For Richard Gere, being famous means nothing unless he can use his power to bring awareness to issues that the world needs to know about.
We all know him as the charismatic actor who's wooed ladies with his prowess in movies like Pretty Woman and Nights in Rodanthe. We even know him as the loving husband who adores his wife, Alejandra Silva. After all, he never fails to mention that she makes him the happiest man in the universe. Here's one side of Richard Gere that will have you falling even more in love with him - he's a humanitarian.
On 9th August, news broke that there were migrants who had been stuck on the Mediterranean Sea for over a week before being rescued. Kept aboard the Open Arms, a rescue ship floating in international waters near the Italian island of Lampedusa, they were running low on supplies due to a blocked entry into the ports of Italy and Malta. And then Richard Gere came to their aid.
He had been in Italy during the week and after seeing the news and the plight of the 121 migrants, he contacted the Spanish charity Open Arms and asked “How can I help?” a spokeswoman for the group told The Associated Press. Soon enough, two days later, he was on his way to the ship carrying boxes of food and supplies, including fruits and drinking water.
The charity's Twitter account even showed pictures of the actor unloading boxes of fruit, vegetables, and water, according to Euro News. But that wasn't the end of it. He then sat with the migrants and began talking to them, trying to learn their story and the struggles they had been through.
Of those several migrants who had fled from a war-torn Libya on unseaworthy smuggling boats before being rescued, was a man and his baby. Being a father himself, he shared with them the photos of his months-old son with Alejandra.
After meeting with them and getting to know them, he said, according to USA Today, “The most important thing for these people here is to be able to get to a free port, to get off the boat, to get on land and start a new life."
Feeling like there was more he could contribute, he sent out a video message asking people to support the charity and the migrants on the ship. He urged the world to “please support us here on Open Arms and help these people, our brothers and sisters.”
"The two boats that were rescued here, probably all hands on board would have been lost. So the people that you see here on this boat, they’re only here because of the donations to Open Arms for the work that Open Arms does," he said in the video. This side of him is truly heart-warming.
But this isn't the first time that Richard has been active in advocating human rights. In fact, he has a long history with taking part in campaigns for environmental issues and AIDS research. He has even been banned from China for advocating for human rights in Tibet. Even for this story, while he has received words of encouragement, he has also been mocked for his efforts.
However, to us, knowing that his kindness extends beyond the movie world and his family life, is a thing to feel happy about.
Watch the full video here: