Richard Gere has given a boost to the Salvation Army in his upstate New York hometown.
The star of such films as "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Pretty Woman" was the guest speaker Wednesday for the Salvation Army's 45th annual Civic Celebration held at a downtown Syracuse arena.
Gere grew up in nearby North Syracuse. He said his portrayal of a destitute man living on the streets of Manhattan in the 2014 film "Time Out of Mind" made him realize that most people purposely don't give a second glance to the homeless.
He said that needs to be changed to a more compassionate and understanding attitude.
Salvation Army officials said Gere's appearance will help their efforts to aid the homeless population and others in need.