Sean Penn, Ben Stiller are helping Haiti rebuild
September 15th, 2011
05:36 PM ET

Sean Penn, Ben Stiller are helping Haiti rebuild

Sean Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization has received a $2.25 million grant as the aid group works to help Haiti recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake.

”We believe this grant marks an important step in the rebuilding of Haiti,” Penn, the founder of the organization, said in a statement.

The J/P HRO was awarded funding from the Government of Haiti through a grant by IDA - the World Bank's financing facility for poor countries.

The money will be used to get people into homes through rental subsidies, as well as by creating new housing and repairing existing homes. Specifically, the organization said the funds will be focused on relocating 550 families living in the most dangerous areas of the J/P HRO camps, where 22,300 people are still living.

The grant is just part of a $95 million program financed by the World Bank and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund to pay for neighborhood upgrading and housing reconstruction.

“Together, we will persist until the hundreds of thousands still displaced are safely home,” Penn said.

The actor isn’t the only celeb helping Haiti rebuild. Ben Stiller is raising money for the nation through an upcoming charity art auction.

Art dealer David Zwirner and Stiller set up a new charity, Artists for Haiti, specifically for the September 22 auction. (The actor also started the Stiller Foundation, which has been helping build schools in Haiti.)

Artists for Haiti will donate the proceeds to various charities, including Architecture for Humanity, Partners in Health and even Sean Penn’s J/P HRO.

Big name artists have donated pieces, including Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns and Cindy Sherman.

The sale, to be held at Christie’s auction house in NYC, is expected to bring in between $7.5 million and $10.5 million, according to Zwirner.

“We knew it would be an extraordinary event and we had a chance to really make a difference,” said Amy Cappellazzo of Christie’s International.

soundoff (59 Responses)
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  7. Kris

    Haiti, which is still a huge disaster area, has been forgotten by the media, so it's great to see these guys using their celebrity to raise awareness about this important cause.

    September 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. V Saxena

    Why did I think this article was about Penn and Teller, lol?

    September 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. the_dude

    So is there anyplace where you can see a full accounting of all monies donated so far and where they were used? I've seen recent pictures and video and it appears they havemade almost ZERO progress in the rebuild.

    September 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bribarian

    What a waste of money, can you smell the smug in the air

    September 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sean Pennis

    I love young black haitian boys swinging their hairy ballSacks in my face and taking a pee on me.

    September 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. @ Real get a room

    Aww you confuse me sometimes. From some of your comments you are very serious. That's when I know it's the real you. I miss the kidding side though. I'm sensing that something is going on with you. I hope all is well. Well I'll end it there because I know you don't like chatting on here. Take care ~ xoxo

    September 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fake Get Room

    The REAL Get a room would never make a comment like that. Do you people have to come on here and try and start fights with other people or to turn people against each other? You really are a sad bunch.

    September 16, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Get a room (@ Fake Get Room)

      Well I don't know whether it's "Richard Fore" or some other troll trying to frame me, but I guess I asked for it when I was commenting so often. I just wanted charlie crack and his team of people sharing life stories to go elsewhere to share, and it looks like they've done that for the most part... in the end it works out for them because now they won't have people trolling them on their "life stories" or whatever they care to share. My job is done here; the rest of these commenters are just trying to stir trouble as you say, and for the fake me, it's HAITI, NOT HATI... wow... I am not afraid to show my alias... so people accusing me of being other names really need to work on their detective skills.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • erich2112x

      THTOP IT!

      September 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Get a room

    I H8 H8TI. Hati is almost as dirty as india. Almost, but not quite.

    September 16, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. CJ

    If you understand how foreign aid works then you'd know that it trickles back to the recipient country anyway. The charities they donated to are not Haitian-led but American led with American paid staff (ex. Look up PIH IRS 990). There are many amazing Haitian-led organizations in Haiti that will probably never receive coverage from Cnn/news agencies (thus more international funding) like charities mentioned in this article for a number of reasons. It is sad because the organizations that can achieve the greatest impact are those from the recipient country not donor and these Haitian organizations are making real long-term but slow changes. There have been billions of dollars of aid given in the name of poverty reduction and reconstruction and much of the impact is minimal but if you look at the conditions placed on the aid, the (in)action of the donors and the relatively little buy-in from the recipient community on a foreign planted idea there doesn't seem to be a mystery why. If we all (incl. gvt) paid attention and targeted our money for the good of people we would have more of a return of our funds on domestic/international projects. Ex. My local charter school's success in supporting at-risk youth through their academic journey and most of them do exceptionally well beyond high school. For those of you really upset that Penn & Stiller are raising funds for their U.S. led project than get over it and volunteer more hours in your community. And if you already do then maybe you should increase your hours. We will always have something to say about how others spend THEIR money but its not our business but when it comes to government money than we should be actively speaking out. But if you really don't like their spending choice don't support their projects.

