Despite the rain-soaked gray Sunday morning and the somber fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Sandra Bullock managed to get a laugh out of the crowd at Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans.
Flipping over an hourglass, the Oscar-winning actress joked, “THIS is all the time I have.”
Bullock, a part-time New Orleans resident, donated money to help rebuild the school and to open a student health clinic. She appeared at weekend events to pay tribute to those behind the hurricane recovery effort.
“I have seen nothing but unimaginable kindness, perseverance and hope right in this room here,” said Bullock. “It gives me great pleasure to be in the company of these people who have actually made the difference. They did the hard work, they are here sitting before you.”
Joking that she was beginning to sound like a politician – “No offense,” she laughed to U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter – Bullock said that despite the devastation, the anniversary should be seen as day for celebration.
“These young adults have seen the very worst, and they are committed to the very best,” said Bullock. ” They are our future leaders. I would like to thank the students who step up to the plate and do the hardest work. I didn’t do it in high school, and it makes me so incredibly proud.”
Wearing a V-neck dark blue knee-length dress, black belt and heels, Bullock stood with school nurse Cassondra Ferrand and principal Alexina Medley and other officials to cut the gold ribbon on the new health facility behind the school.
“It was more than her money,” says Easton Foundation board member Arthur Hardy. “She is like our spiritual leader. She is our angel.”
“What do you say about a human being who just pours out their heart and soul, who puts their money where their mouth is, walks the walk, talks the talk,” adds Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “And even if is was just in a movie, she married a New Orleans boy.”
For more information about the school and to donate to ongoing efforts, go to the Warren Easton Charter Foundation.