Famous as a brilliant actor, two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn is also co-founder, along with Ann Young Lee, of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) Response. This charity was originally founded in 2010 as the J/P Haitian Relief Organization shortly after Haiti was devastated by the earthquake that occurred on January 12 of that year. Seeing the damage suffered by so many in that impoverished Caribbean country, Penn brought together medical and emergency personnel, as well as government officials, to help Haitians cope with the catastrophe. As of this writing, there are still over 150 people from CORE Response working in Haiti to help rebuild and rejuvenate that country.
The CORE Response website states that the organization has branched out to address other disasters in other areas. The charity recognizes the painful truth that “when a crisis strikes it’s the marginalized, vulnerable communities that suffer most – wherever they might be” so it focuses on assisting low-income people.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, CORE Response swung into action. CORE Response is, often in partnership with other organizations, providing coronavirus testing throughout the states of California, Georgia, and North Carolina. It does testing in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, D.C. It is working with the Johns Hopkins University Center for American Indian Health and with local government to support testing in the Navajo Nation and Fort Apache Reservation. The CORE Response website notes that the Navajo Nation “has the most confirmed Covid-19 cases per capita in the country” and elaborates that CORE Response is helping Navajos cope with the pandemic’s ravages through “distribution of food and household cleaning supplies, access to clean water sources, and innovative shelter solutions for safe quarantine.”
Sean Penn’s special relationship with the entertainment industry, to which he has contributed so much as a professional, is reflected in CORE Response’s special outreach to the Los Angeles film industry. Partnering with Curative Labs, CORE Response offers private testing to motion picture industry productions. The website notes that funds raised through these private tests “will directly support CORE’s Covid-19 response effort throughout the nation serving low-income, high-risk, and vulnerable populations.”
To learn more about CORE Response, visit its website at coreresponse.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 323-934-4400.