Mikhail Gorbachev, Sean Penn

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Good deeds don't go unnoticed.

Oscar winner Sean Penn was honored with the 2012 Peace Summit Award today in Chicago for his strong role in the aftermath of Haiti's tragic earthquake in January 2010.

"It's an overused phrase, I know, but I trust you know its genuine today, I am humbled. I'm trembling and I like it," Penn said while sharing the stage with the Dalai Lama and former Polish President Lech Walesa.

An emotional Penn used this time to urge more aid for Haiti.

"It would take a poet laureate to describe for you the courage and the dignity of (Haiti's) people," he said. "There are no people on earth more willing to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. But as Dr. Martin Luther King said, it's fine to tell a man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps, but evil to tell a man to do so without boots."

The actor is the first non-Haitian to be designated an ambassador-at-large for Haitian President Michel Martelly, and is also CEO of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, an aid group that manages two camps that serve as homes to about 18,000 people.

"He actually exchanged his home in Malibu for a tent," Udo Janz, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said when he introduced the 51-yar-old to accept the award. "Think of it as the Oscar for your humanitarian commitment, Sean."

GALLERY: Do-Gooder Gallery

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