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Hollywood celebrities featured in photography book to commemorate Hurricane Katrina one year later

Hand-written ‘love letters’ from Kevin Bacon, Helena Bonham Carter, Jon Bon Jovi, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake and others included in ‘Love Letters to the South’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 17, 2006)— Seventy-five celebrities from the worlds of film, television and music have shared handwritten messages of hope and healing for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The notes will be published by NAKED INK in a book titled, “Love Letters to the South” releasing Aug. 22. This one-of-a-kind photography book pays tribute to all those affected by Hurricane Katrina and proudly supports Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Home Delivery aiding in the building of homes in the South, and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, to support future disaster relief efforts.

Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, this book features never-before-seen portraits of the celebrity contributors by acclaimed photographers Paul Alexander, Alison Dyer, Nabil and Michael Grecco. It also includes such notable humanitarians as Johnny Depp, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Helena Bonham Carter, Forrest Whitaker, John Turturro, Gabrielle Union, Marlee Matlin and Josh Hartnett, to name but a few. Many had personal connections to the South; others simply wanted those affected by Hurricane Katrina to know they felt a human connection.

Their heartfelt sentiments are a stirring reminder that those around the world will continue to offer assistance during the long road to recovery, and will help ensure that critical resources are available whenever or wherever disaster strikes.

“The purchase of this book will help ensure the American Red Cross is there the next time an emergency strikes, whether it happens across your street or across the country,” said Kathleen Loehr, interim senior vice president of Development for the American Red Cross. “We are extremely grateful to be a part of such a powerful and compelling book that truly acknowledges how Katrina’s devastation affected the nation.”

The images and notes found in the book were collected over the past eight months, beginning just days after Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana and Mississippi. With powerful images ingrained in the public consciousness, support for the project was immediate and dramatic.

“Habitat for Humanity is grateful for the extraordinary support so many people continue to provide as we build houses and hope with Gulf Coast families displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity. “’Love Letters to the South’ is yet another measure of the compassion and generosity that individuals and groups throughout the United States and around the world have demonstrated. Habitat is truly humbled by this opportunity to expand its building capacity in the Gulf Coast region through support from this creative project.”

Wardrobe used during the shoots for Love Letters to the South was provided by DKNY Jeans and is being donated to help those less fortunate.

Published by NAKED INK, Love Letters to the South has a suggested retail price of $24.99. It is 144 pages and is available via Amazon.com and wherever fine books are sold. $2.50 from the sale of each book will benefit The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and $2.50 from the sale of each book will benefit Habitat for Humanity with each organization receiving a minimum donation of $25,000 from this project. For more information please visit www.loveletterstothesouth.com.

About the Publisher
NAKED INK, a division of the General Trade Book Group of Thomas Nelson Publishers, is a publisher of books devoted to inspiring a generation of readers who seek imaginative, honest and relevant information through entertainment and pop-culture driven products. Their first title, “The Hot Mom’s Handbook: Blondes Moms Have More Fun!” by Jessica Denay, creator of the Hot Mom’s Club, was published in April 2006. Their next release, “Love Letters to the South” (August, 2006), is a one of a kind photography book honoring those affected by Hurricane Katrina, featuring photos by award-winning photographer Paul Alexander and personal messages of hope and healing from some of the world’s best-loved celebrities. “The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder & Other Mountains by Skip Yowell,” co-founder of JanSport, will be released in January 2007. For more information about NAKED INK, go to: www.nakedink.net.

About The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has helped people mobilize to help their neighbors for 125 years. Last year, victims of a record 72,883 disasters, most of them fires, turned to the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross for help and hope. Through more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people each year gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Almost 4 million people give blood—the gift of life—through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of more than 180 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.