Looks like George Clooney isn't the only hot Hollywood dude using his celebrity for good. In an interview set to air on Ellen today, Ellen DeGeneres catches up with Brad Pitt in her home town of New Orleans, Louisiana where he — and tons of others, he wants to point out — are making a difference to the survivors of hurricane Katrina.
His organization, called Make it Right, has set out to refine the reconstruction of homes in New Orleans' devastated Ninth Ward so that they "make more energy than they use" and so they can withstand another Katrina-like storm. Pitt says,
...the levy break, should have never happened, it shouldn't have collapsed, if they'd just made it right the first time...thousands of people wouldn't have died.
That's where the title of the project arose from. If you watch the video, the houses are not only sustainable but also beautiful. And I couldn't help welling up a few times seeing families who have probably been living there for generations, happy to be back in their old neighborhoods, feeling safe and secure for the first time since 2005. Ellen makes a great point to Brad near the end of the interview. Brad begins by saying,
I’m getting far too much credit for this. This took a lot of very smart people coming in and attacking the situation. It took the families determined to come back and their resilience, and they’re defining what this thing was going to be. I get far too much credit for bringing some really smart people together.
to which Ellen points out that, without his visibility as such a huge celebrity, the project would never have garnered the amount of attention it has, and maybe not seen such enormous success. Brad says the homes are now being built to a high standard at an affordable price in just three months each. Celebrities might live in some surreal level of the stratosphere compared to you and me, but in this case the money is going where it's needed, and for that I have to hand it to Brad Pitt and the rest of the people working and volunteering for the Make it Right project. [via JustJared]
Check out some of the finished homes in the gallery! They're pretty incredible, right?
What do you think of Brad Pitt's Make it Right campaign? Do you think projects like this need celebrity visibility to really get off the ground?