Celebrity Humanitarians

Neil Young is going to be honored as a Humanitarian Award winner at this year’s Juno Awards, reports the Toronto Sun. He co-founded Farm Aid, a 1985 benefit concert that raised $2 million to help family farmers keep their land. He also recorded, with fellow Canadian musicians, the song Tears Are Not Enough to help raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. In 1986, with his wife, he created an organization and school to help educate children with severe speech and physical impairments.

Celebrities are in a special position to help make a positive difference. Their fame and fortune can be put to good use when they have the heart and dedication to do humanitarian work. A shining example is Sean Penn, who was widely acclaimed as the Celebrity Humanitarian of the Year in 2010.

Haiti humanitarian reliefJust days after the earthquake Penn booked two planes with doctors and medical supplies and went to Haiti, reports PopEater.  Since then he has worked tirelessly, helping the people of Haiti. He runs the Petionville camp where an estimated 55,000 Haitians are living. As well, his team has treated 50,000 medical patients, delivered 100,000 pounds of medical supplies, and delivered 12,000 tents to homeless families across Haiti.

When Sean Penn is not in Haiti helping refugees, he can often be found in the United States lobbying on behalf of the Haitian people. He spoke in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and was recently raising awareness and funds for his organization. Penn plans to spend 2011 reminding people that the relief effort has only begun and still needs their help.

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