Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have a home in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and are spending the holidays there this year to support Brad’s “Make It Right” foundation. The foundation aims to build 150 homes by next Summer in the Lower 9th Ward, a neighborhood decimated by Katrina. Brad is pulling this off with residents of the area, Democratic fundraiser and movie producer Steve Bing, and a team of world-renowned architects launched a national fundraising campaign this week to help the city recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Pitt and Bing have already pledged to kick in $5 million each toward project development and construction.
On the site for the project, Make It Right NOLA, “_Users [can] “walk” through houses and view the home designs, which were produced by 13 teams of architects, including Thom Mayne, David Adjaye and James Timberlake. The website also allows visitors to “select” which items in the house they will support with their contributions._ “The plan is to start with 150 homes,” Pitt told a gathering of reporters and residents on Monday. “But there’s no reason why we can’t do a thousand homes, or 10,000 … . We can make this happen, but we all need to join together to do this.” Pitt hopes to break ground this spring on the first homes, all of them eco-friendly and built to withstand the elements - some will even float. He also been meeting with former residents of the area, which was bulldozed after the hurricane, to urge them to return. “We’re going to need the help of the American people,” said Pitt, who has spent long days at the site this week with Jolie and their children. “Each house will cost an average of $150,000 to build. People could donate $150,000 or $15. Every little bit counts. For every $150,000 that comes in, we’re talking about putting a family back in a house.“
This is pretty awesome, and it’s nice that in this time of the presidential campains which has nary a mention of NOLA’s stalled rebuilding that someone has stepped up to do what our goverment couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do over the past two years. Also, props to Pitt for using his celebrity for good - you have to admire that. I may buy a light, and maybe one of those hats. Remember, the first rule about Make It Right is to talk about Make It Right.