Charity & Causes

Montblanc signature for good
Hilary Swank and Montblanc International CEO Lutz Bethge travelled to Ethiopia, with the mission to witness both the progress achieved to date with the help of funds raised by Montblanc and the challenges still to overcome in the area of education. They joined Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Christian Schneider, Executive Director, UNICEF Germany on a 3-day trip to Ethiopia from October 2-5, 2012 to understand how UNICEF works to change childrenʼs lives. This special trip to Ethiopia provided an opportunity for the visitors to learn more about the importance of education and the opportunities that it brings in some of the more disadvantaged communities in the world. Hilary Swank embarked on this journey of discovery to Ethiopia, her first visit to the African country, to lend her support to UNICEF and Montblanc’s shared commitment to give every child the opportunity to learn how to read and write. Her quest to understand the impact of Montblanc’s contribution over recent years on education programmes, as well as the importance of the much needed funds from the upcoming ʻSignature For Goodʼ initiative, started the moment she arrived with her travel companions Lutz Bethge, Caryl M. Stern and Christian Schneider in Addis Ababa. The group travelled into the countryside beyond the Ethiopian capital, witnessing the often-difficult living conditions for children in these remote areas. An initial visit to the Dima Guranda Primary School in the Sebeta District, Oromia Region, gave Hilary Swank and Lutz Bethge an opportunity to see how successful the Child-to-Child (CTC) pre- primary education has been in providing preschool-aged children with early learning opportunities at very low cost. Through the hard work of young facilitators, usually older students, CTC has become a winning model to prevent children from dropping out of primary school. While at Mekdella Primary School, Hilary Swank was particularly moved by the “Gender Club”, a school supported activity programme promoting gender equality in education giving girls and boys practical knowledge to overcome inequalities and violence, as well as achieving a better understanding of health, hygiene and environmental issues. Empowered with better knowledge provided by teachers, these self-confident young women and men have a fighting chance of improving their situation. Throughout the field visit, the special guests could not help but join in the singing and laughter in every classroom as the pupils embraced them with their warmth and their joy at learning to read and write. Despite language, social and cultural barriers, education truly unites and empowers. At each stop of this visit, it became increasingly clear that change is underway, with UNICEFʼs efforts making a crucial contribution to breaking the poverty cycle, one step at a time. During the visit it became clear that, education is not just about the bricks and mortar that make a school building. It is first and foremost about making sure the children in those schools have the trained teachers they need, get access to the necessary learning materials and benefit from the quality of teaching that will enable them to take that education and improve their own lives and their communities. Whether in the bigger classrooms of Addis Ababa or in remote villages where classes are often taught inside a mud hut, inspired teachers equipped with adequate learning tools can transform any child. During the visit, Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia said “All children have the right to access education of good quality and thanks to our partnership with Montblanc, children of the poorest and most vulnerable families have the opportunity to unleash their potential through education. In Ethiopia alone, support from Montblanc has contributed to the establishment of 2,400 and rehabilitation of 800 Alternative Basic Education Centres reaching 846,000 children including many orphans and pastoralists. Providing children with quality basic education will in turn give them significantly better chances in life”. Hilary left Ethiopia with a special appreciation and a deeper understanding of these invaluable programmes. Hilary says of this remarkable experience, “Every child deserves a fighting chance in life. Education is everything — if you have an education you have a better opportunity to overcome obstacles and have a fighting chance. There is no doubt that teaching is the most important job in the world.” As the journey of discovery comes to an end, the fight to make education a universal right for all children continues in Ethiopia and beyond. ”

Iams Home 4 the Holidays
Hilary has partnered with Iams Home 4 the Holidays in 2009 to help save the lives of millions of homeless pets around the world.
Ms. Swank has adopted MANY dogs out of shelters including her two dogs Karoo and Rumi. She rescued Karoo from the side of a road while filming in South Africa a few years ago and adopted Rumi last fall from a participating IH4TH shelter in Los Angeles and feels that this cause is “close to her heart.”

