Julianne Hough Commits to Helping Children
Julianne Hough can, in part, thank her birthplace for the inspiration to help children in a special way. The Utah-born singer/dancer/actress says that the Children's Miracle Network, which raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals across the U.S., is almost as well-known in her home state, as a former 'Dancing with the Stars' castmate of Julianne's who has been another of the nonprofit organization's most visible supporters.
"I know Marie Osmond definitely contributed her time to it as well. I didn't really get involved until a little bit later," she tells MSNBC, while explaining the network's chief function. "Basically, it's a mission to generate funds for programs for sick kids and hospital research. It helps kids in communities and research to get better. I've done a couple of things with them. It's pretty amazing the children that you meet. It's pretty unbelievable."
Julianne's first involvement with the Children's Miracle Network was at a fundraiser in Florida, turning what she expected to be a one-time event into a more lasting commitment.
"At first I thought it was a great idea. Anything to do with children. They're the future for us," she says. "Anything we can do to better them. I thought, 'You know, I'll do this little thing and be a part of it.' Once I was there, I got to meet the kids. I really took a better interest in that and thought, 'You know, I want to do this for a long time. I don't want this to be a one-off.' So, I started looking into it and it's just amazing. It's a nonprofit organization so any money that people donate just goes to research. I think it saves lives of 17 million kids a year."
The multi-talented entertainer, who will soon dance her way on to the big screen as Ariel in the upcoming remake of 'Footloose,' adds, "I want to do something and be a part of something that gives children that hope, that maybe they can do and follow their dreams at some point. Of course, they have to get better; otherwise, it's not going to be easy for them. To do something where I come in and I perform, it gives them hope and the encouragement so that they can keep going and have dreams and hopes. It's really rewarding, just being able to meet them. Hopefully they can look back at that and be like, 'Oh man, I remember that was so cool. That's what I want to do when I'm older.'
Julianne will be among the presenters at the CMA Awards on Nov. 11, airing live on ABC.