Thursday’s USA Today has a comprehensive roundup of what stars are doing on the ground to help, and some tell the paper they couldn’t help but get involved. ”It’s human to want to get your hands in it,” says Sean Penn, who says he embarked on his recent rescue boat effort because ”day by day, it became apparent there weren’t enough healthy bodies there to help, so I just went down there.” He insists that he was not seeking attention. ”I’m a 45-year-old man with two kids, and I’ve had plenty of attention in my life. I don’t need to dive into toxic waste for that.”

Other stars whose involvement extends beyond opening their checkbooks:

Tommy Lee Jones spent two days at San Antonio’s Kelly Air Force Base preparing meals for 15,000 evacuees.

Macy Gray, who handed out supplies at the Astrodome a couple weeks ago, is returning to do more of the same this weekend.

Teri Hatcher is modeling and selling a line of rhinestone-studded T-shirts bearing motivational messages, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

– Celebs who have launched Katrina fundraising websites include Sandra Bullock (, John Grisham (, and Master P (

Additional gestures from the showbiz world are outlined elsewhere in today’s issue of the paper:

-In Philadelphia, The Roots and Jill Scott will headline benefit concert Friday, with proceeds going to

-In Chicago, Twista will rap at a benefit concert Monday at the House of Blues, with proceeds going to the United Way Hurricane Fund’s drive to shelter evacuees who’ve come to the Chicago area.

-In AMC multiplexes, the proceeds from moviegoers’ concession and ticket purchases today will go toward relief efforts.

Finally, USA Today reports that newly minted reality star Mr. T has cast away his trademark gold chains in the wake of the disaster. He says, ”Because of the situation we’re in now [after Katrina], I told myself, ‘No, T, you can never wear your gold again.’ It’s an insult to God.”

addCredit(“Sean Penn: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images”)