There is much more to Richard Gere than his charming personality and being a humanitarian is one of them.
American actor Richard Gere is a bonafide heartthrob among the ladies following his dreamy roles in movies like Nights in Rodanthe and Pretty Woman. The charismatic actor further took up a special place in all our hearts through his dedication and love for his wife, Alejandra Silva. Some would say, there's no way he could be more appealing than this, but Gere has proved us wrong once again, by showing us his compassionate side. He did so by simply providing food for a bunch of rescued migrants who were stranded on a ship for days.
On August 9, news about a stranded Spanish humanitarian ship being stuck on the Mediterranean sea for over a week before being rescued surfaced. According to reports, 121 people were aboard the Open Arms, which was floating in the international waters near the Italian island of Lampedusa as they were not allowed to enter the ports of Italy and Malta. Amidst the ongoing debate over the entry of immigrants that seemed to have no end, the passengers on board were quickly running short of supplies. That's when Gere stepped up and came to their aid.
Prior to taking this charitable activity on, the 69-year-old happened to be in Italy. When he was made aware of the precarious situation that the people were faced with, he immediately contacted the Spanish charity Open Arms and asked, "How can I help?" said a spokeswoman for the group according to The Associated Press. Just two days later, the Pretty Woman star set out towards the stranded ship, carrying food items which included water and fruits from Lampedusa. The charity also posted a picture on Twitter where Gere was seen unloading boxes of supplies reports Euro News.
Soon a video emerged where the actor was heard saying, "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." Gere's gesture of donating food items was enough to reveal his humanitarian side, however, the actor decided to spend some time with the migrants and learn about the struggles they had been through. Soon, he found himself engaged in a deep conversation with one man among several others who had fled a war-torn Libya on unseaworthy smuggling boats prior to being rescued by the ship.
Seeing the man with his baby, Gere was reminded of his own children and he shared the photos of his youngest son with them. After understanding the rough time the immigrants onboard was going through 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." Urging the world to support these people Gere continued, "Please support us here on Open Arms and help these people, our brothers and sisters."
Of course, this is not the first time that Gere has worked towards helping people. In fact, he has been an active human rights advocate who has taken part in several campaigns including AIDS research and environmental issues. Can you believe this charming man was banned from China for enlightening people about their rights in Tibet? Unfortunately, the world is filled with people who love pulling others down, and even with all the effort that Gere has put into helping others, he has been mocked. Thankfully, the star continues to be himself regardless of what others say about him and by doing so he has proved his quality as human being time and again.