By Elizabeth Willoughby on
Comedienne, actress, and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres has raised over $10 million for the city since it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina over two years ago.
Besides her own financial donations, awareness raising, and gifts – like a new car to a single mother who lost her home to the hurricane – DeGeneres has raised over $800,000 so far for Brad Pitt's Make It Right campaign from viewer donations through her talk show.
Make It Right is building 150 environmentally friendly, self sustaining homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the hardest hit areas by the hurricane. People whose homes were flattened by the storm are quite happy about the project.
“I lost everything,” said one owner, walking around his now vacant lot. “[This] makes me feel good. It makes me feel good.”
“We lived in this neighborhood all our lives,” said another homeowner in waiting. “I feel great. I feel great because I want to come back home. We love it down here. I want to come back to my property, to my home.”
DeGeneres’ philanthropy doesn’t end in New Orleans. She has been involved in food drives, and has supported animal shelters, AIDs campaigns, children’s charities and more. Last year she partnered with the American Express’ Members Project along with singers Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, tennis pro Andre Agassi, and others.
The Members Project asked American Express members to register, submit, discuss, and rate ideas to make a positive impact in the world. Amex then donated $1 to the chosen project for every card member who registered. In August, $2 million went to UNICEF to organize the Children’s Safe Drinking Water project for children in the developing world.
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