Matt Damon News Column (mattdamoncolumn) wrote,
Matt Damon News Column

Relief funds for Haiti, Paul Newman

  • Matt attended the final session of the Clinton Global Initiative with Wyclef Jean, where Bill Clinton announced $100 million in aid relief for Haiti. A report from the Washington Post.

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    Former president Bill Clinton concluded his fourth annual philanthropy conference Friday by joining actor Matt Damon and rap artist Wyclef Jean in announcing about $100 million in recovery aid to hurricane-ravaged Haiti.

    The Haiti aid was one of the most significant announcements during a conference in which Clinton said hundreds of philanthropists, corporate chiefs and world leaders committed about $8 billion to initiatives that could affect 158 million people.

    About 20 organizations came together in pledging a combined $100 million toward improving education, health care, nutrition and business opportunities in Haiti, a Caribbean nation devastated this summer by a succession of four hurricanes. Clinton, who took a personal interest in Haiti when he and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), honeymooned there, likened the country to the South Asian region laid to waste by the 2004 tsunami and said he would seek additional funds in coming weeks.

    Jean, a Haitian native, said his foundation would provide thousands of meals for hungry families, microenterprise grants for businesses and seeds, fertilizer and training for farmers. Damon's ONEXONE foundation said it would raise at least $3 million for local nongovernmental organizations in Haiti.

    Actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie did not attend the initiative but called Clinton on Friday morning and said they would help rebuild 12 schools in Haiti, as they have been doing in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

    "All this materialized in one month, and it shows you what we can all do if we work together," Clinton said. "This is the beginning."

  • A video of Matt at the earlier session discussing the work of H20 Africa is at YouTube, and more photos are at PopSugar. The commitment by OneXOne is outlined here.

  • The two-part interview with Matt and Wyclef on CNN last weekend discussing Haiti is available in full at All Things CNN.

  • Matt was interviewed earlier in the week (via video) for Conde Nast's World Savers Congress, which aims to promoting eco-responsibility throughout the $8 trillion travel industry. An article about the event is at MediaBistro, and three videos with Matt are available at YouTube.

    Matt discussing Americans abroad; early travels with his mother to Mexico and Guatemala, and the Presidential election and fighting poverty, including commending the candidates and their wives for their commitment to fighting poverty worldwide.

  • From an article at the South China Morning Post.

    So in the aftermath of the Emmys, which rewards stars for talent (or the lack thereof), here's a list of awards for the nicest and ickiest people in Hollywood, based on solid and reliable information from people who have been up-close-and-personal enough to know.

    Most down to earth: Matt Damon

    "Even before he became a big star, he was the nicest guy," says someone who has worked with Damon in both his pre-and-post fame days and who's been fishing with him. "And after he became huge, nothing changed. He's still the nicest, nicest guy."

  • Actor Paul Newman has died. Matt worked with Paul as the lead actor in The World of Nick Adams, which were live theatre readings in 2001 and 2002 to raise funds for Hole in the wall gangs, for which Matt was a patron and financial contributor. Some photos from the event are below. Matt discussed his admiration for Paul and how he became involved in the project to Extra in 2002:

    Matt Damon says, "Paul Newman called me up and to me, I’d sell used cars if he asked me to."

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