Using their wealth to once again make a difference in the lives of others, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have announced a $500,000 donation to victims of the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., last month. The money will be used by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, with a focus on mid-term and long-term rebuilding projects in the city

Pitt, 47, grew up in Springfield, Mo., — famously leaving the University of Missouri for Hollywood two weeks short of earning his degree. In a statement, he expressed how important it was to help lend a hand to the people of Joplin. 

“With the devastating loss of 30 percent of the city, the Joplin community faces great challenges ahead. Having spent much of my childhood there, I know these people to be hardworking, humble and especially resilient,” he said. “The locally based Community Foundation of the Ozarks will be working shoulder to shoulder with these Joplin residents for the long haul as they rebuild their lives. We, too, hope to further help with these rebuilding efforts."

Added Jolie, “Last year 42 million people worldwide were displaced by natural disasters. So often these disasters seem far away, but now the need is for thousands of people displaced right here at home. Our hearts go out to the families in Joplin who have lost so much.”

Joplin was hit by a nearly mile-wide EF5 tornado, with winds over 200 mph, on May 22. More than 75 percent of the town was damaged in some way, with some estimating that one third of the city was destroyed. At least 151 people have so far been confirmed dead from the disaster. 

“Rebuilding after a disaster is a long process,” said Brian Fogle, president of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. “As our neighbors in Joplin begin to deal with the devastation, this donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation gives them the hope and confidence they will need to rebuild their lives, homes and community.”

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie donate $500K to tornado victims
Hollywood couple give cash to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to support mid-term and long-term rebuilding efforts in the Joplin, Mo., area.