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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Big Stars, Big Giving
Aired December 24, 2010 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks for joining me tonight. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
More news on CNN starts right now.
ALINA CHO, CNN HOST (voice-over): From Hollywood to helping humanity.
HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS AND SUPPORTER OF JENESSE CENTER: So that wake-up was you're blessed. You have a charmed life. Help others.
CHO: Trading glitz and glamour for giving in grace.
JUSTIN BIEBER, TEEN POP ARTIST: I love making people smile.
CHO: BIG STARS, BIG GIVING.
JULIANNE MOORE, ACTRESS, SAVE THE CHILDREN ARTIST AMBASSADOR: Everybody should have the same opportunity.
NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS, UNIFEM GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: You should get involved. You should call. You should see what you can do.
EDWARD NORTON, ACTOR AND FOUNDER OF CROWDRISE.COM: What am I passionate about? What causes do I support? What ways do I give back to the world?
CHO: Hello and good evening. Welcome to a CNN Special Presentation, BIG STARS, BIG GIVING. I'm Alina Cho.
As we celebrate the holidays this season, in the midst of all the revelry, the family gatherings and of your reflections, we also remember this is the season of giving. And tonight, we'll talk about some very special gifts from some of Tinseltown's biggest stars. They're giving not only their time and money but sharing their passion and love, and giving back big.
You'll hear from superstar Halle Berry, who talks about how a secret from her past drives a very personal crusade. Actor Edward Norton hopes to do his part to revolutionize the world of charity online, creating what he calls the Facebook of philanthropy. Nicole Kidman talks about the work that makes her mom most proud, giving women in despair the gift of hope. And Julianne Moore shares how what she learned as a child inspires her work to help lift kids out of poverty.
But we begin tonight with one of today's hottest music stars, teen idol, Grammy-nominated Justin Bieber. A real-life Cinderella story, a young man who, virtually overnight, went from food stamps to becoming a millionaire several times over.
But what was most surprising to us is that even at the ripe old age of 16, backstage, Bieber already is busy building a history of giving back.
CHO: Justin Bieber -
(JUSTIN BIEBER SINGING "BABY")
CHO: He's hot, hot, hot - so hot, the hysteria surrounding him has a name -- Bieber Fever. The hair, the music, the moves. And he's all of 16, with a passion for giving back.
CHO (on camera): Or, you know, you think to yourself, he's 16 years old.
CHO: How does he know what charity is?
BIEBER: For me, I grew up really - you know, I didn't have a lot of money and, for - for me, it's about helping people out that haven't had opportunity.
CHO (voice-over): In fact, it wasn't just that Bieber didn't have a lot of money. Four years ago, he and his mother, a single mom, were broke, living in poverty.
Then his mom uploaded videos of him singing on YouTube. Little did she know they'd go viral and catch the eye of a record producer. The rest is now Bieber Fever history.
BIEBER: You know, I'm inspired by, you know, by children and - and other kids, and I think that charities that involve - involve kids, I just - I don't know, it's just - it's important to me.
CHO (on camera): Well, you're not a kid, but -
BIEBER: I'm not a kid, but, I don't know. Kids just - I - I love kids.
CHO (voice-over): So Bieber is giving back, one CD at a time. A portion of his new CD sales benefit The Children's Miracle Network, money for children's hospitals. And $1 from every concert ticket sold goes to Pencils of Promise, a charity that builds schools in the third world.
CHO (on camera): That's a lot of money.
BIEBER: I just think that, for me, it just goes past, you know, money. It goes past - you know, I just - that can help out so much, and it's just - it's $1 out of every ticket sold and it - it can go so - so far.
CHO (voice-over): Perhaps most touching, at concerts, Bieber meets personally with a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He remembers one young girl in particular.
BIEBER: They flew from Australia to come over here. She was a Make-A-Wish girl, and she came, and she was just so excited and all she wanted was a kiss.
CHO (on camera): Did you kiss her?
BIEBER: I kissed her on the cheek.
It makes you realize how much you have when you see people like that.
CHO: What do you get out of it?
BIEBER: For me, I love just making people smile.
CHO (voice-over): And you may be surprised just where he wants to go to do that.
BIEBER: In Romania, there's a lot of orphans. There's a lot of babies. They're never touched. They're never, you know, loved and they're never really held, and that's really sad to me. And, for me, I want to go over there and just hold them.
