Brad Pitt, a Missouri native, and wife Angelia Jolie donated $500,000 on Friday to Community Foundation of the Ozarks to support rebuilding efforts and tornado relief in the area of Joplin, Missouri.
"With the devastating loss of thirty percent of the city, the Joplin community faces great challenges ahead," Pitt said in a statement released by the organization on Friday. "Having spent much of my childhood there, I know these people to be hardworking, humble and especially resilient."
He added, "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."
The tornado, which hit the city with winds of more than 200 mph on May 22, killed 151 people southwest Missouri city, reports the Associated Press. Officials estimated about 750 people were injured. The Joplin tornado is the seventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history, according to the organization.
Pitt, who was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma and raised in Springfield, Missouri, told the press at the premiere of his latest film "The Tree of Life" in May, "I spent a lot of time in Joplin. My grandparents are from there. It's about 50, 60 miles from where I grew up. We're looking into it now and my thoughts are certainly with them. "
Pitt's mother, Jane, and her parents lived in Joplin before she married the actor's father, William, in the town 1962, records show. Pitt's grandparents have since passed away.
"Last year 42 million people worldwide were displaced by natural disasters," Jolie said in the statement. "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."