entertainers dig into pockets for victims

MIAMI - Haiti's devastating earthquake has moved Hollywood and pop stars to lead an operation for disaster relief donations and open their own wallets, led by Haiti-born hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reached out to Haiti by donating about R7,4 million from their foundation to Doctors Without Borders, which has been tending to victims of the quake that demolished buildings in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands are feared dead.

Madonna donated about R1,8 million through Partners in Health.

"I can't imagine the terrible pain and suffering they are experiencing," she said.

"I urge all my friends and fans around the world to join me to match my contribution or give in any way you can."

Jean launched a texting campaign, calling on fans to donate about R37 to his Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund charged to their cellphone bills by texting "Yele" to 501501.

Jean raised more than R14 million by Friday for the disaster relief effort and is in Haiti "giving aid and assessing the situation", according to his www.yele.org website.

Actor George Clooney will host a commercial-free telethon called "Hope for Haiti" presented by MTV this week to raise funds for victims of the earthquake, the music network said on Friday.

The event will be in Los Angeles and New York and be broadcast on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, HBO and all MTV Network channels.

Clooney will be joined by Jean and other as yet unnamed pop music and movie stars.

Grammy-winning Latina pop singer Shakira asked her fans for donations to help rebuild Haiti to be channelled through Unicef and Jean'sfoundation.

Actress Alyssa Milano, a goodwill ambassador for Unicef, used her blog on The Huffington Post to challenge US corporations to match herdonation.

She said the funds would go to buy medical supplies, tarpaulins, food and water kits for Haiti.

"I cried and then I did the only thing I could do ... I wrote a cheque to the US Fund for Unicef for $50000 (about R370000)," she wrote.

Coldplay musician Chris Martin called for donations through Oxfam, whose global ambassador, actress Scarlett Johansson, also appealed for contributions for Haiti.

Oprah Winfrey became involved on Wednesday by asking viewers of her popular show to donate to the Red Cross.

Actor Ben Stiller, who has been raising money for Haiti through Save the Children, also made an appeal on CNN's Larry King Live for about R73 donations charged to phone bills by smsing "Haiti" to 90999.

First Lady Michelle Obama made a public appeal for the texting campaign, which had raised about R414 million for the Red Cross by Thursday.

Cycling legend Lance Armstrong's Live Strong Foundation has pledged roughly R1,8 million to help Haiti's recovery, according to its website.

The money will go to Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health, which is founded by Harvard professor Paul Farmer.

Actor Tyler Perry also gave about R1,8 million and set up a foundation for aid at www.tylerperry.com/HaitiRelief.

On New York's Times Square magician David Blaine began performing 72 hours of tricks and magic for pedestrians.

"We have so much here and that country has nothing," he said.

"The thought of it is horrific."- Reuters

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