Eric Klein
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Eric Klein

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Comedy World



The best kept secret in music


"Why U.S. Aid Workers Refuse to Give Up"

Can-Do founder Eric Klein spent most of 2010 in Haiti helping people recover from the devastating earthquake.
As he returns to Haiti in 2011, his first stop will be at an orphanage that his charity helped rebuild last year. The 50 children there call him "EK."
The orphanage is completely out of food and resources.
"When you get out there, it is again the first day of the disaster -- it is like you are there for the first time," Klein said. "The need is still so great -- the disaster is not over, and in some ways it is just getting worse."

"Why do I do it? Anger and frustration. If it was your kids, and you were in the same situation, you are going to do whatever you can. You are not going to stop. And for the aid workers, the Haitian people have become family and we are emotionally invested, so we will see it through."

For all the efforts of aid workers, Haiti is still struggling with tattered tent cities, scarce basic necessities, and a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 3,000 people.
"It is hard to go back," Klein said. "People are out there, risking their lives and trying to make a difference, but they are limited, and for many the funding is gone. There is so much to do in Haiti that it is overwhelming."

And while donors, and prospective donors, are frustrated with the results of the dollars they sent in the wake of the quake, Klein is frustrated too.
"I don't want to say nothing has been done, and you don't want to take away from the groups that are out there, trying their hardest to make a difference," Klein said, "but where is the master plan? People are dying. People are running out of time."

According to Klein, nongovernment organizations working in Haiti are mostly responsible for slow progress, and he encourages donors to hold them accountable.

But the Haitian election and resulting political turmoil have delayed the launching of much-needed recovery projects, he said.

"We have supplies right now with Haiti's customs, still being processed, which was originally sent over there, and needed there, more than three weeks ago" Klein said.

"It discourages you when they are in total desperation and they look at you as the person to help them -- and your hands are tied. You can't get the stuff out and you go back to them empty-handed, and it is the worst feeling in the world."

Despite aid worker frustrations, Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, has seen improvement.

During the earthquake, roughly 4,000 schools in and around Port-au-
Prince were destroyed. By the end of 2010, UNICEF had completed 57 semipermanent schools, with another 70 under construction. It has also re-equipped 2,000 temporary schools with learning materials such as backpacks, blackboards and furniture.

Stern's greatest encouragement is the children's crisp white uniforms.

"A month ago I was awed by 40 schoolgirls at a semipermanent school, who were wearing spotless white school uniforms," she said.

"Most of these girls are still living in tents, but every day they scrubbed their shirts, stretched them to remove wrinkles, folded them tightly to their textbook and placed them under their mattress. If this is what their future means to them, who am I to give up and say no?"

Her frustration with donor fatigue is that it has turned into an intellectual debate, weighing donations and speed of progress. Stern said this debate ignores the fact that these are people, and their lives are in the balance.

"I don't want America to stop from asking these tough questions, because they have to keep all of us on the ball. I just want them to understand that the option to stop helping Haiti, while we address those questions, is that people will die," Stern said.

This additional crisis of cholera in Haiti is being met by organizations already dealing with exhausted volunteers, donor fatigue and doubt.
"We are really stretched right now in our own capacity, and we are making a call to other - CNN

"Oprah Winfrey Introduces 10 "Incredible People""

Reality TV, says Oprah Winfrey, is ready for a reinvention. "So much of what we see is about people getting for themselves," Winfrey tells PEOPLE, "and I wanted to see a show about the flip side of that—about people competing to give versus get."

Say hello to Oprah's Big Give, the new ABC series (premiering March 2) that pits 10 contestants—everyday people "who have had incredible experiences and want to use their lives to give back," says Winfrey—against each other to see who can give money away the most effectively. "To be handpicked by Oprah to give back to America? It doesn't get any better than that," says contestant Rachael Hollingsworth, 32, a former gang member who escaped her neighborhood to graduate college. Well, it could: The winner will get $1 million.

The Oprah Winfrey Show design expert Nate Berkus hosts the show; the judges are Malaak Compton-Rock (Chris Rock's wife), NFL star Tony Gonzalez and chef Jamie Oliver, all known for their charity work. The idea for the series grew out of an episode of her daytime show about "paying it forward," says Winfrey. "I hope that viewers will see something of themselves in the contestants. That's what this is really about—feeling inspired and asking yourself, 'What would I do?'"

For an exclusive first look at Oprah's contestants, turn the page.