CHO: For Bieber, helping others also inspires his work. Take his latest single, "Pray."
(BIEBER SINGING "PRAY")
CHO (on camera): What inspired you to write those words?
BIEBER: There are so many people in this world that go without, and there are so many people that are starving and - and there are so many people that just need someone to just help them.
CHO (voice-over): He also gets inspiration from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, someone he admires both for his music and for his commitment to charity.
(MICHAEL JACKSON SINGING "MAN IN THE MIRROR") BIEBER: I think that he just always wanted to help others. He always wanted to have - you know, make people smile and make people happy with his music and - and with his songs, and he always was giving and giving and giving. And that's kind of what I want to do.
I want to - this isn't just for me. I want to be, you know, a role model, as well as someone that can make a difference.
CHO (on camera): It's nice to talk about something other than your hair and the girls, right -
CHO: -- for a change?
BIEBER: Yes, yes. I mean, I do love talking about girls, though.
CHO (voice-over): And that's when you remember, all this giving back from a star who is just a kid.
BIEBER: I have a girl come up on stage -
CHO (on camera): And you have this incredible voice and this ability to get attention when you say something about a cause or a charity. Your fans don't have that same ability.
So when you say you want to inspire them to make a change, what do you hope that they do in their own small way?
BIEBER: It's - it's really easy to - to do something good, whether it's helping an old lady across the street or, you know, just doing something small for your city, helping out picking up garbage - whatever you can do. It's - it - little things make a difference.
I have such a big platform, and it would be silly if I didn't do something good with it.
CHO: What a kid. And we wish him well as he begins what we hope will be a long and successful career and a long journey of giving back.
And if you want more information on the charities Justin Bieber supports, or to donate, go to our website, CNN.com/impact, where you'll find a full list of tonight's celebrities and the causes they support.
KIDMAN: This is going to be a very emotional path for the rest of your life.
CHO (voice-over): Coming up, actress Nicole Kidman. How their stories opened her eyes to the work that needed to be done at the United Nations.
Plus, superstar Julianne Moore's simple message to save the children.
MOORE: You can do anything if you can read, and every teacher will tell you that.
CHO: Also, Halle Berry's personal crusade, driven by a secret from her past.
BERRY: It's sort of transforming our community one woman, one family at a time.
CHO: All those stories ahead on BIG STARS, BIG GIVING.
CHO: Welcome back to BIG STARS, BIG GIVING.
Nicole Kidman is Hollywood royalty, an Academy Award-winning actress, and one of the most famous and beautiful women in the world. But it is her work as a U.N. goodwill ambassador, as an advocate for women, that she says keeps her grounded, the behind-the-scenes work that she says makes her mom most proud.
KIDMAN: A lot of my life I've been trying to please my mother, and I suppose I still felt like I'd won an Oscar, I'd done this, and my mom was still not like, OK, I feel like you've really - and this is probably the thing that she most -
KIDMAN: -- responds to in my life.
CHO (voice-over): So that thing Nicole Kidman is talking about is her work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations arm that fights for gender equality and to end violence against women.
KIDMAN: Take action. Say no.
CHO: A role she's held for nearly five years.
KIDMAN: I mean, these women in this organization, they're working for nothing, you know, and they're so committed.
CHO: Ironically, it was a movie role that first drew Kidman to the United Nations. She played the lead in "The Interpreter."
What she didn't know was that soon art, in part, would imitate life. It was her mother who heard about a UNIFEM program on the radio. She called her daughter, who in turn picked up the phone and called the U.N. Joan Libby Hawk took the call.
JOAN LIBBY HAWK, CHIEF, PUBLIC AFFAIRS, UNIFEM: I remember her asking, how can she help? And that was pretty amazing. When she first came to the office for a business meeting, she came by herself.
As soon as she got out of the car by herself, I got it. I got it that she came to work.
CHO: And work she has.
KIDMAN: I am here just to be a voice.
CHO: As goodwill ambassador, Kidman has testified before Congress to support a bill condemning violence against women. She's also traveled to places like Kosovo, where she met with women brutalized during that region's civil war; and, just this year, earthquake ravaged Haiti, where she visited that country's only safe house for female victims of sexual violence.
Wielding her biggest asset, her global fame, to help women who have spent their lives living in the shadows, living in shame.
