American Morning

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December 14th, 2010
07:35 AM ET

Big Stars, Big Giving: Halle Berry on helping victims of domestic violence

Editor's Note: In an American Morning original series, "Big Stars, Big Giving," CNN National Correspondent Alina Cho looks at celebrity philanthropy and how these big stars can make a big impact. Through one-on-one interviews with Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Edward Norton, Julianne Moore and Justin Bieber, she shares what causes have become their passions, and how you can get involved. The one-hour special debuts December 24th and airs again on December 25th.

Halle Berry may be best known for her work in "Monster's Ball" and "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," but did you know she's also been working to help victims of domestic violence?

Berry has been a volunteer at the Jenesse Center, a shelter for domestic violence victims, for more than a decade. She chose the Jenesse Center, in part because she grew up with domestic violence.

“I think I’ve spent my adult life dealing with the sense of low self esteem that that sort-of implanted in me," Berry says. "When I see the woman that I aspire to be like, being my mother, be beaten and treated like the gum on the bottom of your shoe, in some ways, that’s how I started to feel about myself.”

Berry is currently donating her time and money toward rebuilding rundown apartments at the shelter so women who flee their abusive partners have a clean and happy place of refuge.

To find out more about the Jenesse Center or to make a donation, visit Jenesse.org If you live in the Los Angeles area and need help from an abusive situation, call the Jenesse Center at 1800-479-7328. For help outside the L.A. area, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1800-799-7233.

To learn more on giving, and ways you can make a difference this holiday season, visit Impact Your World.

December 14th, 2010
05:00 AM ET

Big Stars, Big Giving: Photos from the Halle Berry shoot

Editor's Note: In an American Morning original series, "Big Stars, Big Giving," CNN National Correspondent Alina Cho looks at celebrity philanthropy and how these big stars can make a big impact.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of Alina Cho's interview with Halle Berry. To find out more about the Jenesse Center or to make a donation, visit Jenesse.org If you live in the Los Angeles area and need help for an abusive situation, call the Jenesse Center at 1800-479-7328. For help outside the L.A. area, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1800-799-7233.

Photos by Ethel Bass, CNN Producer.
FULL POST

December 13th, 2010
07:36 AM ET

Big Stars, Big Giving: Nicole Kidman and fighting for gender equality

Editor's Note: In an American Morning original series, "Big Stars, Big Giving," CNN National Correspondent Alina Cho looks at celebrity philanthropy and how these big stars can make a big impact. Through one-on-one interviews with Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Edward Norton, Julianne Moore and Justin Bieber, she shares what causes have become their passions, and how you can get involved. The one-hour special debuts December 24th and airs again on December 25th.

Nicole Kidman is a longtime goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM, the United Nations arm that fights for gender equality and to end violence against women.

Kidman was moved to act after her mother heard a report on the radio about a UNIFEM program in Cambodia. She says she was raised to be a feminist.

"A lot of my life, I've been trying to please my mother," she says. "This is probably the thing she most responds to in my life."

To get involved or read more about the U.N.'s "Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women," visit Unifem.org/untfevaw or in the U.S., text UNITE to 27722 to donate $10 to the fund.

To learn more on giving, and ways you can make a difference this holiday season, visit Impact Your World.

December 13th, 2010
05:00 AM ET

Big Stars, Big Giving series

Big Stars, Big Giving” is a CNN special series for "American Morning" and one-hour network special aimed at shining a spotlight on celebrities and the causes they support.

In a series of rare and revealing interviews, CNN National Correspondent Alina Cho goes one-on-one with Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Edward Norton and Justin Bieber.

The series will launch on “American Morning” the week of December 13th, 2010. The one-hour special debuts December 24th and airs again on December 25th.

Click here to see the full series schedule, watch the interviews, see behind-the-scenes photos and find out what you can do to help.

July 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Madonna's new girls' school

Editor's Note: In an American Morning original series, “Big Stars, Big Giving,” Alina Cho looks at celebrity philanthropy and how these big stars can make a big impact. Through one-on-one interviews with Elton John, Ben Stiller, Madonna, Martha Stewart and Richard Branson, she shares what causes have become their passion, and how you can get involved. Originally posted December 23, 2009.

By Alina Cho, CNN

Madonna has spent most of her life being provocative about almost everything; above all, her personal life.

These days nothing is more personal than her two children, adopted from Malawi. It’s a small African nation where half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, and where more than a half million children are orphaned by AIDS.

“I would love to take them all home, yes, if I could,” Madonna tells me.

Because she can't, and because she's Madonna, she made a documentary, called I Am, Because We Are, about Malawi.

“People always ask me why I chose Malawi, and I tell them, ‘I didn't. It chose me.'"

She also founded the charity Raising Malawi, to help feed, educate and provide medical care to some of Malawi's orphans – the ones she can't bring home.

FULL POST

March 3rd, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Group helps school kids get much-needed supplies

(CNN) – They say one person's garbage is another's treasure. That's proving true for a group of teachers and students in Los Angeles, thanks to one non-profit making a big difference.

L.A. SHARES is a program that helps school kids get much-needed supplies. Our Casey Wian visited them for another example of everyday people "Building Up America."

To learn more about how you can get involved and make a difference, visit Impact Your World.

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