. To read their first blog entry, click here.

We aren’t together and everything we talk about on the phone is focused to this effort.  We haven’t even had the chance to ask how the other is doing.  It all happens so fast and things have changed significantly each time we talk on the phone.  We are 100% focused on getting supplies to God’s Littlest Angels orphanage and getting the orphans kids out of Haiti.  One of us is in Miami, bound for Port-au-Prince, while the other is en route to Miami. 

JILL:

The past 48 hours have been overwhelming. Things are literally changing by the minute. I have never endured such waves of emotions (and I have been through some tough stuff in life).  I am tired. I have probably gotten five hours of sleep in the past 48 hours. I am doing my best to stay focused though, so that I can be effective. I am physically and emotionally exhausted.

 I am in the air as I type, flying to Miami. And I cannot get there fast enough. A combination of media and political efforts, tied together with what we are working on with God’s Littlest Angles/charter flights meant I needed to get a plane ticket late last night.  I wasn’t sure if I would be using it or not, and I was half expecting to get a call this morning to cancel or hold off. 

My specific prayer was that if it wasn’t meant to be, something would prevent the flight from leaving or there would be some other barrier. However, nothing prevented me from getting on the plane at 6am out of Portland.

But being away from the internet and communications today was the worst thing that could occur.  Decisions are being made within the U.S. government, my husband was about to fly to Haiti and I still am not sure I have sent all the correct documents to the Joint Council for my case (although I was proactive in planning and had most everything ready to send, knowing I would be getting that notice).

However, this whole week has been perfectly orchestrated in what I know God has had his hand in. Even getting on the plane and realizing it was a flight with internet access!  I was able to send urgent emails and get the text message from Joe at the time he was about to take off for Port-au-Prince.

When I landed in Atlanta for my layover, I had some urgent messages about the possibility of being involved with taking care of some of the orphans who are in dire need.  So I had to find some “friends of friends” to gather supplies for them, just in case it does happen (my assumption this week is that nothing is 100%). And we are still working every angle we can for God’s Littlest Angles to get the kids OUT.  We have plan A, B, C, etc. We are working non-stop with all the contacts we have, both politically and logistically.

I have no idea what the next 24-48 hours hold, but I have a feeling it’s going to be the most stressful (and hopefully best) days of my life.  If we get the kids into the United States, I will be in overjoyed with emotion and tears.  But we NEED the U.S. government to step and give the clearance.  We have verbal approvals, but not to the exact file requirement details. And the logistics of caring for the kids once they are in the U.S. are still TBD (although I understand there may be a plan in the works). At this point, we just GET THEM HOME. I know organizations would come out of the woodwork to help. Just get the kids to safety and grant them citizenship. Why are we not putting human life above process?

CHECK OUT A PHOTO GALLERY OF JOE AND JILL WILKINS AND SAMUEL CHANCELET

JOE:

These are crazy times. I stayed up late last night working on the video I had taken. I feel compelled to help share our story and video/pictures are critical to sharing the messages with people.

This morning, we spent our time loading the supplies and have been working with contacts in Haiti and D.C. to make some headway on the decisions that are being made about the children. I cannot believe I am in the midst of a disaster such as this.

We loaded several tons of items that are to source God’s Littlest Angels orphanage and the surrounding town. It looked like a lot but in reality, it is only about 10 days worth of supplies. Mission of Mercy doctors and nurses will be on our plane and have been invaluable with the loading effort.

We are still working through various strategies for what happens when we land.  We may be in the unique position to help get some children out, but we can do nothing without the U.S. government making some decisions. It feels so wrong to me. Get these kids home. They are all orphans; they have been given over to the orphanage by the parents, or it was proven they have no parents. These are the kids who have had parents waiting in the wings for up to two years!

I don’t know what I am about to face in Haiti. I have been going too fast to even think about what I will see and experience.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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Mandy Moore: Helping in Haiti for the Days to Come

Posted: 09:41 AM ET

By singer/songwriter and actress Mandy Moore, via the HuffingtonPost

The earthquake that struck Haiti last week has left an already fragile nation in turmoil and it has put our lives bluntly in perspective. I've found myself glued to the news, as I'm sure we've all been, watching images of disaster flash across the screen. I'm sickened and heartbroken by the thought of the tens of thousands who have lost their lives and the millions more who are without even the most basic necessities. In good times, the people of Haiti had little...now they have nothing.

