Edward Norton Sets Example for All in Wake of Japan Quake

Julie Ryan Evans
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Edward NortonAfter the horrifying earthquake and tsunami In Japan, many of us have moved on from the initial shock, onto the next headline-grabbing crisis, like the situation in Libya. But still in Japan people are being pulled from the rubble, and its residents are racked with the heartache of loss and fear for the future. They still desperately need help. Edward Norton isn't willing to let the need be forgotten, and he's using his website crowdrise.com to try to raise $1 million for the people of Japan.

Norton is one of the few in Hollywood who has stepped up to help rally widespread support in the wake of the Japan quake. The world has been rocked over and over by big disasters in recent years -- the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, and the aftermath of 9/11. Each time Hollywood has responded with virtuous verve, but this time with Japan we haven't seen the same.

Sure Lady Gaga is making bracelets, Charlie Sheen is donating some proceeds from his ridiculous tour, and Sandra Bullock amazingly stepped up with a $1 million donation of her own funds, but by and large, Japan's devastation has not elicited the unified help from Hollywood and the rest of America that so many other disasters have. Movieline asks: Does America have relief fatigue?

Sadly, perhaps we do, but it doesn't make the suffering of the people affected any less painful. Part of it also could be the fact that the people of Japan are technological advanced, they aren't poor, they are innovative leaders. There may be a collective assumption that they'll be okay, that they can fix themselves. Fortunately, they do have that in their favor, but they still need help, and it's great to see Norton stepping up to lead the charge with his influence.

If you haven't checked out Crowdrise, you should. When he launched it last year, he described it as the "Facebook of philanthropy." His goal: to make charitable giving fun through games and social media aspects on his site. It allows anyone to set up a fundraising campaign, and his top mission now is to help Japan. On the site he states:

Now is the time to Crowdrise. The Japanese are in the middle of a major disaster. Please donate to the projects below or start your own fundraiser. Please just get involved and get all your friends involved. This is why we Crowdrise.

So hopefully the crowds of Hollywood will rise, to use their influence and their wealth to help the people of Japan. There are so many times Hollywood sets examples that aren't so worthy of imitation, but this is an instance in which they can shine brightly to inspire the rest of us to do whatever we can and to not forget the people of Japan.

Why do you think Hollywood hasn't gotten behind relief efforts for Japan like they have for other disasters? Have you ever used Crowdrise?


Image via Slackerwood/Flickr


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