Sow Abundance...  Reap Significance!
 Actor George Clooney uses star power to
expand charitable efforts globally
By Morgan Phelps

In the wake of the “Ocean’s” trilogy, actor and producing superstar George Clooney has put his name, money, family and time into several large global causes — from the Gulf Coast Hurricanes to the genocides in Darfur.

Immediately after the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, Clooney donated $1 million to the United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Fund. The United Way of America is close to Clooney’s heart: he serves as an at-large Board of Trustees member. On top of his financial contribution, his 2006 Academy Awards gift bag was auctioned off by the United Way to raise over $45,000 more for hurricane victims.

In a real life role quite different from the one he played in the “Ocean’s” series, Clooney is building a Las Vegas casino called Las Ramblas, set to open in 2008, that will donate 25 percent of its profits to the Make Poverty History campaign.

On the other side of the world, Clooney decided to aid victims of the Darfur genocide after hearing from displaced victims on a trip to Sudan and Chad with his father Nick Clooney, a journalist. They aired their trip in a television documentary entitled “A Journey to Darfur.”

“There are only a few things we can do – protect them where we can, and provide food, water, health care and counseling,” the actor said. He’s doing all he can to accomplish those goals.

In June 2007, premieres for “Oceans’ 13” at the Cannes Film Festival and in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Chicago also served as fundraisers for Clooney’s newest charity effort, Not On Our Watch.

Clooney — along with other “Ocean’s 13” actors Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub — formed Not on Our Watch, whose mission is to use celebrity voices to generate humanitarian aid in Darfur, Sudan, and other countries in crisis. Not on Our Watch has partnered with the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and other established aid organizations to carry out its mission.

Clooney also supports The ONE Campaign, the Save Darfur Coalition, CARE, and Cinema for Peace. Clooney said, “You have only a short period of time in your life to make your mark, and I'm there now.”

# # #