"I want my kids to live a long and happy life," said Madonna at her September 13 concert in Los Angles. "We're doing the show because we want people to forget. We're doing this because we want people to remember how precious life is."
BIG NAMES HAVE BIG HEARTS
By K. M. Hite
After September 11th, many familiar names came forward to contribute to the relief efforts. Starts like Rosie O'Donnell, Julia Roberts, Jim Carey, Sandra Bullock, and Dr. Dre were part of the million-dollar club, who wired money from their personal accounts to the relief fund. O'Donnell, after her donation, challenged others to help the Red Cross. Celebraties answered her challenge. Madonna and Jennifer Lopez donated the proceeds from their concerts. Robin Williams was spotted standing in line at a local blood bank within hours of the attack giving blood.
Although most American could not afford to give millions to the relief effort, the stars' behavior encouraged people to give what they could. Hollywood came together to spread the word about giving.
Celebrities found their niche in the relief effort and went with it. Whitney Houston raised the sprits of Americans through song. She made her rendition of "America the Beautiful" available to purchase with the proceeds going to the New York State Fraternal Order of Police Fund.
Celebrities who live in New York made a special attempt to help their city heal. Robert De Niro organized a group of restaurants including his own TriBeCa Grill, to serve hot meals aboard a yacht docked near ground zero. Sarah Jessica Parker, Mathew Broderick, Kathleen Turner helped the Red Cross pass out food to victims and volunteers.
"It is going to take a lot of days, a lot of weeks, a lot of work," said Kathleen Turner as she left New York's St. Vincent's Hospital. "We'll make it right."
One of the most impressive acts of giving that came from the entertainment industry was the telethon held on September 21st. America: A Tribute to Heroes raised 150 million dollars from viewers. The show was broadcasted simultaneously on 35 network and cable stations and in 21 countries, including Afghanistan. Viewers could call their favorite star and pledge money. Every celebrity who was asked to join the telethon did. Celebrities ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Lucy Lu participated in what became an unforgettable event. Tom Hanks spoke first to an audience of 89 million TV viewers. His voice was shaky but his heart was proud.
"Those of us here tonight are not heroes," Hanks said. "We are not healers, nor protectors of this great nation. We are merely artist and entertainers, here to raise sprits and, we hope, a great deal of money."