Beautiful Lengths Campaign
In 2007 Hilary has signed with Pantene. She was promoting Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a campaign that encourages people to grow, cut and donate their hair to create wigs for women who’ve lost their hair due to cancer. But her involvement goes beyond appearing in print PSAs; she grows and donated her hair, too.

“I have lost multiple family members to cancer and witnessed their struggle firsthand. I’ve never heard of anything quite like Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and I’m proud to be asked to promote the goals of such a unique and heartfelt program… I just hope that my contribution will help to inspire others to get involved in whatever way they can.”

Hollywood Bag Ladies
Hilary donated the handbag for auction is displayed at “Hollywood Bag Ladies” Lupus Luncheon at the Regent Beverly Wilshire on October 26 2006 and November 7 2007.

New York University Medical Center
Protect the Skin You’re in, Save Your Ass – To support the melanoma group at the New York University Medical Center, Marc Jacobs and his friend Robert Duffy decided to ask celebs to pose nude on t-shirts to benefit the cause. They didn’t think it was right to ask people to do what they asked for so they decided to pose nude as well. Other examples of celebrities besides Hilary who posed was Dita Von Teese, Naomi Campbell, Julianne Moore, Selma Blair and all of these got their own t-shirt color. The photos were taken by Brian Bowen Smith and was first auctioned off at a Jacobs post-show party but later on got sold in his stores in a cheaper reprinted version for a limited time only.

Read more here and view more photos here

On Native Soil
On Native Soil” is a good, solid overview of the 9/11 Commission, if a rather slight overview of the commission’s findings themselves, which were published in the phone-book-sized report released exactly two years ago today.

This broadcast reveals precisely what you’d expect: that the system fell apart and that those in the know didn’t let others know in a timely fashion. The revelations have been widely reported, which means that “On Native Soil” is ultimately a memoir and memorial. That’s OK – we need to be reminded – but don’t come here looking for “fresh revelations” or “shocking new details.” Understandably, the program seethes with anger over the facts that were ignored, and the opportunities overlooked. There’s a pounding music score that bestows a surprisingly theatrical – and effective – flair as well.

But the fundamentals remain pretty much the same: Interviews of people, family members for the most part, are terribly sad. It will bodily strike viewers that they suffered their horrible losses – for nothing.

August 21, 2006 – A look at the 9/11 Commission narrated by Kevin Costner and Hilary Swank at 10 on Court TV – Read more here

IDEX/United Planet – assisting community projects
In July/August 2006 Hilary went to Palampur in North India under the nonprofit organization IDEX that works together with grassroots groups to assist community projects. Hilary told us in the magazine Vanity Fair – August 2006 that the room she was going to stay in had a bed who was a plank with a mat on it; that her bathroom only had cold water and her toilet was a hole in the ground. Appearantly was it 115 to 120 degrees and lots of bugs. Hilary decided to make this trip and do something meaningful meanwhile she would getting to know herself. She always wanted to go to India and doing something like this was always a dream of hers. She worked as a teaching assistant with 28 children from age 4 to 14, mostly with learning out the English alphabet.

“It just reminds me not to take the things I have – my loved ones, my freedom – for granted. Especially my freedom.”

You can read more about the trip and what Hilary did here and view more photos here

Breast Cancer Care charity
In November 7, 2005 on the UK Premiere of the movie In Her Shoes, donated Hilary one of her own pair of shoes to be auctioned in aid of Breast Cancer Care charity. Other celebrities who donated shoes was Kate Winslet, Jerry Hall, Kelly Osbourne and Sir Elton John.

Key to the Cure
Saks Fifth Avenue is a nationwide shopping event to support Key to the Cure, a charitable initiative to fight women’s cancers.
Since 1999, Saks Fifth Avenue has raised over sixteen million dollars to fight women’s cancers. These funds have been distributed to national and local women’s cancer organizations across the country.

Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to have Hilary Swank, the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s 2005 Ambassador for this special initiative.

All Saks Fifth Avenue stores and will donate 5% of sales and Off 5th stores will donate 2% of sales up to one million dollars during these two days to benefit the Women’s Cancer Research Fund, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. These funds will be distributed to national and local women’s cancer organizations across the country.

