Madonna Reaches Out to Italian Earthquake Victims

After failing in her attempt to adopt three-year-old Malawian orphan Mercy James, Madonna is turning her altruistic efforts to another group of disadvantaged people: The victims of Monday’s earthquake in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

People magazine reports that the Material Mom has made a “substantial donation” to the relief effort for the 6.3 magnitude quake, which has left more than 200 people dead so far. Madge’s mouthpiece, Liz Rosenberg, wouldn’t confirm the amount of the donation, but a source estimates it to be in the $500,000 range.

The Abruzzo region holds special significance for Madonna: Her paternal grandparents lived in the city of Pacentro until 1919.

“I am happy to lend a helping hand to the town that my ancestors are from,” the 50-year-old singer says. “My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones or their homes.”

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