Since the first news of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti began trickling out, former Fugees member Wyclef Jean has been urging people to text donations to aid his homeland.
As he flies back to the U.S. on Friday (January 15) after assessing the damage on the ground from the 7.0 earthquake that reduced the capital of Port-au-Prince to rubble, Wyclef can take heart in the fact that his pleas have been heard. As of Friday morning, Yele Haiti had raised more than $2 million from mobile giving, according to Albe Angel, CEO of Miami-based Give on the Go, the mobile-communications company working with the non-profit to coordinate donations.
With a series of urgent tweets on his official Twitter feed imploring followers to text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to the effort, ‘Clef has mobilized a massive effort on behalf of his homeland, and Angel said that the musician’s goal of raising $1 million a day for relief could be well within reach. “I definitely think we could start seeing that figure,” Angel told MTV News on Friday.
Wyclef spoke to Fox News on Thursday about the utter destruction he saw on the Caribbean island nation that has struggled with crushing poverty and poor infrastructure for decades.
“This is apocalypse,” Jean said of the utter destruction of Port-au-Prince, where first responders were struggling to deal with the reported thousands trapped under mounds of rubble from the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in two centuries.
“The reality here at the airport has nothing to do with what’s going on on the ground right now,” added Wyclef, who began making urgent pleas for help just hours after the quake struck his native country. “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.”
MTV is teaming up with Oscar-winning actor George Clooney for a Haitian relief telethon next Friday (January 22). In the meantime, there are numerous ways you can take part in Haitian relief efforts.
The grim situation in Haiti has elicited an unprecedented outpouring of support that could rival the almost $2 billion in private donations from Americans after the 2004 Asian tsunami.
“We’re hearing that this is breaking all records,” Sandra Miniutti of Charity Navigator, an independent group that evaluates U.S. charities, told USA Today. In addition to the more than $10 million raised so far by the Red Cross, Oxfam American has raised $2.7 million and President Obama has pledged $100 million in U.S. aid.