Legend rocks NYC rooftop for Show Me charity 2009: New York

Legend rocks NYC rooftop for Show Me charity

NEW YORK -- John Legend hopes his Show Me charity will show others that everyone can make a difference to help end world poverty.

The 30-year-old singer held a posh benefit dinner for his two-year-old nonprofit organizaton on Tuesday night, and celebrated the event with an intimate performance for his invited guests. But more than his music, Legend wanted people to take away from the event the message that individuals have to step up to change the circumstances of the poor. "Our organization by itself can't do it, but we believe we can be part of the solution and we don't want to wait around for everybody else to do it," he said in an interview at the dinner, which was attended by Wyclef Jean, NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous, former New York Giants player Tiki Barber, top economist Jeffrey Sachs, and others. "We're funding a village in Tanzania and we're seeing positive results on the ground that show that our work is making a positive impact over there, and if we were just to replicate that throughout the world, we can see a lot of progress made," Legend said. In some African villages, the nonprofit has developed clean water sources and higher-yielding agricultural techniques, distributed bed-nets to prevent malaria, improved access to health care and education and even improve Internet access. Legend said he was inspired by Sachs' book, "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time," to create the Show Me organization.

Sachs, who's worked with artists like Bono, Madonna and Angelina Jolie, says Legend is the kind of celebrity who can encourage others to get involved.

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