Rebecca Gayheart: I Want My Girls to Know Giving Back Is ‘a Part of Life’

07/23/2015 at 02:00 PM ET

Rebecca Gayheart wants to teach her daughters the gift of giving back.

“Every kid deserves to have back-to-school clothes, backpacks, diapers, car seats [and] cribs,” the actress told PEOPLE at the Baby2Baby Back to School event at The Grove, where the organization partnered with Chrysalis and gifted 46 low-income families with $150 toward shopping for supplies.

“To me, it’s insane that in America there are children going without those very, very basic essentials and it breaks my heart. Anything I can do to help, I will,” Gayheart, 43, says.

At a young age, the mom of two was taught the importance of giving back and is hoping to instill that knowledge in Georgia Geraldine, 3½, and Billie Beatrice, 5, her daughters with her husband, The Last Ship star Eric Dane.

“My mom’s point of view was, ‘You always have more than someone else and you can always help someone else,’ ” Gayheart explains. “It didn’t matter how much we had, you could always help someone.”

Rebecca Gayheart Baby2Baby Back to School
Barry King/Getty

Gayheart, who brought her elder daughter to the event, doesn’t hesitate to admit that she is following in her mother’s footsteps.

“I’m doing the same with my daughter,” she shares. “Hoping to role model for her and to give her a sense of, that’s not something special you do, that’s just a part of life. You are a giver. That’s your duty.”

With their two little ones both starting school in September, Gayheart and Dane are taking full advantage of the free time they have with their daughters.

“We wake up, we all make breakfast together,” Gayheart says. “We’ll have impromptu dance parties or we’ll just go throw a blanket on the yard and lay in the yard and read books in the morning. The morning is really nice to start my day off that way. I feel like, ‘Okay, if we start the day off together, connected, relaxed, the rest of the day will fall into place,’ and it usually does.”

Rebecca Gayheart Baby2Baby Back to School
Tiffany Rose/Getty

Though having two little girls can be a handful, Gayheart has had plenty of experience — and has learned to go with the flow.

“Don’t take any of it too serious, because it’s always changing. The minute you think you have it figured out, you don’t,” Gayheart explains.

But is there room for one more little one? “If my girls had their way, I would be pregnant having lots of babies, but I think we’re done,” shares Gayheart.

“I feel very blessed and I feel like this is my family and I’m happy with it.”

— Christina Dugan

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Showing 8 comments

Anna on

I LOVE this! I always said if I had children, I’d want to get them started with volunteer work early. I like how she explained it, that there is always someone who has less, and it is our duty to help. Great lessons to teach your children!

cm on

Her girls are so cute and blonde:)

Edie on

Whatever happened to her and her husband’s relationship with Kari Ann Peniche?

kaye on

@Eden – how is that relevant? This is a story about giving to charity and helping others. I would be interested to hear about what she does to help the needy children she refers to in the interview as she is vague and doesn’t get into specifics. I don’t mean dollars and cents – that would be crass – but donating her time, writing a cheque, donating essentials, etc. Makes the story a bit more credible.

erica2 on

My God those girls are PALE! They look like Casper the friendly ghost🙂 LOL

Hea on

Wow, they got old over night.

Anonymous on

Okay, Georgia almost looks like she could be Jessica Simpon’s daughter Maxwell’s twin!

Maxine on

Good for her on teaching her kids to give, a valuable lesson for children to learn.

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