Dania Ramirez, formerly of Devious Maids, is giving back this holiday season in an amazing way!
The actress has collaborated with Mattel to donate over $10,000 worth of toys to kids of the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley in the Los Angeles area. Latina talked with Dania about this venture, as well as why it was important for her to be a part and what she and her own family have going on this Christmas!
Check out the interview below!
Tell us about what you’re doing with Mattel this Christmas.
We’re donating $10,000 worth of toys – popular toys from Mattel, such as Barbie Fashionista, which I love because there are different types of Barbies (skin types, hair colors, etc.), and this is a great reflection of the world. I’m excited to bring a smile to kids’ faces and for them to feel the joy of the holidays. I love the holidays, so for me it’s really important, and I think it’s really important. And now that I have my kids, there’s nothing better than seeing a smile on their faces and see the same joy. And to be able to contribute to my Latino community! There are two more toys that we’re gifting – the Hot Wheels AI and the Mega Bloks Food Truck. Both are really fun for both kids so I’m really excited to be able to give back to my community for the holidays.
Amazing! How did you first get involved with this initiative?
Charities have always been a really big part of my journey. I come from the Dominican Republic and I didn’t have money, so I feel very blessed to be able to achieve the success that I have, and I’m always looking for ways to give back. When I was looking into the Boys & Girls Club, I was interested in it because of children. I’ve always tried to do charitable work with kids because they’re our future, right? And I love the work they do, and they’ve been around for over 100 years. They help so many kids – over 4 million globally, and 1 million of them are Latin kids, so I found that really interesting and I spoke to my publicists about maybe reaching out. Mattel was just the perfect fit. It’s the holidays, and we’re able to give toys.
I remember being young and really wanting a Barbie, and not being able to afford one, but at this point in my life, just to be able to be a part of this movement and to be able to give to kid and change their lives in a way is really a blessing and I’m really grateful to be able to have the opportunity to do so.
You mentioned that 1 million of the kids come from Latin backgrounds. How else does giving to this community speak to you?
It’s always great to contribute to the Latino community, because we don’t have too much access and too many people that are making us a priority. So for me, it’s really important to always reach out in more than one way. I was also able to start my own foundation called the Sunshine Movement Foundation that will be focused on helping newborns and mothers in need, and our other initiative is to reach out to get school materials for kids that need it. And Mattel was a big part of that, because they gave me my first initiative to establish my foundation. For me it’s not only important to just give back to my community but to the children of our community because that’s our future.
And what I really love is – I’m really into changing the dynamic of how our children look at the world. And the Barbie Fashionista, which is the new collection from Mattel, is the best representation of what America, or the world, looks like today. It’s not only important to identify ourselves with characters on television, but to also grow up as a child playing with toys that represent you, as well. We have the Barbies that are all different sizes – some of them are curvy, some of them are tall, some are short, they have different types of hair, different fashion styles. And in my opinion, that allows children to be playing and use their imagination and know that someone cared enough about them to give them something, but also, it opens up their mind in how they’re able to deal with the world and how different we all are. And maybe not feel alone.
Your kids are quite young, but have you been sharing this amazing experience with them? If so, how?
I love it, and the one main thing in raising children is: you want them to be amazing, you want them to have a big heart, and there’s no better way to establish them than to actually get them involved. We’re going to go to one of the Boys & Girls Clubs next week and I decided to bring them because I was very fortunate to have a big family and to not realize how little we had growing up because of all the love that we had – you know, Latin families are very big and very loving in that way. But my family now here in California is just my husband, my kids, and my stepson, and we’re very separated from everybody else [who live elsewhere], so I don’t want them to get that perspective of taking things for granted. I’m been telling them and getting ready for the holidays, and they’re super excited and say ‘We’re going to bring toys to all the kids!’. Just to see the smile on their faces makes me excited about their future.
Any other plans for the holidays?
There’s always stuff to do! The holidays are right around the corner and it’s going to be a lot of fun with my kids. There’s going to be a lot of happy spirits and partying and a lot of playing with them, because it’s there birthday and then Christmas and of course I’m Latina so then we do the Three Kings. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to spending this time with the family!