NBC Star Asking For Acts of Kindness To Help Children

Although I work every day on child abuse issues and awareness, I find it sad that an organization has to ask for simple acts of kindness, and that someone has to commit to signing a pledge to do kind things for others. Human beings need to be human again, and do acts of kindness for everyone… not just a parent, caregiver, or loved one. People need to make a pledge in their heart, every day, to give love to all humans, animals, nature, and even to their enemies. That is how we change the direction this planet is headed, and how we ultimately help all the children of the earth.

“Thirty reports of child abuse will be made in the five minutes it takes you to read this article. That’s 3.3 million reports each year, involving six million children. In this country, five children die every day as a result of child abuse and neglect.

When I began my role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, my eyes were opened to the staggering statistics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. But what really opened my eyes — and subsequently my heart — was the fan mail I started receiving. Instead of asking for an autographed photo and telling me about their favorite episodes, survivors were disclosing their stories of abuse — many for the first time.

In 2004, I founded the Joyful Heart Foundation with the intention of helping survivors heal and reclaim their lives. Today, our mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

I know these issues are difficult to discuss. They’re heavy and complex, and they involve pain, fear and isolation — and an entrenched lack of understanding. But the greater the number of people willing to bear the heavy burden of these topics, the lighter each individual’s load will be.

This month, Joyful Heart is proud to team up with Do the KIND Thing, an initiative launched by KIND to try and make the world a little kinder. Each month, Do the KIND Thing challenges people to carry out a specific act of kindness with the promise that if enough people sign up to do so at KINDmovement.com, KIND will pay it forward on a larger scale by carrying out a BIG KIND Act. To date, Do the KIND Thing has inspired hundreds of thousands of unexpected acts of kindness and bettered the lives of more than half a million people in need.

We all have a role to play in supporting survivors and preventing abuse. Now through October 2nd, I am asking people everywhere to commit to support a parent or caregiver by offering a helping hand, preparing a meal together or simply asking how they’re doing. Your kindness can have a huge impact. Studies have shown that parents and caregivers with strong support networks are less likely to abuse or neglect their children. And if enough people pledge to participate at KINDmovement.com, I, along with friends and supporters of Joyful Heart and KIND, will package and deliver healing kits to hundreds of abused children currently seeking protection at the Manhattan Child Advocacy Center in New York City, as well as centers in Los Angeles and Honolulu, where Joyful Heart also offers its programs and services.

Together, we can shed light on the issue of child abuse and engage people everywhere to be part of the solution. Please join me.

And thank you for your kindness.

Mariska Hargitay is the Emmy Award-winning star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on NBC and the Founder & President of the Joyful Heart Foundation. Joyful Heart’s mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.”


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5 Responses to NBC Star Asking For Acts of Kindness To Help Children

  1. Nancy says:

    The more kindness is talked about and encouraged as a collective value, the better. The Joyful Heart Foundation looks, at first glance, like it is offering a valuable service. I wonder exactly what is in a healing kit…..
    I believe in the power of breath work to bring stability and healing, and that teaching parenting classes is essential. Although a lot of people who need parenting classes won’t show up for them… — as a sexual abuse survivor, I took many parenting classes, infant massage classes, prenatal psychology classes–all the way through Jungian classes and “adult child” classes–because I KNEW I needed to learn how to parent.
    It took A LOT of focus and effort to not fall back on the internalized programs that operated as an unconscious “default” mode. It is thanks to parenting initiatives, kind and gifted teachers, and lots of effort on my part, that my kids are as healthy, self-aware and empowered as they are. As adults, they continue to amaze me. The fact that we enjoy being together is a miracle. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to work at being decent enough parents to raise healthy kids and have functional families.
    I agree, that wanting notoriety for being a “good person,” smacks of falseness. It makes my stomach get tight. Too many predators create false public personas.

    • Alethea says:

      Thanks Nancy. I agree with your added observations.

      My therapist also focuses a lot on the power of the breath, as it is connected to the present, and not to the past or the future. The breath helps us center ourselves.

      Glad to see you are still commenting here. It’s nice to have your input.


    • little nel says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I am so proud of you! You knew that you needed to learn how to parent so you took the bull by the horns and made it happen. Your children love you for it and you can relish in the fact that you put quality time and effort into their lives and it paid big dividends, in spite of your own childhood abuse.

      The human spirit is incredible. We have an infinite capacity for goodness. You proved that you could fill your life with goodness in spite of your own personal trauma. You deserve a place of honor for your courage.

  2. little nel says:

    I like to do kind things for people and children and not get found out.

    • Alethea says:

      I love this Little Nel. It does feel good when no one knows doesn’t it? All that matters is God and ourselves, knowing what we do…. not other people.

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