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Hollygood: Josh Duhamel Recognized for Work Helping Victims of Haiti, Japan Earthquakes

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Josh Duhamel and his wife Fergie. (AP)

Josh Duhamel may play a courageous soldier in the blockbuster "Transformers" movie series, but in real life, the sexy actor is a hero to the American Red Cross.

“Josh has been involved with our Santa Monica chapter for over five years and has done a really incredible job—primarily with motivating youth,” Julie Thurmond Whitmer, director, celebrity and entertainment outreach for the American Red Cross, explained.

Because of his efforts, Duhamel was recently awarded with the Crystal Cross at the annual Red Cross Red Tie Affair on May 21st—the highest honor the American Red Cross bestows on its celebrity supporters.

“I had never been honored in that kind of way,” Duhamel told FOX411.com exclusively. “I was like, ‘Really? You’re going to give me an award? OK, I’ll be there!’”

The actor was recognized for his success in organizing youth runs to raise money for the victims of the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan

“I had this need to want to do something, actively do something—rather than just go to an event,” Duhamel explained. “I wanted to feel like I was actually contributing something physically.”

When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan earlier this year, Duhamel and his wife, Black Eyed Peas lead singer, Fergie, were especially affected.

“The Black Eyed Peas have a very close relationship with Japan,” says Duhamel. “They go there quite often. They were shooting a video just four days before the earthquake and tsunami struck there. So Fergie was really upset by the news.”

Duhamel took action and organized a second youth run for the American Red Cross. 

“(Fergie) loved the idea that I was sort of spearheading this thing, that I was taking the initiative to do it—because I’ve never really organized anything like it before," he said. "So she was able to come out for the Japan run that we did on her birthday—it was a great way to celebrate and we had a blast.”

“Over 4,000 people came out to support that relief effort,” says Whitmer. “Both Josh and Fergie have been really tremendous supporters, and we have been so grateful for all they have done.”

When Duhamel isn’t busy organizing youth runs, he’s preparing for a disaster closer to home.  “First aid and CPR classes are available at the Red Cross—they’re not a bad idea, because it can literally make the difference between life and death,” said Duhamel. “The better equipped we are to handle emergencies; the better off we’ll all be if a disaster happens here in Los Angeles. I’ve been certified in CPR, but it’s been years. I’m going to get re-certified in the next couple of weeks.”

The first week of June is National CPR/AED Awareness Week. Red Cross chapters across the country are conducting trainings and presentations on how to perform CPR and how to use an AED. If you happen to sign up for a CPR class at the Red Cross chapter in Santa Monica, you just may see Duhamel’s better half giving compressions to a dummy.

“Fergie doesn’t have her certification yet,” laughs Duhamel. “Maybe I’ll drag her with me!”

 

 

 

 

 

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