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Samantha Harris: Teaching My Kids About Charity

06/09/2012 at 12:00 PM ET
Volunteering with Josselyn – Courtesy Samantha Harris

From her former hosting duties on Dancing With the Stars to her correspondent role on Entertainment Tonight, mom-of-two Samantha Harris is used to juggling a full plate.

And now Harris is taking on a whole new job title as the official spokesperson for the new Fruit for All project, an effort that gifts families in need with fresh fruit.

In an exclusive blog, Harris tells PEOPLE about her latest work with Nestle’s Juicy Juice and Feeding America — and reveals how she is already instilling the importance of charity in her daughters.

Life as a modern day mom can be exhausting when you’re trying to balance work, family and the kids’ activities (not to mention me-time!) all at once.

As overwhelming as things can get, it’s important to me to find time to volunteer for causes I believe in. It may seem like one more thing to add to the list, but for me it’s energizing, and it can even be an opportunity for quality time with the kids!

Having two young girls and knowing how important nutrition is to their growth and development, I am particularly passionate about fighting childhood hunger in America.

I have been a proud supporter and active volunteer with Feeding America for nearly three years. As a member of the Feeding America Entertainment Council, I do my part to raise awareness of the millions of Americans who are food insecure.

I also volunteer regularly at the food pantry in my neighborhood. I enjoy packing and distributing the food and seeing the joy that it brings the people there. I usually bring my daughter Josselyn – she’s 4½ now – because it’s important to me to that she sees that not everyone has an abundance of food and resources. Together, we sort, box and repackage donated food to be directed where it is needed most.

She came with me a few weeks ago and helped me bag the groceries. She also brought books to donate and was able to see the kids in the waiting area that were enjoying the books and looking forward to receiving the food.

When she told me that she hoped the kids liked the books she had chosen to donate, I knew that she understood the impact we were making. I was thrilled.

What better way to teach your child the importance of giving back while encouraging them to appreciate all that they have? Consider it an added bonus that you’ll have a few hours to talk with your little one, away from the TV, computer and distractions of the day.

And when there just isn’t enough time, making a difference can be as simple visiting FeedingAmerica.org to donate as little as one dollar – the equivalent of 8 meals.

Or visit FruitForAllProject.com, where Juicy Juice has made it easy for kids and their parents to help provide fruit donations for those in need by completing fun challenges like games, quizzes and puzzles.

Now through August 2012, when you buy Juicy Juice or complete an online challenge, a piece of fruit will be provided to children and families in need. Juicy Juice has pledged to provide up to 35 million pieces of fruit this summer, contributing more than 40 percent of Feeding America’s fruit goal for the 2012 National Produce Program!

I am proud to be partnering with Nestlé Juicy Juice and Feeding America as the official spokesperson for the Fruit for All Project. To learn more, find the food bank nearest you or earn fruit donations for people in need, visit www.FruitForAllProject.com or visit Juicy Juice on Facebook.

– Samantha Harris

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Showing 11 comments

Shannon on

This seems like a wonderful charity.

cn tower on

She’s not on ET anymore.

blessedwithboys on

Oh, please, the last thing Nestle cares about is child nutrition! Their “charity” work hardly makes up for all the children they have harmed by the agressive marketing of artificial baby milk. Samantha, instead of supporting Nestle, why not lend your efforts and celebrity to a cause that truly promotes the best interests of babies and children, such as LLL? I’m sure you mean well, but I think you need to be a little better informed on the issues. :(

myob on

blessedwithboys,You have got to be kidding me! Not every woman can or wants to breastfeed their baby. It is their choice and no mother should feel pressure either way. Artificial milk – or formula as most people call it is an acceptable method of feeding an infant. It is not the evil that you make it sound like. I was unable to breast feed my son past the first month and you know what, we bonded just fine and he is a healthy, happy teen now. People like you need to stop vilifying the choices that people make or the medical conditions that prevent them from breast feeding. Whatever choice a mother makes whether it is breastfeeding or formula it is her desire that it be the best choice possible for whatever reason it may be.

Milosh on

This woman is like a fungus that won’t go away.

RKF on

I don’t know who she is (heard of her though), but should a woman who looks Anorexic be a spokesperson for anything health-related?

Leslie on

I drive past a food bank in my community regularly and the line is always full of obese people and little old asian ladies… never see any skinny moms with starving children.

A. on

@blessedwithboys, please go to hell. Not everyone wants to or is able to breastfeed. Personally, if I ever have children I would like to breastfeed. But I’m not going to put down other women who don’t. Would you appreciate other people putting you down for your parenting choices? Even though you might not like them, unless a woman is bringing harm to her child you should respect their choices and leave them the hell alone.

A. on

I would also like to add @myob,

I was one of those babies that was unable to be breastfed due to serious health issues that lasted from infancy until I was three years old. I had to be on a special prescription formula for several years even after infancy since I really needed the nutrition. My mother would use the special formula to put in cereal for me or if I drank a glass of milk. Thank you for saying what you did.

meghan on

blessed…ENOUGH! WE GET IT!!!!!!!! YOU’RE PRO-BREASTFEEDING AND DON’T CARE ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF WOMEN WHO CAN’T BF FOR A MULTITUDE OF REASONS! YOU DON’T HAVE TO WEIGH IN EVERY TIME!

myob on

Thanks to all of you who offer support to all of us mothers to make the right choices for our children.

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