January 8, 2014

Brad Pitt and the leaders of his non-profit organisation, Make It Right, are considering legal action over claims rotting wood was supplied to rebuild homes in New Orleans, Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Inglourious Basterds star founded the group to aid in the environmentally friendly rebuilding of the city’s Lower 9th Ward after the deadly hurricane left the neighbourhood in tatters in 2005.

Now some of the glass-infused wood used to build the houses has allegedly started to rot, despite a 40-year guarantee of its durability.

Make It Right spokeswoman Taylor Royles tells New Orleans’ The Advocate magazine they will be replacing all of the wood over the next six months, even on the homes that have not shown signs of decay, costing the organisation about $US150,000 ($NZ180,000).

Royles insists they are considering legal action to recoup the cash, stating, “We are evaluating our rights under the law and under the product warranty.

“We hope to have a candid discussion with the company and have asked them to put their insurance carrier on notice. We prefer to resolve this short of litigation, but we are prepared to pursue all legal remedies if necessary.”

Pitt adds in a statement: “Make It Right is ambitious and tries new things all the time in order to make our homes better. Where we find innovative products that didn’t perform, we move quickly to correct these things for our homeowners.”

Read more.

November 8, 2013

Brad Pitt’s organization Make It Right is debuting the transformation of a rundown vacant metro school into new affordable housing in the urban core.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held this weekend for the former Bancroft Elementary School, but they gave an early behind-the-scenes look at the redevelopment. Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II will participate in the weekend ceremony for what will now be the Bancroft School Apartments.

Local companies partnered with Make It Right to build the energy-efficient apartments located at 4300 Tracy Avenue from the school that originally opened in 1904 and then had sat empty for thirteen years.

“When the school closed it became a blight, a drain on the community. It brought things down. It didn’t help elevate it,” said Jim Nichols, the owner of Dalmark Development Group.

Crews are finishing the final touches to begin leasing the apartments to low-income families.

Read more.

August 2, 2013

Nonprofits like Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation are benefiting from the power of millions of engaged Web surfers.
When Samuel L. Jackson was looking to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, he turned to Prizeo.com to create a sticky message. In a bid to lift the “Please give” plea above the din, the website and the notoriously foul-mouthed actor launched an accompanying video post of Jackson reading a Breaking Bad monologue.

The video went viral, and the effort raised $170,000 for Alzheimer’s disease.

Similarly, Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation teamed up with eBay last year, looking for an untapped way to raise money by harnessing the actor’s famous connections and the online auctioning giant’s massive community.

Read more. Thanks Gabriella.

December 16, 2012

Angelina Jolie travelled to the Jordan – Syria border to meet Syrian refugees who had just crossed the border for safety.

Nearly half a million Syrians have been registered in neighbouring countries since the intensified fighting began.

Hundreds of thousands more are expected to come forward for help in the next few months as their resources are depleted.

Since the UNHCR special envoy’s last visit in September, the number of registered Syrian refugees in the region has increased by more than 200,000 and in Jordan alone by nearly 50,000.

Angelina Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt made a donation of $50,000 for the purchase of tents for refugees.

Read more.

November 28, 2012

A charity organiser said she managed to get Brad Pitt to donate £700 to a baby unit while he was filming in Dorset.

Tricia Wilson-Hughes, who works at a gift shop in Lulworth, had managed to raise £40 from the crew of the zombie film World War Z, during a whip round.

But then she saw Pitt’s security guard and asked him if the star could donate and the guard returned with £700.

Ms Wilson-Hughes is raising money for Southampton hospital’s neonatal unit where a friend’s baby was treated.

Zachary Gallagher, who is now 18 weeks old, was born with gastroschisis and was in intensive care for nine weeks.

It is a condition where part of the bowel protrudes through the abdomen.

Ms Wilson-Hughes said she was worried the filming might impact on a fundraising event in Lulworth on Saturday and wanted to see if the actor could help.

You hear negative stories about A-listers but I won’t hear a wrong word against [Brad], I am in awe of him”

“I wasn’t too bothered if I didn’t see Brad Pitt… [but] I felt I had to do something for the charity,” she said.

“I was going round the crew as they passed the gift shop. They were putting in £5 notes… one asked me if we took cards.”

She said when she spotted Pitt’s security guards she asked for a small donation “of maybe £50”.

“[The guard] came back about 10 minutes later and said this is off Brad for your charity.

“He said there’s £700 in there, I couldn’t believe it, I was completely dumbstruck. He said if he had more he would have given it.”

Read more.

November 20, 2012

Brad Pitt, and a host of the world’s best loved and well-known house-hold names from Music, Film, TV and sport have pledged their support to male cancer awareness this International Men’s Day, by donating their signed and exclusive items all to be auctioned as part of the Cahonas Scotland ‘Loosen Up’ eBay campaign.

With men often “tongue tied” when discussing or dealing with male health issues it is hoped that the auction and campaign will provide an innovative way to help bring positive change in Male Cancer Awareness.

Brad Pitt has kindly donated one his owned and worn Gucci Bow Ties which he has signed. Other top celebrities who have been “positive role models” to the campaign, International Men Days 2012 theme, include One Direction and Damian Lewis as well as international stars Katy Perry and Killers front man Brandon Flowers.

Enthusiastic fans eager to get their hands on their favourite stars item can go online to bid from Monday 19th November until Sunday 25th November via the Cahonas Scotland eBay store by visiting the link Loosen Up Auction. All money raised will help Cahonas Scotland to advance education of the public in matters relating to male cancers and to undertake where necessary the prevention of discrimination and stigma arising from diagnosis and the cancer experience.

Commenting on the launch of this years ‘Loosen Up’ campaign, Cahonas Scotland Founder and Chair, Ritchie Marshall said, “As a charity focussed on positive men’s health, we at Cahonas Scotland fully support International Men’s Day, and particularly this year’s theme of positive role models for men. We would like to thank the many celebrities who have taken the time to engage with us, learn more about what we do and support our year end fundraiser, the Loosen Up Auction 2012.”

“With their support and generosity we will make a real difference to the profile of men’s health issues in 2013.”

Thank you Ritchie for bringing to SB’s attention, we are proud to support this charity and bring awareness to the public. Good luck with the auction!

Cahonas Scotland exists to advance education of the public in matters relating to male cancers and to undertake where necessary the prevention of discrimination and stigma arising from diagnosis and the cancer experience.

For more information visit Cahonasscotland.com