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July 18 Brad Pitt, Bill Maher slam Costco, speak up for caged hens

LOS ANGELES — Brad Pitt and Bill Maher say Costco contributes to animal cruelty by selling eggs from caged hens.

Pitt sent a letter to the chief executive of the big-box chain Thursday asking the company to stop selling eggs produced this way. Pitt’s letter to Craig Jelinek says caged birds suffer atrophy of their muscles and bones from years of immobility, adding that the cages have been banned in California and much of Europe.

“As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings,” Pitt writes.

Maher took aim at the company in an editorial published last week by The New York Times.

“Multiple investigations into battery cages document animals with deteriorated spinal cords, some who have become paralyzed and then mummified in their cages,” Maher wrote. “Imagine cramming five cats or dogs into tiny cages, hundreds of thousands in each shed, for their entire lives. That would warrant cruelty charges, of course. But when the egg industry does it to hens, it’s considered business as usual.”

Both commended Costco for its other animal-welfare efforts and called on the company to make good on its 2007 promise to move toward uncaging its egg-laying hens.

Pitt and Maher each spoke out on behalf of Farm Sanctuary, an organization that advocates against the mistreatment of animals and factory farming.

Read more.

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categories: Charity/Philanthropy
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July 15 Tea with Prince William and Kate Middleton

There’s only one possible opening line for this article, so we’re just going to go for it: Hollywood royalty met British royalty on Friday when Angelina Jolie Pitt and husband Brad Pitt had tea with Prince William and Princess Kate at Kensington Palace on Friday.

In case the news is too good to believe, it was confirmed to Us Weekly by a Kensington Palace spokesman: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt at Kensington Palace on Friday afternoon.”

What would two of the most famous couples in the world talk about over tea? Saving the world, of course. “They discussed their shared interest in combatting the illegal wildlife trade,” the Kensington Palace spokesman said.

While the families also share a love of children, it was an adults-only tea party. While the Jolie-Pitts did get to meet Prince George outside the royal family’s apartment—and brought a belated birthday present for Princess Charlotte— both royal children missed their chance for a selfie with the famous actors (and all six Jolie-Pitt children missed their chance for royal portraits).

This was the first time that the two couples had met, but according to Us Weekly’s anonymous palace source, “Everyone got on splendidly.” So much so that “Brad and Angelina spent much longer with the Duke and Duchess than planned. They ended up staying for almost a few hours.”

Pitt and Jolie had brought their family to London for a luncheon at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as part of Jolie’s work on U.K. foreign policy and her ongoing efforts to end sexual violence in war zones.

Read more.


• x008 June 26 – Kensington Palace – London, England.

Thanks Vaska!

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June 27 Angelina – and Shiloh! – Bond with a 12-Year-Old Refugee in Lebanon

It’s a special mother-daughter trip for Angelina Jolie Pitt and 9-year-old Shiloh. The mom of six brought her daughter to Lebanon on Friday to spend time with a 12-year-old Syrian girl named Hala, whom Angelina met a year ago during a trip for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Shiloh is very aware that I hold refugee families in high regard and has been asking to come on missions and meet them for many years,” Jolie Pitt tells PEOPLE. “She had heard about Hala since my last visit to Lebanon, and has been wanting to meet her and her brothers and sisters.”

She continues, “It was wonderful that they were able to meet, play together, and make friends. So many refugees are children. I’ve often heard them say that the most painful thing is not that they have lost their homes – it is that they have lost their friends.”

Read more & see pics.

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categories: Charity/Philanthropy, family
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May 29 Pitt’s Promise of Free Homes on Fort Peck Underway

In 2011, Brad Pitt – on behalf of his Make it Right Foundation made a promise to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation that his non-profit would build 20 environmentally friendly homes at no cost to the Fort Peck Community.

Though Pitt stated the homes would be free, a reported $600,000 was fronted by Fort Peck tribal leaders and a plethora of problems continued to rear their heads in the face of developing the homes. In addition to sewage and land infrastructure problems, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also weighed in on the project – adding to the series of delays.

With all said, Taylor Royle, Communications Director of the Make it Right Foundation informed ICTMN, that the homes are on their way to finally being completed after several years of frustrating delays.

“Our first 10 homes are currently under construction and should be completed in July. We expect the remaining 10 homes (20 total) to be completed in the fall,” wrote Royle in an email to ICTMN.

Read more.

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categories: Charity/Philanthropy, Make It Right
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May 29 Half-price tickets for carloads of polo match fans at the ‘Care to Learn’ fundraiser

The “Stirrups for Students: Charity Polo to Benefit Care to Learn” event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 6 at the Blue Heron Farm, 4020 Benne Road in Defiance.

Care to Learn was founded in 2008 by Springfield businessman, Doug Pitt, with support from his brother, actor Brad Pitt.

The Pitt brothers had grown up in the region and Doug still lives in the area with his family. Learning of the high incidence of extreme poverty in his own hometown, Doug shared the challenge with family and friends and founded Care to Learn.

Since then, Care to Learn has funded 500,000 individual children’s health, hunger, and hygiene needs.

Now in the St. Charles, Wentzville, and Hazelwood districts in our region, Care to Learn St. Louis is hosting a charity fundraiser. This fun-filled day (for all ages) will have a polo match at the Blue Heron Farm in Defiance.

Read more. Great initiative!

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April 11 Make It Right Foundation is suing

Actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation is suing the maker of a supposedly glass-infused wood that the nonprofit group used to build decks and stairs at dozens of homes in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Lower 9th Ward. The group says the innovative product began rotting prematurely despite a 40-year guarantee.

The 12-page lawsuit, filed Monday in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, alleges that South Carolina-based Timber Treatment Technologies LLC intentionally sold a defective product. The lawsuit calls the episode “an egregious example of a manufacturer’s repeated misrepresentations, breaches of warranty and knowing deceptions.”

Make It Right used the glass-infused wood, called TimberSIL, from 2008 to 2010. By 2013, the nonprofit was “being notified by residents that the decks and other exterior elements in almost all of the homes in which TimberSIL wood had been utilized were exhibiting signs of rot and decay” and taking on a dark gray tinge, according to the lawsuit.

Timber Treatment founder and CEO Karen Slimak did not return a message seeking comment Monday.

Pitt’s foundation has built 104 energy-efficient homes in the Lower 9th Ward, according to the lawsuit.

Read more.

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January 29 Pitt and Jolie contribute to $5.5 million Joplin donation

A foundation has distributed more than $5.5 million in donations that poured into Joplin after a May 2011 tornado.

The Joplin Tornado Fund administered by the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri received just over $6 million in donations from sources as diverse as children’s lemonade stands to $500,000 from celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Stephanie Howard, president of the foundation board, says about 54 percent of the funds went to organizations that rebuilt or repaired the homes of owners who didn’t have insurance or enough insurance, or to federal allocations to re-establish a house or repair all the damage.

The Joplin Globe report groups that helped with mental health and counseling, and those that cared for children while parents dealt with the tornado’s aftermath, also received foundation grants.

Read more. Note: It is my assumption that the donation was done via the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

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