1. Rachael Hollingsworth, singer, 32
"I always thought, 'If Oprah could do it, I can do it,'" says the Brooklyn native, who, like Winfrey, survived childhood abuse. She's now a college grad. "When we met, I was like, 'You know my name!' I was sobbing."

2. Angelo Adams, Iraq War veteran, 30
The ex-Army captain would donate his winnings to a school for veterans' children he attended in Pennsylvania. He wants to teach his two kids, he says, "how important giving is."

3. Cameron Johnson, millionaire businessman, 23
At 12, he made $50,000 in a year selling Beanie Babies online, then earned a fortune in the dot-com world. Oprah, says the Roanoke, Va., native, "is a self-made entrepreneur—that's what I wanted to be."

4. Brandi Milloy, marketing director, 24
The beauty-pageant veteran from Arizona has an appetite for competition: She once beat out male rivals to win a pie-eating contest and ate a live worm on a dare. She's done volunteer work since she was 12. "This show is right up my alley," she says.

5. Marlene Snipes, Amtrak attendant, 38
The Chicagoan gives back as a motivational speaker and aerobics instructor—she even makes her own birthday about other people. "Every year for the last three years, I've been hosting my family for breakfast on my birthday," she says. "I give them gifts!"

6. Kim Prentiss, sports-marketing executive for the Tennessee Titans, 40
"My girlfriends were getting Botox, getting their boobs lifted, worrying about looking older" when they hit 40, says Prentiss. "I thought, 'I've spent so much of my life worrying about myself that I want to make the next 40 years about making a difference.'"

7. Stephen Paletta, real estate developer, 43
He paired up his daughter's elementary school in Bedford, N.Y., with one in Rwanda so kids could share artwork and letters. The program also raises funds for the Rwandan school. "Kids can change their opinion about the Third World very early on," he says.

8. Eric Klein, Founder/CEO of CAN-DO, 38
After the 2004 tsunami, "I called a buddy and said, 'Let's take $10,000 and go to Sri Lanka,'" says the Californian, who also pitched in after Hurricane Katrina. "Oprah has the same attitude."

9. Carlana Stone, TV producer, 39
An accident left her paralyzed as a teen, but the Glendale, Calif., resident skydives, flies planes and scuba dives. Now she's living out another dream: "I've been trying for years to have Oprah bring me on as a producer!"

10. Olusegun "Sheg" Aranmolate, premed student, 24
After coming to the U.S. from Nigeria at 18 with just a duffel bag, Aranmolate has earned two degrees in biology. He also works f - People Magazine

"A First at the United Nations as CAN-DO Founder Eric Klein is Honored with the "Global Compassion Award"" founder Eric Klein received the Airline Ambassador's "Global Compassion Award" in a ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters. The award, presented by famed NBC journalist and philanthropist Ann Curry, was in recognition of Klein's international disaster relief efforts and achievements in humanitarian aid.
The event was hosted by Airline Ambassadors, an international philanthropic organization, comprised of volunteers from the airline industry who use their travel privileges to help those in need.
As a first in the United Nation's history, the event was broadcast LIVE over the Internet via, CAN-DO's interactive real-time video website which allows millions world wide to partake virtually in global relief efforts.
Over 350 supporters and dignitaries -including UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon- attended the event. In an emotional speech Klein emphasized the importance of accountability and cooperation in the relief field.
"I would not being doing justice to the survivors of disasters whom I serve and who fall victim every day to the system, if I did not bring attention to the issue of accountability," Klein said. He stressed the imperative to hold large NGO's and relief organizations responsible for each donation collected and distributed.
Announcing CAN-DO's partnership with Airline Ambassador's, Klein underlined the importance for individuals and organizations to work together to create a maximum impact. "By uniting, collaborating and supporting one another we can expand our efforts globally. We can show that not only can one person make a difference in this world, but by many people and organizations joining together we change it."
CAN-DO and are quickly becoming recognized by the public and governmental forums as a transparent, "no-nonsense" organization that achieves measurable results with a lasting impact in disaster stricken areas across the globe. As a result of Klein's powerful speech and relief experience, Klein has been invited back to the United Nations to speak about accountability at a future conference.
CAN-DO is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. Our team provides critical humanitarian relief to communities most impacted by economic hardship and natural disaster. CAN-DO has coordinated immediate emergency relief missions in the Gulf Coast, Iowa, Sri Lanka, and Africa. CAN-DO has distributed critical aid and is currently coordinating educational enrichment and alternative energy projects to benefit the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. Our hands-on approach is revolutionizing the relief industry and leading the movement to create sustainable social change. - PR Web

