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Jared Leto Remembers Life in Haiti: "It Was Magical"

Jared Leto Paul Fenton/ZUMAPress.com

Jared Leto doesn't usually talk about the time he and his family lived in Haiti.

"I tend to keep my life stories to myself," he told me earlier today. "You've got to keep some things for yourself. You can't give everything away."

But he felt compelled to share his experience when he heard about the devastating earthquake...

When he was 12 years old, Jared moved to Haiti with his older brother and mother; she helped run two medical clinics for about a year before returning to the States.

"It was a magical time," Leto said. "Could you imagine being a kid in such an exotic place? It was eye-opening. It was a life-changing experience."

What he remembers most are the people.

"They have such a strong spirit and a wonderful culture and joy even in the midst of all the struggles they have gone through," Leto said.

Not only did Leto take part in Larry King's Haiti telethon last night, but his band 30 Seconds to Mars is also auctioning off tickets to one of its shows, backstage passes and dinner with the band on eBay. As of this afternoon, bidding was up to about $13,000.

The group plans to continue fundraising efforts during their upcoming European tour, which kicks off next month in the U.K.

Leto is confident Haiti will recover. "The Haitian people are resilient people and they're survivors," he said. "If I thought that running down to Haiti tomorrow would be the best course of action, I would certainly do that. But the important thing right now is cash…This is going to be a long journey and a very long recovery process.

"This isn't something that is going to be fixed overnight."

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Click here to find out how you can help Haiti right now.

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