Fashion Icon Donna Karan Honored for Haiti Relief Efforts

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As the one-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake approaches, international disaster relief organization ShelterBox recognizes the contributions of fashion designer Donna Karan.

Fashion icon Donna Karan at Hope, Help & Relief Haiti fundraiser

When the earthquake happened, a call to action was needed where we created Hope Help & Relief Haiti to look for the best potential solution of how we could help...ShelterBox was the answer.

One year after a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti, thousands of families remain sheltered due in large part to efforts supported by fashion designer Donna Karan.

Deeply moved by the earthquake’s impact on the Haitian people, Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation partnered with ShelterBox, an international disaster relief organization to provide emergency shelter and life-saving equipment to disaster survivors.

More than 28,000 ShelterBoxes, which include tents, water purification systems and tool kits, have been distributed in Haiti. The ShelterBox aid delivered can support approximately 280,000 people and accounts for a quarter of the tents used to shelter those displaced by the disaster.

The fashion icon and passionate philanthropist enlisted celebrities and upscale retailers, including Whoopi Goldberg, Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige, Neiman Marcus and Ralph Lauren to launch "Hope Help & Relief Haiti,” an ongoing initiative whose mission is to create a conscious community of leaders in music, fashion, film, finance and art to become agents of change for the renewal of Haiti.

In addition to hosting a star-studded fundraiser in which ShelterBox was the main recipient of support, Karan displayed ShelterBox tents in stores and generated customer donations through online promotions. This generated hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure shelter for the people of Haiti as the rainy season approached.

“Our lifesaving mission would not be possible without the generous support of organizations like Urban Zen,” said Veronica Brandon Miller, ShelterBox USA executive director. “Donna Karan has an incredible ability to inspire others to act and her efforts continue to have a huge impact on the Haitian people.”

Karan’s long-term commitment to philanthropy and global healing led her to found the Urban Zen Foundation, an organization that brings together like-minded people and organizations to define solutions and implement action in the areas of well-being; empowering children; and preserving culture.

“When the earthquake happened, a call to action was needed where we created Hope Help & Relief Haiti, ‘a tent today, a home tomorrow,’ to look for the best potential solution of how we could help,” said Donna Karan. “ShelterBox was the answer. It gave a person a tent with all the tools necessary for survival to take care of families. From sleeping bags to a water filtration system, the ShelterBox tents are still one of the most important things that Haiti needs.”

Donna Karan will be honored as ShelterBox USA’s Humanitarian of the Year at a reception on Feb. 3, 2011, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Liaison Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Details are available at http://www.shelterboxusa.org or by calling (941) 907-6036.

Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at http://www.shelterboxusa.org, 941.907.6036 or via text message by sending SHELTER to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation. Location and time specific donations cannot be accepted. For information or to make a contribution by phone, please call 941-907-6036.

ABOUT HOPE, HELP & RELIEF HAITI
Hope, Help & Relief Haiti (HHRH) was created by Donna Karan and her Urban Zen Foundation, music executive Andre Harrell, the Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, and Andre Balazs and The Standard as an initiative aimed at galvanizing a community in response to Haiti’s immediate need to rebuild. HHRH’s mission is to create a conscious community of leaders in music, fashion, film, finance and art to become agents of change for the renewal of Haiti. The initiative launched in February 2010 with a “Night of Humanity,” a fundraising event at the Urban Zen Center. To learn more, go to http://www.hopehelpandreliefhaiti.org.

ABOUT URBAN ZEN FOUNDATION
The Urban Zen Foundation creates, connects and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children. Urban Zen designs forums, partners with existing organizations, and brings together experts to define solutions and implement action. Go to http://www.urbanzen.org to learn more.

ABOUT SHELTERBOX
Since 2000, ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity following more than 140 disasters in more than 70 countries. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. Each iconic green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for up to 10 people, stove, blankets and water filtration system, among other tools for survival. ShelterBox’s American affiliate, ShelterBox USA is headquartered in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Information: http://shelterboxusa.org.

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