EXCLUSIVE: Haiti hero - The heartwarming story of Jozy Altidore

09 February 2010 09:33
Hollywood, January 2010: The Grammy winning musician Wyclef Jean, born in Haiti, is performing alongside 'She Wolf' artist Shakira at a fund-raising charity concert wearing the United States No 17 shirt donated to him by his friend, the Hull City striker Jozy Altidore.

On Humberside, Altidore appears via a live link on The Larry King Show. Previously, guests have included Marlon Brando, Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Margaret Thatcher.

He has been invited on to the show to raise awareness for the Haiti relief mission. This is his story.

 Jozy Altidore is 20 years old. Through personal donations and fund-raising, the powerful centre forward has contributed £100,000 towards scholarships and water stations in Haiti, where it cost £40 a year to send a child to school.

His appearance on CNN's flagship programme was aimed at further raising awareness of the devastation caused by the quakes that claimed more than 200,000 lives and left 1.2million people homeless. Although there is a stampede of celebrities doing their bit, Altidore has long been helping the western world's poorest country.

He may be 4,665 miles away in the United Kingdom and preparing for a World Cup adventure with the United States that will include a first-round match against England, but he is a young man on a mission.

Helping Haiti: Jozy Altidore, who scored his first goal for Hull against Manchester City last weekend, has already raised £100,000 for the Haiti relief appeal

Although he was born and raised in New Jersey, his parents, Joseph and Giselle, are from Haiti and left to escape the brutal regime of President 'Papa Doc' Francois Duvalier, which eventually forced around one million people to emigrate.

Since making his name with New York Red Bulls four years ago, Altidore has twice visited the island as part of a relief and coaching team under the umbrella of former team-mate Seth Stammler's Sporting Chance Foundation and Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti charity.

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Source: Daily_Mail