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Wyclef Jean raises $1 million for Haiti

So far, Wyclef Jean’s nonprofit organization, Yele Haiti, has raised over $1 million for the victims of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake from mobile donations alone. With a series of urgent tweets, an appearance on CNN, and the help of his famous friends the singer has mobilized a massive effort on behalf of his homeland, imploring followers to text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to the effort.

According to Albe Angel, CEO of Miami-based Give on the Go, the mobile-communications company working with Yele Haiti to coordinate donations, the organization has raised over $1 million for relief efforts since the earthquake. Yele’s goal is to up that figure to $1 million a day as part of the SMS fundraising drive.

“Since the disaster occurred around 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday and [by] midnight [Wednesday] we cleared $1 million,” said Angel, whose company provides the technology that allows mobile users to make an automatic $5 donation.

Give on the Go has announced that one hundred  percent of the donations raised will go directly to Yele Haiti. More than 200,000 people have donated to the cause, and Angel said he thinks it’s possible that the $1 million-per-day goal could be reached, given the volume of donations that have been coming in.

“These types of donations really were spawned by the [2004] tsunami relief effort, and the $1 million that Yele has raised already is a watershed event,” Angel said.

Wyclef is not the only celebrity who has stepped up to aid the cause. The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, founded by Angelina Jolie and partner Brad Pitt, has pledged $1 million to the emergency medical operations of Doctors Without Borders.

“It is incredibly horrible to see a catastrophe of this size hit a people who have been suffering from extreme poverty, violence, and unrest for so many decades,” Jolie said in a statement on Wednesday.

Relief efforts have spawned Facebook and Twitter users to take action, and a number of other celebrities have joined in the fight to send urgently needed supplies to the impoverished Caribbean nation, including Alyssa Milano, Olivia Wilde, LL Cool J, Jessica Alba, Demi Moore, and Joel and Benji Madden.

On Thursday, President Obama pledged $100 million in aid from the U.S. The United Nations also announced that $10 million would go to relief efforts in Haiti, while the World Bank pledged $100 million.

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