by Amy McCarthy
Teaching your child to give back is an important lesson, and we believe it should start early. Alyssa Milano, star of 80s sitcom "Who's The Boss" and 90s favorite "Charmed," is the new mom of Milo, an almost-one year old and tiny philanthropist. To celebrate Milo's first birthday, Alyssa decided to raise $50,000 for St. Jude's and the treatment of Gonzalito, a young Peruvian boy with leukemia.
Gonzalito's family has struggled to provide him with the care he needs, but with the help of Alyssa and St. Jude's, he's being treated at St. Jude's Hospital in Baton Rouge, LA. We spoke with Alyssa to learn more about her charitable goals, her adorable son Milo, and how she hopes to instill charitable giving in her child as he grows.
Parenthood.com: What made you choose St. Jude's as the beneficiary of your fundraiser?
Alyssa Milano: I was really taken with Gonzalito's story and how much his parents sacrificed to get him the care he needs. St. Jude's is making that care possible. They save children's lives. It's what they do. I'm happy to have this opportunity to support their mission.
PH.com: What do you hope to share with Milo as he grows about this experience? Are you making a memory book or other keepsake of the experience?
AM: I'm hoping that as Milo grows he understands that having compassion, helping and doing good is not just something you do every so often but... that being charitable... is as much a part of life as breathing.
PH.com: This isn't the first time that you've used a special occasion to benefit a charity. I remember a few years ago you using Twitter to raise money for clean water. Why do you think people (and kids) should choose charitable giving as a birthday gift?
AM: I also raised money for UNICEF for my baby shower when I was pregnant. If there is no gift you need or want, why wouldn't you want to give a gift to those who really need something? And... it makes your soul feel good! I'm happiest when I feel like I can make a difference in someone's life.
PH.com: How are you doing as a new mom? Any funny or fun experiences you'd like to share?
AM: I don't remember myself before Milo came along. My life began when he was born. He is my everything. I'm gaga! I love him more than I thought was ever possible and am crazy proud to be his mommy.
The funniest mommy experience thus far was when I was shooting the pilot for Mistresses and I had to pump in the middle of shooting a love scene because I leaked all over my silky lingerie. Oh dear. So embarrassing. I was mortified.
PH.com: How has becoming a Mom made you more generous or charitable? How has it opened your eyes to other issues?
AM: Becoming a mother has just intensified my belief that no child should ever have to suffer. I'm committed to help children in need in any way that I can and I feel pretty damn lucky that I have Milo to be my partner in this commitment.
You can learn more about Alyssa and Milo's fundraiser and give at Indiegogo.
Amy McCarthy is the Content & Community Manager at Parenthood.com.