Thanks to actor and activist Sean Penn and his nonprofit, the J/P Health Relief Organization, five Haitian runners will be given the opportunity to participate in this year's New York City Marathon.
“We’ve got five Haitian runners, 10 runners total, running for the team representing Haiti and our organization J/P HRO coming to the New York City Marathon ... So we’re really looking forward to it,” Penn told the Associated Press.
The 53-year-old has devoted a substantial amount of his time away from Hollywood working to help rebuild Haiti after it was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. At one point, his J/P HRO refugee camp numbered more than 60,000 people and included some 11,000 tents at a cost of more than $450,000 per month.
"There's no end point," he told The Hollywood Reporter a few years back. "This is where I'll be when I'm not working, for the rest of my life."
Penn's organization is using this year's marathon to not only send Haiti's elite runners to compete, but also fundraise for initiatives back home. So far, a Crowdrise campaign has brought in more than $103,000 towards a $500,000 goal.
"It's rewarding," Penn told the AP. "I just came back from Port-au-Prince, where I visited our Haitian marathon runners, and to see that great discipline that Haitians have and that great spirit and the excitement that they have visiting New York for the first time."
Check out a campaign video for the five Haitian runners below. The New York City Marathon will be held on Nov. 3.
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