Our limited-edition white cotton T-shirt was designed by Diane von Furstenberg exclusively for Saks. $33 from the sale of each T-shirt will benefit EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund.

View more photos here

Hurricane Victims
Hilary attended to the ‘NBC Benefit Special for Hurricane Katrina‘ in September 2, 2005 and helped raising money to help people get back on their feets again.

“In terms of property damage,” said actress Hilary Swank, “the estimate is at least $26 billion in insured losses and perhaps twice that in uninsured losses over a 90,000-square-mile area – approximately the size of Kansas.”

Read more here and view more photos here

Lunchbox for Charity
A host of Hollywood celebrities have designed their own lunchboxes in 2005 to raise money to end hunger as part of a charity auction in New York. Rapper P Diddy, rockers David Bowie, Edge, Flea and Bono have joined supermodels Iman and Naomi Campbell to raise money in aid of The Food Bank for New York and The Lunchbox Fund of South Africa.

Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope
Together with the Red Cross and NBC-Universal did Hilary and several other celebrities attend to the Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope and helped raising money. They called donors and thanked them for their contribution and this event raised $18.3 Million!
The two-hour concert from Universal Studios in Universal City, Rockefeller Center in New York and the BBC Studios in London featured performances by artists from Madonna to Elton John, Stevie Wonder to Sarah McLachlan, Eric Clapton to Sheryl Crow. Celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, Renée Zellweger and Halle Berry kindly donated their time to thank donors who made contributions during the East Coast broadcast.

Read more here

Today Show Annual Christmas Toy Drive
Attended to the ‘Today Show’ collecting toys for the Today Show Annual Christmas Toy Drive in New York, USA on December 13, 2004.

View more photos here

ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
After September 11 Hilary volunteered as a rescue worker, saving animals trapped in buldings. “I worked with the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the Humane Society and the park rangers. We got out the people’s pets and took them to a place where we could reunite them. A lot of them were fine, but there were a couple that didn’t make it. The blast blew out the windows and their owners weren’t there, so the animals couldn’t withstand the dust or the fumes,” she explains. “Very sad, but there was a lot of dying that day. Rescue workers would say things like, ‘Let me see that dog. Bring that dog over here.’ Then they’d pet it and say. ‘At least something is coming out of here alive.'”

AIDS Project Los Angeles
Hilary designed a Christmas card in 2001 called ‘Peace Fairy’ for AIDS Project Los Angeles, a holiday campaign to raise funds for services provided to men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS.

Super hero catnip to Academy Award-winning actor Hilary Swank for sweet-talking her way through police barricades surrounding the World Trade Center disaster zone and climbing to the 31st floor of an evacuated high-rise to rescue Lola, a Labrador who had been alone for four long days.

Hello Kitty anniversary benefit for UNICEF
Hilary Swank, Kate Bosworth and several other stars were asked in November 10, ???? by the Hello Kitty company to design their own artwork and fashion to celebrate the 30-year-anniversary. The things that was created was auctioned off to benefit UNICEF and Target House. Before were you able to bid on Hilary’s ‘Stary-Eyed Hello Kitty’ artwork on the website http://target-com/hellokitty. The artwork says “Always follow your dreams! With love, Hilary Swank”.

Unknown Charity
Hilary designed her own Christmas Card to unknown charity and she called it Diversity in Snowballs.

“Here’s to celebrating the diversity in us all! Thanks for your support! Happy Holidays, Hilary Swank”

Hetrick-Martin Institute
Hilary has been working hard for the organisation Hetrick-Martin Institute to honour support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths aged between 12 and 21. She was also honored with an Emery Award on November 29, 2006 for her work and her part in Boys Don’t Cry.

She’s brave in other ways too. During a ceremony last year sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to honor Boys Don’t Cry, some people made jokes about Angelina Jolie, Swank got to her feet and said that this audience, of all people, knew how hard life is for people who make unconventional choices and that perhaps they should show Jolie more compassion. People cried.