I certainly don't claim to be an expert in development or know how to begin rebuilding an entire nation. But as an Ambassador for the global health organization PSI and its child health and safe water program, Five & Alive, I do know that there are small, inexpensive things we can do right now to help the people of Haiti.

Last year, I traveled with PSI to Southern Sudan, a region marked by poverty, violence and disease. A weak infrastructure and harsh geography make the delivery of critical health products an incredibly challenging undertaking. But PSI is doing it. I was inspired by their ability to reach people in the most remote areas with water purification products, malaria nets and treatments for diarrheal disease. Having seen PSI in action, I'm confident it will be able to get essential supplies to survivors of the disaster in Haiti. The period that follows a disaster like this earthquake is crucial. With devastated resources, an overwhelmed health care system, and thousands of people displaced, diarrheal and other waterborne diseases will be a major concern in the coming days, weeks and months.

(Read More via the Huffingtonpost.com)

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • International


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January 19, 2010

Posted: 10:15 PM ET

By CNN's Eric Kuhn

Last night during Larry King Live – Haiti: How You Can Help, some of Larry's guests took part in our "Tweet Suite."  Ryan Seacrest took pictures around the set and sent out messages to his twitter followers about donating to Haiti.  Other celebs in the star studded Tweet Suite included Jeff Probst, Alyssa Milano, Jared Leto and Wil.I.Am.

So what were some of Hollywood's hottest stars tweeting about on Larry King Live?  First, they were expressing their feelings about the tragedy in Haiti and sending messages to their followers.  They were also interacting with people using the hash tag "#CNNHelpHaiti." (Hash tags, in the twitter universe, provide an easy way to keep track of a conversations by searching specific phrases or keywords)

Jeff Probst read a tweet during the show from someone who suggested Larry King donate his suspenders to Haiti.  And actor/musician Jared Leto accepted Probst's challenge and bought Larry's suspenders for $1,000. 

Larry will now be auctioning off a pair of suspenders every night this week, with all the money going to Haiti.

Something cool happened about an hour into the fund raiser: #CNNHelpHaiti became one of the top trending topics on Twitter.  Thanks to the outstanding response from people on twitter,  #CNNHelpHaiti was one of the most talked about topics Monday night on Twitter – and that meant everyone was helping get much needed aid to the people of Haiti.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive


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TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE

Posted: 09:04 PM ET

Desperation in Haiti

A week after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, people are still being pulled out of the rubble alive! We'll get the latest from our reporters on the ground. We'll also talk to Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, who just returned from Haiti with 53 orphans from an orphanage in Port-au-Prince.  And don't miss music artists Enrinque Iglesias and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park - they'll tell us about how they're joining forces to raise money for Haiti relief efforts.

Critical Mass!

The polls in Massachusetts close at 8pm and the results could create a historic power shift in the Bay State and the nation. If Republican Scott Brown beats Democrat Martha Coakley, the Democrats would lose their filibuster-proof majority and that could spell the end of health care reform for the country. Get the latest results on Larry King Live tonight at 9ET/6pmPT!

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live • Politics


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LKL Blog Exclusive: Download to donate for Haiti

Posted: 08:37 PM ET

By Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park

One week ago today, millions of lives in Haiti changed forever. On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the island nation. Hundreds of thousands are feared dead, many of whom are children. Just thinking about the millions more people who are in need of medical attention, shelter, clothes and food just to make it through the days ahead is overwhelming, I cannot imagine. It will take years to rebuild homes and communities in Haiti and I, and my band mates in Linkin Park, are deeply saddened by the situation. We want to help the people of Haiti and we need your help. 

 Working with our a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization “Music for Relief”, an incredible lineup of artists have come together and generously donated previously unreleased songs to support the Haiti relief effort. Artists include: Alanis Morissette, The All-American Rejects, Dave Matthews Band, Enrique Iglesias, Hoobastank, Kenna, Linkin Park, Lupe Fiasco, Peter Gabriel and Slash

You can join these artists in support of the immediate relief and long-term recovery process in Haiti by downloading the songs at www.musicforrelief.org and making a donation in any amount. Donate what you choose to help Haiti.

One hundred percent of funds raised through the program will support the United Nation’s rapid disaster response efforts through the UN Foundation, long-term rebuilding of sustainable homes with Habitat for Humanity, and Dave Matthew’s Band’s BAMA Works Haitian Relief effort. 

DOWNLOAD. LISTEN. DONATE. SPREAD THE WORD. BRING HOPE.

Note: Mike Shinoda will be a guest tonight on Larry King Live at 9ET/6PT.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live


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