"The Story of CAN-DO: Enough Is Enough"

As I sat in a hospital bed after being hit by a drunk driver in December 2004, I watched repetitive news broadcasts about the devastating tsunami that ravaged South East Asia, leaving more than 10 million people homeless and more than 230,000 dead. I couldn't pull my eyes off the screen, absolutely floored by the magnitude of this disaster. What ensued was the largest outpouring of charitable donations, fundraising concerts, celebrity events, and compassion our world has seen.

At the time I thought to myself, "This is great, people are really stepping up" - and they did. What blew me away were the news reports a month later when those same stations now showed glaring images of people in Sri Lanka and Indonesia fighting over coconuts because they had nothing else to eat as they slept under tarps and continued to wait. That was it for me.

More than $10 billion was pledged and yet news reports continued to show communities that had never received a penny. Countless questions raced through my mind, "What happened to investigative journalism?! Why is nobody being held accountable and who the hell is in charge?"

Not one reporter answered the question of "Where did all the money go?" I was shocked that these organizations were not accountable for documenting the expenditure and results of these generous contributions. In February of 2004, less than 30% of those affected in Sri Lanka had received any aid.

I refused to sit there, point fingers, and not do something about it. Fueled by anger, frustration, and the determination to find out the truth, when I was released from the hospital, I took the money from the settlement from the accident, boarded a plane, and flew to Sri Lanka.

The exhaustive explanations about the need for even more donations shrouded the fact that not only were funds not reaching survivors, but much of the aid that had been donated was actually locked up in storage areas while people continued to suffer.

This is not to say that there weren't groups that were helping, but the majority of what I saw consisted of relief efforts stalled by red tape, bureaucracy, and countless reasons about why nothing had been done while NO ONE was being held accountable.

I've never been one to take no for an answer. Instead of walking through refugee camps for "assessments," we picked up shovels side by side with the survivors of this disaster, and together we began to rebuild.

What began as a ten day trip, turned into four months of intensive reconstruction. This resulted in the development of homes, businesses, community centers, and individuals who could begin to smile again because they realized that they had not been forgotten in refugee camps while large agencies argued about the need for additional funds.

I documented the entire process with video footage, photographs, and receipts of every single penny spent. The response was incredible as donors were able to see the faces of the people they had helped. For the first time, they could actually see their impact. I realized that there is a different way of doing things, and I had an idea how.

Direct evidence of all expenditures that achieved those results was the missing piece of the puzzle.

It was from these seeds that CAN-DO was born.

CAN-DO was born out of my own frustration with the system and the critical need I saw to hold charitable organizations accountable for hard-earned donations and to the communities they serve.

I have come to find that "NGOs" are part of a highly unregulated business sector and we need to start making them accountable. And this was not just a problem in Sri Lanka, it is happening everyday.

We keep seeing these carefully scripted scenarios on TV news and infomercials of a starving child with a bloated belly and can not help but be stirred to sympathy and compelled to donate what we can to the number flashing on our screens. But how do we know whether or not our contributions are reaching that child, all I'm - Huffington Post


Still working on that hot first release.



Eric Klein is the founder and CEO of CAN-DO (Compassion into Action Network-Direct Outcome Organization). His organization provides immediate, frontline relief for those whose lives are impacted by disaster and operates under the mantra of "100% accountability and zero red tape." The CAN-DO website enables people to actually see exactly how their donated money is being spent and track progress at every step.

A 2004 car accident changed Klein’s life in an unexpected way. Instead of having surgery, he took his settlement money to Sri Lanka following the tsunami disaster. Klein spent four months living in Galle, Sri Lanka, where he led efforts to clear rubble, rebuild villages and put small businesses back in business.

Within weeks of returning home, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Klein lived on the Gulf Coast for nearly a year, where he set up over 25 relief distribution centers throughout Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. He has applied this same work ethic to projects in places like Sudan, Rwanda, Haiti and Iowa, following the state’s crippling floods.
Klein has gained support from high-profile advocates, including Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and CNN personalities Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta.

He is the 2008 recipient of the Global Compassion Award in a ceremony held at the United Nations. He holds a BA in Communication from Florida Atlantic University.