Alyssa Milano is more than a Hollywood actress and has proven it numerous times. Last week she was honored with the Spirit of Compassion Award for her outstanding work as a Unicef Ambassador for 13 years. Alyssa's kindness has touched and inspired people from all over the world. Here are some of the ways Alyssa has made a difference.
#1 - South Africa
It all started with a trip to South Africa to film "Diamond Hunters" when Alyssa Milano witnessed from up close the devastating situation of the country. While filming for three months, Alyssa also volunteered at local hospitals and took a series of pictures. The whole experience affected her deeply and urged her to become actively involved in aiding children in any way possible. Once, she returned to Los Angeles, she decided to create an exhibition and auction her pictures to benefit Nkosi's Haven; a South African based charity that provides care and education to HIV affected mothers and children. The auction raised over $50,000.
#2 - UNICEF Ambassador & Angola
In 2003, Alyssa became a national ambassador for UNICEF and in 2004 she travelled to Angola, where she visited schools and hospitals and launched UNICEF's Huambo Youth Centre.
#3 - India
In 2005, Alyssa did a four day tour to tsunami affected India to witness the relief and rehabilitation efforts and also designed Peace and Love t-shirts to benefit UNICEF.
#4 - Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases Ambassador
In 2007, Alyssa was named Founding Ambassador of Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases and donated $250,000 to its drug fund that helped four million individuals that suffered by lymphatic filariasis. Her donation was matched, which aided an additional four million people!
#5 - PETA
In 2007, Alyssa appeared in a PETA advertisement to show her support to PETA and promote vegeterianism wearing a dress made by vegetables.
#6 - Rebuilding New Orleans
Alyssa joined the NBA Cares program to help rebuild New Orleans in 2008, after the devastating hurricane that hit the area.
#7 - Iran Protest
Those that have asked: My avatar is green to show support for the protesters in Iran. #IranElection. http://bit.ly/dVCSX— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 5 2009
#8 - Kosovo
Alyssa also travelled to Kosovo to participate in the commemoration of World Children's Day in 2010.
#9 - Charity: Water
Most people expect presents for their birthdays, but in 2009 Alyssa asked people to donate money to Charity: Water; a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water in developing nations. Alyssa's fundraising campaign reached $92,568 and a year later she raised another $39,551 for her 38th birthday. She won VH1's Do Something Award in the Twitter Category for using twitter as a tool to raise money for this good cause.
#10 - Scooby Roo and Best Friends Animal Society
Alyssa is a huge animal lover and in 2010 she became the Godmother of Scooby Roo; a two legged dog and helped him get wheels. She also supports the Best Friends Animal Society, whose mission is to end the killing in America's animal shelters.
#11 - St. Jude
In 2011, Alyssa became a mother and a year later in honour of her son's Milo first birthday, she decided to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a boy named Gonzalito suffering from leukemia. The campaign raised $56,037.
#12 Make - A - Wish
In 2013, she made a dream come true through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
#13 - The "Sex Tape"
The same year, Alyssa joined forces with the comedy website Funny or Die and shot a video with the title "Sex Tape" to draw attention and raise awareness on the Syrian War.
#14 - Los Angeles Mission
Los Angeles Mission is a non-profit organization that provides aid to homeless people. For years Alyssa has been volunteering at their annual Christmas dinner for families in need.
#15 - Fan Love
Since the very beginning of her career, Alyssa Milano has cared for others. In the late 1980's she visited Ryan White, a boy who had contracted AIDS through a contaminated blood transfusion and for that was given a hard time, because of the misconception of the disease that occured back then.
In a 2000 Cosmopolitan interview Alyssa talked about him being her best fan encounter:
"He was a fan of "Who's the Boss?," so I went to a big party for him and sat with him for six hours. I made him friendship bracelets, and we stayed close until he passed away. His mom kept his room exactly the same way after he died—with the friendship bracelets all tacked around my poster. That was really incredible."
Alyssa also replied to fan mails and this particular letter from 1986 inspired and guided this woman to follow her dreams. Years later in 2014, she wrote this article to thank Alyssa, who read it and tweeted this. A few months later she actually met her in person and had the letter signed by Alyssa herself.
These are only a few of the countless times Alyssa Milano has actively made a difference and change in the world with her philanthropic work and her genuine kindness and generosity, which continues to inspire many.
We love Alyssa Milano, too, Ben Moody!!