Giving back isn't just about charity work for this actor meets activist—it's about the vibe she spreads in her show too.

By Molly Longman
E! Entertainment / Contributor/Getty Images

Lake Bell, 40, stars in the new ABC sitcom Bless This Mess. Here, the actress shares why she makes giving back a priority.

Think out of the box.

“I look for any opportunity to help others. For instance, I host and organize the Auction for Nothing. The concept is simple: A group of people I know shows up, and everyone writes down something they can offer. It could be a piano lesson or a ride to the airport. We all bid for these things and then donate the money to charities.

My mom started this, and it’s become a family tradition of philanthropy that’s taught me that you don’t need a lot to contribute to causes you believe in.” (Related: Healthy and Fitness Charities That Are Changing the World)

Do what’s meaningful.

“It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by so much injustice in the world. But instead of complaining about it, it’s important to contribute in tangible ways, even if it’s something simple.

I collect shoes for Afrikicks, a nonprofit that sends gently worn shoes to families in Africa. There, people walk barefoot because they don’t have a choice. Afrikicks takes something seemingly small, like shoes, and gives it to people who think they are a luxury. I donate my kids’ shoes when they outgrow them, and then I see photos of kids wearing them. It’s deeply satisfying to know they are going where they’re needed.”

Spread happiness—and realness.

“I believe it’s also imperative to give back through my work. My aim is to provide some levity or humor for viewers so they’ll say, I saw this sweet movie last night, and I’m feeling pretty good now, so I’m going to reflect that in the way I treat other people.

At a time when there is so much division and darkness, it is our responsibility as creators to give back with a kind spirit.”  (Related: How to Use Positive Self Talk to Improve Your Relationships)

Shape Magazine, May 2019 issue
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