Stars Contribute to Relief Efforts (January 2005)

Stars Contribute to Relief Efforts
By David Kute
The Epoch Times Jan 06, 2005

Tsunami Rescue Efforts Aided by Stars’ Contributions

In the aftermath of Asia’s tsunami, Los Angeles’ celebrities have opened up their wallets to help the disaster stricken region.
Well-known movie stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Sandra Bullock, and Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant are among the higher profile individuals that have stepped forward to contribute funding for relief work in the stricken areas.

Bullock donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross. DiCaprio, who filmed the 2000 movie “The Beach” in the disaster- hit Phuket area of Thailand, donated an undisclosed amount to UNICEF.

Bryant and six other NBA players will donate $1,000 for each point they score in games later this week.

The players are represented by the SFX agency run by sports agent Arn Tellem. Tellem first discussed the idea, which may raise over $250,000, with stars Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O’Neal while brainstorming over what could be done to help.

Director Steven Spielberg and his family also donated $1.5 million to Save the Children, CARE, and Oxfam. The amount was disclosed to encourage others to make donations as well, the Spielberg Family’s press release said.

On the first weekday after the disaster struck, Los Angeles city officials called upon the city’s residents to support the relief efforts. Mayor James K. Hahn and Councilmember Tom LaBonge urged residents to make financial contributions.

“I am deeply saddened and stunned by the extraordinary loss of life in the affected areas,” Hahn said in a press release that urged donations to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.
Los Angeles-based relief organization Operation USA announced on December 31 that it is still collecting donations for the disaster.

Thousands of individual donors have contributed to the fund, as well as corporate partners including Von Dutch, Kaiser Permanente Health Care, and the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization.

The group plans to fly supplies to Sri Lanka and India over the coming weeks.