If you think Angelina is the only do-gooder in one of Hollywood's most famous relationships, well then you don't know Brad. Sure, she may steal most of the spotlight, traveling the world to raise awareness for her favorite causes. But, perhaps taking note from his gorgeous partner, Brad has a planet saving mission all his own. Created in late 2006, Brad's Make It Right foundation’ aims to build 150 sustainable homes in the Lower Ninth Ward area of New Orleans, which was completely devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Combining his passions for architecture and sustainable living, Brad's goal is to rebuild and heal a ravaged community that still needs plenty of help almost three years after the hurricane hit. The designs for the homes, created by 13 different architecture firms, had to cover four specific areas to meet Brad's demands: affordability, sustainability, safety and beauty. The homes include open porches, solar heat and light, low-flush toilets and methods of water resistance to protect against future flood damage. Plus, the green elements used to build the houses will reduce upkeep costs by at least 75%, making it easier for the low-income families who will move in to pay bills.
Brad, who owns a home in New Orleans, has also promised to match up to $5 million in donations made to the organization. And although it's his biggest effort to date, Make It Right is not Brad's first foray into green building. In 2006 he helped develop and co-sponsored Global Green USA's sustainable design competition aimed at drawing attention to the redevelopment of the devastated city of New Orleans. I urge you to go to the Make It Right site to see Brad's video on the homepage, learn about the project and see how easy (and rewarding!) it is to donate. You can pitch in individually or create a team with a local or national organization (another notorious do-gooder and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres has her own team on Make It Right that's raised over $500,000). Because, even though I adore that he's making these houses eco-friendly, sometimes it's really about giving hope, inspiration and a place to call home.