Drew and Jonathan Scott Celebrate Their 45th Birthday by Giving Back in a Big Way (Exclusive)
The Property Brothers are turning 45 — and marking the occasion with a special tradition.
Jonathan and Drew Scott, who celebrate their birthday on Friday, kicked off the week in south Los Angeles on a building site with Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit organization that builds and improves homes for communities in need around the world.
The Global Habitat Humanitarians have been working with the organization for “over 25 years,” Drew told PEOPLE during a visit to the build site on Monday, and this year, decided to combine their big day and their passion for giving back.
“That’s something that’s always been important to Jonathan and me and our family is our birthday. It’s not a chance to celebrate ourselves. It’s a chance to give back to the community,” he says.
Habitat for Humanity hosts an annual “Home is the Key campaign” every April, which the brothers always participate in, Jonathan says. “And we thought this year, why not actually just do a little something different and do something with our birthday?”
The LA-based project the brothers helped with will see eight families “who otherwise would not have had access to safe, affordable housing” receive their own brand-new home, Jonathan says.
“They’re going to realize home ownership, which they’ve never had before, and I think that’s really exciting to be a part of — giving a family that opportunity to thrive in their lives,” Drew adds.
The brothers are also launching a social media campaign in tandem with the build, which Jonathan says will expand the effort from just Habitat for Humanity’s community to their followers and the wider HGTV community. “I’m partnering with a bunch of celebrity friends of mine and I’m basically going to help people at home with their own projects that they have to get done,” Jonathan says.
“So I’m going to do a consultation via Zoom with people every day, the week of my birthday,” he continues, explaining that whether it’s a consultation, funding, or another piece of assistance someone needs to get their project done, he’s willing to help.
“I love that we can help Habitat doing this and we can also help people who follow us online and who watch the shows and say, ‘Geez, I wish I really could finish [a project].’ I think it’s going to be a way for us just to show everybody that we are paying attention.”
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A desire to give back is something that the Property Brothers stars say their parents instilled in them from a young age.
“Our parents, they were so passionate about the planet, about families, about giving everybody an opportunity to love life and fulfill their dreams,” Drew says. “Growing up with that kind of energy and love in the house was really important for us.”
Their rural upbringing didn’t hurt, either.
“We grew up on a ranch too, so we were always outside building the barns, mending the fences, and we built our family ranch home, too,” Drew adds of their Canadian roots. “And so to be a part of that from a really young age — we were our dad’s little helpers — and then to get into building on our own afterwards in the same capacity, just to help families, was always pretty amazing.”
Even after 25 years with Habitat for Humanity, the HGTV stars continue to be inspired by the work they do — and what they see others do.
“We can really just help people understand the value of community,” Jonathan says. “And I think that is really hitting home hard with people right now, because when you do something to give a family an opportunity — you build a safe, happy home — it’s not just that home. It affects that person and how they relate to their community and how they relate to their circle of friends. And you really can transform an entire city by focusing on families.”
He adds, “Any way we possibly can give back, we want to.”
When he’s not volunteering with his brother or on set for their latest show, HGTV’s Celebrity IOU, Jonathan is putting the finishing touches on his own home with girlfriend Zooey Deschanel. The couple recently worked together to renovate their new family home, a stunning five-bedroom property they dubbed Park House in Los Angeles.
“[Zooey] has incredible taste, so she picked a lot of the finishes and the wallpapers and things like that,” he said, adding that while he focused on construction, the New Girl alum, 43, took on the role of interior designer.
“I’ve never in my life trusted somebody else to make any design decisions in my house. So when we were doing it for our house, it was nerve-wracking, but she’s incredible.”