*At press time Monday, the celeb-studded “Hope for Haiti Now” event to assist earthquake victims had raised more than $58 million since its Friday broadcast, setting a record for donations to a disaster relief telethon.
The total includes money raised by phone, text and the Internet. Not included in the tally are donations by corporations or via iTunes, where people are able to benefit the cause by purchasing performances of the telethon for 99 cents each, or the entire album for $7.99.
By Saturday, the “Hope for Haiti Now” CD had become the biggest one-day pre-order in iTunes history and the new song “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and the Edge, debuted during the telethon, was the No. 1 single on iTunes.
“The public has set a new standard of giving for a relief telethon with ‘Hope for Haiti Now,’ and the donations continue to come in,” Lisa Paulsen, president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, said in a statement released Saturday. The group is helping to oversee the funds gathered from the event.
Friday’s two-hour telethon was broadcast live on the major networks and dozens of other channels, including MTV, Bravo, and PBS, and was also streamed live online. Stars like Brad Pitt, Beyonce, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and more used their presence to encourage donations for Haiti, following a Jan. 12 earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 people.
The Hope For Haiti Now Web site will continue to accept donations for the next six months. Proceeds will benefit Oxfam America, UNICEF, and the Clinton-Bush Haiti Foundation.