Instead of partying in Vegas or asking for expensive gifts, this Hollywood starlet opted to help others on her big day!
Eliza Dushku gets our vote for being one of Hollywood’s most charitable celebrities — if not the most — of 2010! The brunette stunner and star of Dollhouse, Tru Calling, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, turned the big three-oh on Dec. 30, but in place of planning a champagne-and-sparklers bash, she teamed up with Tonic.com and raised $30,000 to build a recovery center for former child soldiers in Gulu, Uganda! HollywoodLife.com spoke to Eliza on the eve of her birthday to discuss her incredible choice.
“I used to love my birthday but I didn’t want all this attention on me moving out of my twenties, so I wanted to take the attention off me and put it on something extraordinary,” says Eliza. “There were a few ideas of clubs in Vegas and Miami but I wanted to do something more meaningful.”
Eliza says she was inspired to help this specific cause after a trip to Uganda with her boyfriend, former NBA player Rick Fox, and her mother, Judith, a professor of African Politics at Suffolk University, to visit children who had been soldiers in the war-torn country. Eliza tweeted up a storm to promote her birthday wish and has been reaching out to fellow celebrities to get involved. Director Kevin Smith, whom she worked with on the film Jay and Silent Bob, even auctioned off a movie poster for $1,000 to help Eliza reach her goal.
“I met about five child soldiers, four of them were young women and had children and they had been raped and impregnated by rebel soldiers, abducted in the night and forced to kill their own family members,” she recalls. “I couldn’t believe it — it’s 2010 and with all the freedom and safety I have I can’t imagine fearing for that.”
Eliza got her birthday wish — she’s exceeded her goal by raising $30,420! If you want to donate or learn more about her mission, click here!