First things first, Happy Birthday Izzie and let the celebration commence, I’ll be there Saturday. You are a great friend but more like an older (much older, just kidding, lol) brother to me. I appreciate you.

Now onto business…

Our friend actor and philanthropist Isaiah Washington is using the occasion of his 45th birthday to kick off a national campaign entitled Reach One Million. Spearheaded through his non-profit organization, The Gondobay Manga Foundation, the campaign is the brainchild of Washington, who has set a goal of raising $250,000 to help improve the lives of one million children in Sierra Leone—one village, one region, at a time.

Launched online via ReachOneMillion.org, the Reach One Million campaign will engage and educate everyday Americans on the plight of the children of Sierra Leone, where 47% of the country’s children under the age of 5 are afflicted with malaria and 28% percent of the population are unable to meet basic food requirements.

The campaign calls for Americans to help ‘reach one million’ children in Sierra Leone by making a donation in the amount of $5 to $5000, to aid in providing food, education, protection from malaria, and clean drinking water.

The Reach One Million campaign comes on the heels of Washington discovering his genetic link to the Mende tribe of Sierra Leone. After his initial visit to Sierra Leone in 2006 where he saw first hand the extreme poverty and the needs of the children of Sierra Leone, he made a pledge to do more to help the country. One year later in 2007, Washington opened the Chief Foday Golia Memorial School near the village of Njala Kendema in the Bagbwe Chiefdom. Currently, there are 300 students out of a total population of 2,150 from six villages in the Chiefdom attending class everyday.

Later this year, Washington will travel back to Sierra Leone where he will receive dual citizenship from the Sierra Leonean government. If all goes well, your girl will be right there with him.

“This is a historical moment in time for me, the people of Sierra Leone, and Africa,” commented Washington. “DNA has memory and we all can do our part to make life a little better for those less fortunate. While I am very much focused on helping the underserved here at home, it’s also important to me now that I know where I come from, to help my people in Sierra Leone as well.”

The campaign’s official websites are www.ReachOneMillion.org and www.myspace.com/reachonemillion.