The response to the earthquake tragedy in Haiti was almost immediate, and just days afterward, millions of dollars have been raised, a lot of it through small donations of $5 or $10 transmitted through the humble text message. But there's another kind of giving that has emerged too: Single donations in much larger amounts, from the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Olivia Wilde, Tiger Woods, Madonna. Hopefully the list will grow and grow.
Why is it so gratifying though to hear about celebrities making donations? Perhaps because by doing so, they're doing something we've already done, something that thousands of ordinary people are doing. A crisis reminds us that we're all vulnerable, we're all responsible for helping. And that's what it is going to take to bury the dead, take care of the living, and rebuild Haiti.
So when George Clooney asks for your donation tonight, during the Hope for Haiti telethon he is hosting on MTV, you won't just be saying "yes" to an incredibly magnetic movie star, you'll be joining a community of people wanting to help. It's as simple as that. Celebrities undeniably bring some glamour and sparkle to the task of fundraising, and that's okay. It is after all a difficult and serious business. We're lucky to have them.
Check out the gallery below for a look at the amounts donated so far.
Gallery: Haiti's Big Givers