More than 130 actors, musicians and athletes came together Friday (January 22) for MTV's "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief." The star-studded telethon included performances by Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean and featured a celebrity panel of phone operators to answer donors' calls. Among them were young stars [artist id="3079282"]Selena Gomez[/artist] and [artist id="2088128"]Kevin Jonas[/artist], who spoke with MTV News about volunteering for the event.
Gomez, the star of "Wizards of Waverly Place" and a UNICEF ambassador, has been urging fans to donate since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au- Prince last week. When Gomez was asked to participate in the telethon, there was no way she could say no.
"I thought that it was very important to be here tonight, because I feel like we are very fortunate, and I've lived a blessed life," Gomez said in the minutes following the broadcast. "Being able to help and give back as much as I can is a good feeling in general, but what happened to the people in Haiti is absolutely devastating. It's so empowering to see how many people are coming together to help. And I'm just here. I'm just one of those people wanting to get the word out and help the people of Haiti."
Jonas, who manned a phone alongside brothers and bandmates Joe and Nick, stressed the importance of young people doing whatever they could to contribute.
"Every little bit matters," Jonas said. "It's not one person doing a huge amount; it's every person doing every little thing they can."
One of Jonas' favorite parts of the evening was getting to connect with donors all across the U.S.
"Answering phones and being able to talk to people all around the country has been an amazing opportunity," he said. "When we can get together as a group of people that may have a wider reach than just a couple of people, it works really well. It's an honor to be in the room."
iTunes customers can exclusively pre-order the "Hope for Haiti Now" full-performance album ($7.99) and the full two-hour video telecast ($1.99). Pre-orders will be delivered in the days following the telethon. Individual audio performances will also be available for purchase and download for 99 cents each in the days following the telethon. Apple, the record labels and the artists will donate their share of the proceeds to Haiti relief funds managed by "Hope for Haiti Now" charities, including the Red Cross and Wyclef's Yele Haiti foundation. Performances will also be available for purchase in the days following the event through Amazon's MP3 service and Rhapsody, through distribution provided by INgrooves.