Oprah Winfrey launches Oprah's Angel Network Katrina Homes Registry

In September 2005, Oprah reported live from the Gulf Coast just days after Hurricane Katrina blew to shore. She saw the desperate conditions facing those lucky enough to survive the storm and she made a promise to never forget the displaced families. Then, during the The Oprah Winfrey Show's 20th season premiere, Oprah committed $10 million of her own money to build homes and help rebuild lives. She also launched the Oprah's Angel Network Katrina Homes Registry so viewers could help fill the homes with furniture, picture frames and other items that were lost in Katrina's wake.

In less than two months, viewers donated more than $5 million in gifts to the registry.

Oprah's Angel Network teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build and furnish homes for 65 families relocated to Houston, Texas. Just a couple of months after announcing her pledge, Oprah delivered the good news to the first 50 families.
Houston's mayor, Bill White, and Oprah pass out Habitat toolboxes

In Houston, families thought they had gathered to interview for a Habitat for Humanity home, but little did they know, Oprah was backstage with a big announcement.

"I want you to look around at all the people that are here, because you might have come in with people who were strangers, but I want you to know that as of today, you will all become neighbors," Oprah said. "Every family here is getting a new Habitat home—nobody deserves it more than everybody in this room."

Along with Houston's mayor, Bill White, Oprah passed out toolboxes so the families could begin building their new community from the ground up. As a down payment, the families pledged to work with Habitat for Humanity volunteers for 300 hours on the construction of their new homes.
The First Move In Day on Angel Lane, Houston, Texas

Then on a chilly and rainy day in February 2006, 12 families get to see their brand new, fully furnished and decorated Oprah's Katrina Homes on the first move-in day on Angel Lane!

Houston is only the beginning, Oprah says—Oprah's Angel Network has committed to putting 250 families affected by Hurricane Katrina in new homes.
Jon Bon Jovi and his band donate $1 million to Oprah Katrina Homes

Oprah asked her viewers to open their hearts, and they did. As of May 2006, viewer donations total more than $10.5 million to the Oprah Angel Network Katrina fund and registry.

Some celebrity guests like Jon Bon Jovi and his band also helped fund construction on the second Angel Network neighborhood. Bon Jovi's surprise check for $1 million left Oprah speechless!

Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria and San Antonio Spur Tony Parker made a $50,000 donation to sponsor a Katrina Home from Oprah's Katrina Homes Registry.

NBA superstar Kevin Garnett was inspired to go even further. "I'm personally buying one Katrina home from your registry every month for the next two years," he wrote to Oprah. "That's 24 homes and $1.2 million for your Angel Network to help other families who need a place to live."
Kevin Garnett sponsors Oprah Katrina Homes in Jackson, MI

On March 25, 2006, almost 400 people showed up in Jackson for what Habitat for Humanity calls a "blitz build" to build 10 houses in one week. Volunteers of all ages hammered, hauled and painted to help build the first 10 of 18 homes in our second Katrina neighborhood. Kevin and Oprah's best friend Gayle King stop by to let the family volunteers know that they are building their own houses!

The big day finally arrives. See what waits for the families on the new Angel Lane!


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