Dominican actress Dania Ramirez grew up in a humble family and always dreamed of having a Barbie for Christmas. Fast forward and years later and she was able to give many children what she had always wanted.
Ramirez teamed up with Mattel and donated $10,000 of toys to organizations geared toward mentoring children. Ramirez brought her children, 3-year-old twins named Gaia and Aether, to hand out Barbies, Hot Wheels and other toys at the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank Greater East Valley in California.
Ramirez told NBC Latino that now that she's a mother, she made made a point of teaching her children the importance of giving back.
"It has been important for my children to understand the gift they have in life and to be grateful that they have the things they have," Ramirez said. "I know how important it is as a child to get a gift and toy that you love, which takes and guides your creativity and be completely more sure of yourself in life."
Born in the Dominican Republic, Ramirez moved with her parents to California when she was six months old.
"I wanted to take action because my kids are becoming more cognizant," Ramirez said. "Their life will take a completely different course, so they need to know where they come from and learn to associate with children that don’t have as much as they do."
Ramirez is known for several acting roles in hit shows like Devious Maids, Entourage and X-Men: The Last Stand. Along with her personal organization The Sunshine Movement, Ramirez has made it a personal mission to help children, young mothers and families struggling to pay for school supplies.
On Three Kings Day, Ramirez, her family and her foundation partners will distribute baskets with baby supplies for new mothers. She hopes that by September she will be able to distribute backpacks crammed with new pencils, notebooks and other school supplies to families that need help providing to their young scholars.
"I want to urge others to call their local Boys & Girls Club," Ramirez said. "If you don’t have money or can't donate a toy, donate your time. It is important to show these children that there is someone out there who cares, who can make a difference in their lives and alter the course they take on their journey."