Giacinta Pace
John Stamos is trying to raise public awareness of the problem of babies in danger of abandonment.
By
NBC News
updated 10/15/2009 11:39:34 AM ET 2009-10-15T15:39:34

Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. This week, we speak with actor John Stamos about his work with Project Cuddle, a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent babies from being abandoned.

Founded by Debbe Magnusen as a crisis line in her living room, Project Cuddle has saved hundreds of babies in North America from abandonment since its incorporation as a nonprofit charity in 1994. Aside from active work in the field, Project Cuddle also seeks to raise public awareness of the problem of child abandonment.

Stamos is national spokesman for the organization. With his help, the charity created a school video to educate students on the importance of calling for help instead of abandoning their newborns. On Oct. 17, Project Cuddle will hold a fundraising benefit at Malibu at Sunset in Malibu, Calif.

Stamos stars in the hit television series "Full House" and was a series regular on the popular medical drama "ER." He performed at Broadway in Bryant Park, presented by 106.7 Lite FM, on Aug. 13. He returns to Broadway this fall, starring as Albert Peterson in the revival of “Bye Bye Birdie” at Henry Miller’s Theatre. The musical comedy follows the travails of a rock star and his devoted fans after he gets drafted into the Army.

Question: Can you tell me about your charity, Project Cuddle?

Stamos: I’ve been with it for about five years now. The reason I got involved with it is because celebrities always try to attach themselves to things and I was looking for something that I could kind of devote myself to and this was the most tangible. I really knew I could help this woman [Project Cuddle founder Debbe Magnusen]. She was working out of her garage saving babies. She started with an 800 number to find a place for abandoned babies, or if you’re thinking of abandoning your baby to call this number. She then would go help the pregnant teenagers or women and find parents for them.

Q: Please describe your role within Project Cuddle.

Stamos: I’ve sort of been getting the word out. It’s one of those things … who doesn’t want to talk about it? Ellen, Oprah. I’ve been on all the shows talking about saving babies. Everybody’s really into it. So my job initially was to get the word out. I do talk to the girls when I can, when I need to. But mainly it’s to get the word of Project Cuddle out there.

Q: Can you share a moving experience that you’ve had while working with the organization?

Stamos:Honestly, I’ve had so many. People come up to me and say, “I was going to abandon my baby and I saw you on 'Ellen'”, or “We saw the Oprah piece and I didn’t [abandon]. I called Debbe.” Or parents will come up to me! I’ve had parents come up to me with this baby and say, “Thank you, because the birth mother saw you on television, heard you talking about it, called Debbe and now we have a baby because of it.”

Q: Tell me a little bit about the new Broadway show you’re starring in, "Bye Bye Birdie."

Stamos: I’ve started doing "Bye Bye Birdie" and it’s going great. The rehearsals are really fun. It’s just such a sweet, honest, beautiful show. It’s one of those shows that everybody knows and has some connection to, and I think it’s going to be what everybody wants it to be. I think they’re approaching it very smart. It’s very simple, it’s very true to what the piece is.

Q:Is there anything you have planned in the future with Project Cuddle?

Stamos: I’m always trying to get the word out, and I host all their events. This year I’m not going to be there, so I’m trying to find somebody to host their event.


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