    September 16, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
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  17. Patrick

    Where are all the BLACK celebrities??? Jail? Once again volunteerism (like family planning) seems to be a whites only sport.

    September 16, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  18. babysing

    i wish the rich would help America rather than helping others outside our borders, and yeah, how about keeping their money we help them make in American banks, instead of banks overseas? just a thought. a lot of people in our own country that need help.

    September 16, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  19. Richard Fore

    take your best shot, troll b!tches! You are no match for me!

    September 16, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  20. Mireya

    Thank you Sean Penn and Ben Stiller for your time and effort. Glad you are using your star power for a great cause. Keep up the good work.

    September 16, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |

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    September 16, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
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    u got punked 2..not even the real beautiful vixen...lmfao.

    September 16, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
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    September 16, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
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    September 16, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
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    September 16, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
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    No wars!!!!!!

    September 16, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
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    Richard fore – not a troll but u r a d!ck vs god blezz u a77hole ~ side ring mr. ed

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  30. oby

    Lot of you dont even have any idea what poor is.. People of haiti have no choice while people here in the state do.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  31. @someone who don't care

    Who r u talking to? I'm on a phone so I can't see the person you replied under. If u r replying to my comment to @Richard...yes I do. I give what I can to older people and babies that can't help themsleves. I'm more for giving to animals which is my main focus. Is that good enough answer for u a$$-h0le? If you are not talking to me..oops

    September 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Richard Fore

    I think they're building a "boys club" with "special rooms" where they can learn about manly things....

    September 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  33. george

    I suppose they don't know or have forgotten that charity begins at home.
    Sadly, I think that what they are doing is a massive ego trip. It's easier to help someone who won't talk back to you in your own language.
    They must be blind to the homeless in America and their poverty.

    September 15, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Guest

    I thought it said Penn and Teller.

    Oh well,good for them anyways

    September 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  35. @Richard

    Actually D!ck i like ur I'm guessing ur somewhat ok when u r ready. try and not be such a judgmental f*** though. I do agree on part of ur comment. I think we should start focusing on our people, especially now with things are hard. Funny I got to see a little on that ED guy ..msnbc if i'm correct. (sorry not really a big news person..just hear the bits and pieces and move bad)..Anyway, he was in Ohio and showing all the buildings being closed and companies moving the jobs overseas..well u know where i'm going w/this. Anyway I agree w/u on starting to focus on us here.

    September 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
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  37. laura

    How could anyone not commend a good deed?? Something is wrong with some of you. We in the US do not know what poor is. You can not even begin to compare our poor to the poor in places like Haiti!!

    September 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Richard Fore

    Sean Penn should stay in Haiti, what a loser. If I saw him right now I'd kick his but and let him know whats what.

    September 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  39. portalpunk

    I like dark skinned men behind me. I don't think it's cool to have a pitiful life, nancy.

    September 15, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  40. nancy

    I heard if you comment first you are the winner ! YES ! And way cool !

    September 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  41. nancy

    Sasha thinks you are me portalpunk ! COOL ! We are sure glad you are firsty. I think sasha eats doodoo.

    September 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  42. J_s

    portalpunk, it's a shame your parents gave birth to you. Always going around the blogs and trying to be first commenter... grow up... you don't get a reward for commenting first... *gasp*

    September 15, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • portalpunk

      @J_s ....... actually I do get a reward, you just gave me your attention which is what I cherish. hahahahahhaahahahahahahahahahahaha

      September 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • @ portalpunk

      You just got punk'd. That's not even the real J_s... I would know, I posed as him LOL.

      Taking after my mentor and amazing teacher, the brilliant Richard Fore... so let's turn the tables around and say... portalpunk, you gave me your attention, sucka HAHAHA. Trolled the troll, that's how I roll.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  43. Lewis

    It's good to see rich people help those in need, but if you want to flush your money, we have plenty of poor people in our own country that need help. Oprah tried to help in other countries as well as Madonna and they lost a lot of money for their efforts.

    September 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  44. portalpunk

    FIRSTY!!! Now my pitiful life has meaning!!! Where is sasha, we need to celebrate, butch lez style. Scissor me timbers!!!

    September 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Fore

      What about so many of our cities and towns in the US that were destroyed by tornadoes this year, why dont they help them? Because Sean Penn and Ben Stiller are Commie's!!!! Thats why! They are Red in their soul and should rot.

      September 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      @ Richard. Are trapped in the 50s? Switch to decaf, seething ball of anger.

      September 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • HamsterDancer

      Sean Penn did extensive work in helping people in the New Orleans area for months after Hurricane Katrina.

      Actor and activist Sean Penn personally rescued forty people in New Orleans, according to the New York Daily News. This was attested to by presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who is covering the hurricane forRolling Stone. See this story and photograph here.

      Read more:

      September 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • aninsanecat

      Hilarious! Much better than my "you ignorant ********************" response would have been!

      September 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |

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