KIDMAN: It breaks my heart. I mean, I'm - I'm a terrible person because - sometimes for this, because I can become so emotionally involved. And, actually, in Kosovo, I had to be taken aside and told, this is going to be a very emotional path for the rest of your life. You're going to see and hear things that you should never see and hear, but they exist.
These girls were raped. A lot of their faces were completely battered and - and destroyed, and their bodies, and they had nowhere to go.
When you see it - see it and hear it, it's - you know, I think it changes you forever. It certainly changed me forever.
CHO (on camera): I remember seeing a video of you sitting in a circle -
CHO: -- with these women -
CHO: -- and listening to their stories.
KIDMAN: They had such courage. They're still - they're educating themselves, they're educating their children.
CHO (voice-over): One way Kidman tries to help is to get these women who have suffered so much to talk not just about the past but about their future.
KIDMAN: They have big dreams. That was one of my questions. What do you want to be when you grow up?
CHO (on camera): And you said you saw their faces change.
KIDMAN: Yes. And that, to me, is - is why I do it because then I can go and I can say this - this country still needs so much help.
DENZEL WASHINGTON, ACTOR: By a nose, Nicole Kidman.
CHO: You were an Academy Award-winning actress, you are married to a music star, you have a beautiful family. Some people might ask how does this woman, Nicole Kidman, relate?
KIDMAN: I think it's just human to human for - that I respond, you know, and that I want to help and relate. I don't know how you say whether you relate, but I certainly feel. And it brings me to my knees and I feel it - I mean, it's my duty and it's an honor to be able to do the work.
CHO: It brings you to your knees. That's a strong statement.
KIDMAN: Yes, but I mean it.
CHO: Kidman will have her work cut out for her. Up to three out of every four women in the world suffers from violence at some point in their lives. But she says she's committed and will work with the U.N. as long as they'll have her.
Want to get involved or make a donation to UNIFEM, here is how you do it. Just log on to their website at unifem.org.
Still to come, actress Julianne Moore and her crusade to help children in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: One of five children in the United States is in poverty, and you tell people that, and they're shocked. They're absolutely shocked.
CHO (voice-over): When BIG STARS, BIG GIVING continues.
ANNOUNCER: This is the second year of BIG STARS, BIG GIVING. Last year, CNN talked to Sir Elton John about his AIDS Foundation in a rare and revealing interview. The cause he's dedicated most of his life to and the impact is real.
In just the past year, they've raised more than $10 million in the U.S. alone. This year, all donations made between now and midnight of December 31st, will be generously doubled by the MAC AIDS Fund. So donate now and double the impact of your donation. CHO: Welcome back to BIG STARS, BIG GIVING, a CNN special presentation.
For actress Julianne Moore it's impressions from her childhood that inspired her to give back. She moved around a lot and saw things she just couldn't forget - bad schools in poor neighborhoods and children living in poverty. An experience that now inspires her work with "Save the Children" to help lift kids out of poverty you could say one book at a time.
MOORE: You know, when people say how - you know, how did you become involved, is it - is it - or are you acting as a mother? Is what you see as a mother? I'm like, no, it's what I saw as a child.
CHO (voice-over): Before she was a glamorous actress - Julianne Moore was just Julie, an army brat.
MOORE: We moved a lot and every time you move, you, you know, you change schools. You're in a completely new environment. And I think, you know, what you - what you learn pretty quickly as a kid moving around the United States is that - that, you know, we're not - it's not all created equal.
CHO: What she saw as a child was not all kids were getting the same opportunity, and she thought that was unfair.
MOORE: You know, if you go to a school in Fairfax County, Virginia, you're going to get a fantastic education. If you're going to school in Appalachia, that's not going to be the case. Because simply isn't the income in that area to support these schools.
CHO (on camera): Let's talk specifics about what "Save the Children" then does to help sort of bridge the gap.
MOORE: Well, they come in and offer preschool opportunities. They - they do after school programs. They do nutrition and literacy as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did it. You did it.
CHO (voice-over): What she calls the key to success it's what inspired her to join "Save the Children" as an artist ambassador.
MOORE: And one thing I say about reading to the children is that you can do anything if you can read.
CHO: Moore developed her own love of reading as a kid. Because she moved around so much, friends were hard to keep. So books became her constant companion. The reason why education is now her cause.
CHO (on camera): That you were very focused on helping people here in the United States.
MOORE: Well, it's not that I don't believe there are many, many needy causes all over the world, but I do - I do believe that it's just in terms of poverty in our country often people hide in plain sight.
Because we have so much in the United States, there's - sometimes there's a refusal to acknowledge what's going on right here.
CHO: One in five children lives in poverty.
MOORE: Yes. One in five people - one in five children in the United States is in poverty. When you tell people that, they're shocked. They're absolutely shocked.
"Once upon a time there was a little girl who was just like everybody else."
CHO: You mentioned literacy. I know that's something that's very close to your heart.
CHO: You've written two books.
CHO: Which I've read. It didn't take very long.
MOORE: Yes. They're quick reads.
CHO (voice-over): Children's books about "Freckleface Strawberry", the nickname she hated as a child. The moral, look beyond what you see on the surface.
CHO (on camera): You are obviously so well known. I mean, how do the kids respond to you? I mean, do they -
MOORE: Oh, kids don't care. You know, I mean, if I were Justin Bieber, for example, that would be exciting.
CHO (voice-over): What's most exciting Moore lately is a Valentine's Day card idea she came up with for "Save the children". It's a contest. Kids submit their designs. The best get published and sold for charity and the winners get to fly to New York and meet Moore. There's also a lesson.
MOORE: You know, some kids put a little candy heart in them and whatever and, you know, you can get the Spongebob Valentines, which are great or we can use these valentines which are about where the money has gone to helping kids like you in schools where they don't have the same kinds of facilities or opportunities. And the kids are incredibly receptive. When - when they do hear that somebody doesn't have the same kind of situation in school, they do - they do want to help.
CHO: Moore is hoping the Valentine's program will be her own little legacy, a famous face making a difference for children. MOORE: If we are going to set an example, we need to help everybody here. We need to bring everybody to the same place. Then we can really be effective in the rest of the world.
CHO: Valentine's Day may be close to two months away but Moore's pet project, the Valentine's cards for "Save the Children" are already on sale. For more information go to our website, CNN.com/impact.
Still ahead, actor Edward Norton in his latest role trying to put the fun in fund-raising with a new website he started that he hopes will be the Facebook of philanthropy. Also, Halle Berry in her role of a lifetime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERRY: It is so more important than any movie I'm going to make. This is about changing lives, transforming a community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: When BIG STARS, BIG GIVING continues.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Randi Kaye in New York. BIG STARS, BIG GIVING continues in a moment. But first, here are the latest headlines.
Severe weather is disrupting holiday travelers' plans this weekend. Delta Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights including 300 at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are expected to be hit hardest by a combination of rain, sleet and snow.
CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf joins us with the latest - Reynolds.
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Randi, the biggest weather problem watching for the time being is this area of low pressure that we have in parts of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Yes, we've got some snow in the Midwest. See - you could see three to seven inches of snow there. But it's going to be this low that we have over Texas bringing the thunderstorms that by tomorrow might bring a combination of rain, sleet, and even some snowfall to parts of the southeast including Atlanta.
Now because of it moving through parts of the southeast, Delta has already canceled some 300 flights. We might see more problems as that area of low pressure works its way up the Eastern Seaboard as we fast forward into Sunday and then into Monday. It has the potential of bringing some heavy snowfall to the highest elevations of New England and possibly a dusting of snowfall into New York, maybe even into Boston.
That's the latest on your forecast, Randi. Let's send it back to you.
KAYE: Thanks, Reynolds.
And if you are traveling for the holidays, be aware that the TSA has just implemented new security measures. The focus this time - insulated beverage containers. There are growing concerns that terrorists might conceal explosives inside the canisters. While insulated containers are still permitted on planes, they will be more vigorously checked.
Holiday travelers in Europe are also facing weather related headaches, freezing weather and a shortage of de-icing fluid caused Paris' busiest airport, Charles de Gaulle, to be partially evacuated Friday. Thousands of passengers are now left stranded after hundreds of flights were canceled.
Also in Europe tonight, security was tight in Rome as Pope Benedict XVI ushered in Christmas for Catholics around the world by saying Midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. The pope prayed for peace and brotherhood among all people, a prayer made especially timely after letter bomb attacks Thursday on the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome.
An Italian anarchist group claimed responsibility for bombings on Christmas Eve, 2009. Pope Benedict was dragged to the floor of St. Peter's by a woman with a history of psychiatric problems. This year's midnight mass occurred without incident.
This is not the happiest of holiday seasons for one New York City family who discovered that thieves tunneled into their Greenwich Village home through a hallway wall. The thieves stole paintings and prints by artists including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein said to be worth between $500,000 and $1 million. They also stole watches, jewelry, and, in a Hollywood touch, a video recorded attached to surveillance cameras in the home.
And finally, children from Hawaii calling to find out where Santa's sleigh is along his route got an extra treat today. One of the 1,200 volunteers answering phones for NORAD's annual Santa tracker program was none other than first lady Michelle Obama. The first lady answered questions about Santa's exact location and what time he was expected to drop by the children's houses. When she told a little boy named Seth that she could see the approaching reindeer, he cried, "Is Rudolph there?" The North American Aerospace Defense Command started the Santa tracker program back in 1955, and now it receives millions of emails, letters and calls from around the globe, following him as he makes his rounds.
I'm Randi Kaye in New York. Stay tuned for more of Big Stars, Big Giving.
CHO: Hello and good evening. Welcome back to BIG STARS, BIG GIVING, a CNN Special Presentation. I'm Alino Cho.
Halle Berry is one A-list star who also brings her A-game to charity. For more than a decade she's been spending her time and money at the Jenesse Center, a shelter for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles. For Berry, this is personal. Domestic violence runs in her family.
CHO (voice over): It's been a personal crusade for Halle Berry for more than a decade, a secret from her past that inspired her to give back.
(On camera): What do you remember about your childhood and that period of your life?
HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS, PHILANTHROPIST: Being very afraid, feeling alone, feeling anxious.
CHO (voice over): She lived in fear as she watched her abusive father repeatedly hit, kick, and beat up her mother, the woman she idolized. She wondered --
BERRY: If I would get beat up, if I would get kicked down the stairs.
CHO: You saw that?
BERRY: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. My father one time threw our little dog against a wall and the dog bit his tongue in half. That's frightening for a child to see that kind of abuse.
CHO: How does that shape you as an adult?
BERRY: Well, you know, honestly I think I've spent my adult life dealing with the sense of low self-esteem that sort of implanted in me. Somehow I felt not worthy.
CHO: Do you know how many people in the world would say, are you kidding me? You're Halle Berry.
BERRY: I'm sure because that's Halle Berry. But before I'm Halle Berry, I'm little Halle, who was a little girl growing in this environment that damaged me in some ways. And I've spent my adult life trying to really heal from that.
We created it for the kids.
CHO: This is amazing. That personal journey led her here to the Jenesse Center, a shelter for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles where Berry volunteers, and often shows up by herself, unannounced.
BERRY: I love this place. I love what it does. I love what it stands for. I love women. I love helping women and children. I was a victim of domestic violence. It's what I grew up with, so I have a spot in my soul that understands the devastation that this causes a family. And how hard it is to rebuild your self-esteem when you've suffered.
I come here sometimes and I play with the kids. I see the children. So I'm just regular old crackers, you know.
BERRY: I love being regular old crackers, I have to say.
CHO (voice over): A far cry from the glamorous screen siren we know from the movies. But it is this work that Berry says is more important, more meaningful.
BERRY: Please help any way that you can.
CHO (on camera): You have actually worked night shift here.
BERRY: I have. Everybody should have to do that.
CHO: Halle Berry has worked the night shift.
BERRY: Yeah. I've worked in many capacities here and I've really seen the women who are running to the shelter, with their kids in tow, who have just been beaten up. And who are confused and a bit dazed and scared. I've seen it. Yes, I have.
CHO: What shocked you the most about all of that?
BERRY: Probably that it takes women so long to get here.
CHO: Why do you think it takes so long?
BERRY: I think it's really hard to accept that you've made some wrong choices. It's hard to pick up and make a new choice, because it's about giving up everything you know to be normal for you. And many times when people live with this kind of abuse, it becomes normal.
CHO: And you're made to feel you have nowhere to go.
BERRY: Right, and you're made to feel if you leave here, you're not going to find anything better because you're just a piece of crap, basically, so where are you going to go?
CHO (voice over): Berry hopes here, or somewhere like it. She is taking on a personal project at the Jenesse Center. In fact, it was her idea. Renovating these apartments top to bottom, where abused women who seek refuge come to live.
BERRY: That used to be mine.
CHO: A half-million-dollar effort. Berry has donated both time and money, and enlisted the help of friends and corporate sponsors, including Revlon, which is paying for half; $250,000 as a thank you for being the company's spokes model for 15 years.
BERRY: It's not just a crime that happens in the ghetto, or the inner cities, it's happening everywhere. It's something that is not talked about. Women are still humiliated by it. They're ashamed of it. CHO: So beaten down what they need, she says, is light; a safe, happy environment in which to live.
(On camera): Very happy.
BERRY: Happy and where they can rejuvenate and feel hugged and loved. I'm going to put like Astroturf grass --
CHO (voice over): And heal in safety from the reach of their abuser. The center's location is confidential.
BERRY: You see it lived in and I see them taking such pride in it. And I see how it's sort of put an extra pep in her step, and it's given her real encouragement to move forward.
CHO (on camera): And long term what does that mean then, to have this at this critical period?
BERRY: This is where the dream is born that she can have this for herself. If she can live like this now, think of what she can do for herself when she leaves here. Many times if people don't see it, they can't dream it. They don't see it, you can't believe it. This is a way for them to see it.
CHO (voice over): It's something she couldn't do for her mother, give strength to women who have been beaten and battered and yearning for a way out.
BERRY: It sort of is transforming our community, one woman, one family at a time. And every time one gets it, every time one logs on, and one says, yeah, I can do this. Like I think a little part of my heart goes, poof, it like bursts open.
CHO: At the end of the day is that the power of celebrity?
BERRY: I think it is. It is so more important than any movie I'm going to make.
BERRY: So much more. This is about changing lives.
I want to say thank you so much.
I think it's the best thing you do with your celebrity is to find a way to use it to raise money, to help, to enlighten other people, to add light to those dark spaces, to change lives. If you don't do that with it, then I'm not really sure what it's for, if you don't do something good with it.
CHO: What is your message to any woman who might be watching out there, who might be in a relationship that's abusive?
BERRY: Get out. Don't stay a moment longer. If there's no shelter, go to a friend. Go to the police station. Go somewhere, but you go. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHO: Still to come, you've heard from Halle Berry. Now watch as she takes me on a personal tour of the project that's close to her heart.
BERRY: A big part of what Jenesse teaches women is how to take care of themselves.
CHO: Changing lives one shelter at a time when BIG STARS, BIG GIVING continues.
ANNOUNCER: Last year BIG STARS, BIG GIVING had the rare opportunity to sit down with none other than Madonna. She talked about the charity she helped start to help feed, educate and provide medical care to some of Malawi's orphans. In April she broke ground on one of her most important projects, a $15-million girls' boarding school to be completed in 2012.
CHO: Halle Berry is one star whose charitable work is truly personal. As a child she lived in fear as she watched her father brutally abuse her mother. As an adult, Berry spent the last decade making up for what she says she couldn't do for her mom, help other women desperate for help. Watch as she takes me on a personal tour of her latest project at the Jenesse Center, a shelter for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles.
BERRY: This is the first one we ever did.
CHO (voice over): It was something as simple as opening her two- year-old daughter's closet that inspired Halle Berry to hatch an idea.
BERRY: After I gave birth, and my daughter started to grow, I realized, like many new moms, I had way too many things that she didn't even wear.
CHO: She thought why not donate them to the place where she gives of her time and money, the Jenesse shelter, the shelter in Los Angeles for domestic violence victims and their children.
BERRY: And I said, I'd like to set up a kids clothing boutique. I'm going to start it off by donating all of Nala's clothes.
I also wanted to make it like a fun space.
CHO: She named it Nala's World, after her daughter, and used her celebrity to get designers and outlets to pitch in.
BERRY: Many of the kids walk in and they say, oh, my God, I'm getting new clothes? They have price tags on them. They're so used to getting just shabby hand me downs. And so we're providing them with new clothing that they can get for free. Once I finished the little room for the children, hey, why don't I do that to this entire building?
CHO: So now, with the help of friends and corporate sponsors, Berry is renovating these apartments at the center.
BERRY: It's a hot-a hot mess.
CHO: Going from this, to this, in as little as two weeks.
BERRY: I really feel like if you're asking women to make a transition and find esteem, part of where you're asking them to live, that's important. So by changing all of this, it just sort of gives them the dream to dream for themselves, you know. So, yeah, this is how it starts.
CHO: But it's more than a home, where battered women can be safe from their abusers. The Jenesse Center also gives women the tools to continue on their own, legal, medical and vocational. This is the learning center, where clients, as they're called, can put together a resume.
BERRY: We don't want to just give a handout. We want to teach them how to actually take care of themselves when they leave here. If we don't do that we really haven't done them a service.
I love it.
CHO: Berry is here so often, she's a fixture, and it's clear her presence perhaps more than anything else is her biggest gift.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember when I first got here I said everyone is meeting Halle. I haven't met her yet.
She would tend to drop in and every time she came, I missed her. One morning my daughter and I, we were leaving, in walks Halle Berry by herself. Nobody with her. And I'm like, this is the perfect opportunity for me to say hello, so introduced myself. She's very warm.
CHO (on camera): What did she say to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was just so welcoming. She gave me a hug and she just thanked me for being here.
CHO: I think there are a lot of tears in here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they're happy tears.
KAREN EARL, EXEC. DIRECTOR, JENESSE CENTER: She said, I care and they see it.
CHO: Karen Earl is the Jenesse Center's executive director.
EARL: We see it all the time. They can talk about anything, but for her to use the voice on behalf of un-served and underserved women and children, that is what is surprising and beautiful.
CHO (On camera): She doesn't just talk the talk, she walks the walk.
EARL: She walks the walk, literally.
BERRY: These women don't stay here forever. They come and they go. When one family leaves, another one comes. So over the years, think of all the women that will come and go. I mean, I hate to think they will still be coming, but they will still be coming. And they will be going.
CHO (voice over): Women with their children who are now in the same position Berry was in when she was a child watching her mother being abused, and not knowing where to turn. On the day we were with her, she tells us about a visit with one of those families.
BERRY: When I got ready to leave her little daughter said, Miss Halle, I love my new house.
CHO: In her, do you see a little bit of yourself?
BERRY: Absolutely. Absolutely. But didn't have a-my mom didn't have a Jenesse Center, so it makes me feel like I am doing a little bit to help make that transition easier for families.
CHO: And to find out how you can get involved with the Jenesse Center, go to their website Jenesse.org. Or our website CNN.com/impact, where you'll find a full list of tonight's celebrities and the causes they support.
Still to come, Hollywood powerhouse Edward Norton, inspiring a new generation to give back by doing it their way on the web.
If you don't give back, no one will like you.
EDWARD NORTON, ACTOR, PHILANTHROPIST: If you don't give back, no one will like you. That is our core philosophy. It's basically like the kids who are in National Honor Society, and wish they could be popular, like that's the people who started Crowdrise.
CHO: One-on-one with Edward Norton when BIG STARS, BIG GIVING continues.
CHO: Welcome back to BIG STARS, BIG GIVING.
On the silver screen, actor Edward Norton has always been a darling of the critics, twice nominated for an Oscar, one of the finest actors of his generation. Off screen he's been a passionate supporter of causes close to his heart. Philanthropy often takes center stage.
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CHO: In his more than 15 years as an actor's actor, what is less known about Edward Norton is the kind of charitable work he's done off camera. Along the way, it was something he noticed about how charities often use the Internet that has inspired his latest project.
EDWARD NORTON, ACTOR, PHILANTHROPIST: We started looking around at the mechanisms that were available for doing online campaigns and fund-raisers, and they were just really bad.
CHO (on camera): And you were frustrated?
NORTON: We were very frustrated by what we saw out there. Everything was just-we called it, like use and drop. It was a button where you could donate, but really like, nothing more. We wanted to communicate more than that.
CHO (voice over): Norton and his friends saw an opportunity to shake up how people give on line. He came up with what he calls the Facebook of philanthropy. It's called Crowdrise, a fund-raising web platform that is also a community.
NORTON: This is a platform where you plant a flag, and say this is who I am, as defined by what do I care about, what am I passion about, what causes do I support.
CHO: Within minutes, anyone can create a page, start a fundraiser, and ask for donations from friends, family, and perfect strangers.
NORTON: Look, you have a generation of people coming along whose -- are going to form their own new relationship with the idea of supporting the causes that their care about, or changing the world, you know? And these people are not going to do it the way that our parents did it. Young people today are -- they are talented and facile, and very, very, you know, capable on these tools. They know how to connect to each other in extremely creative ways. And the reason that they do it is that it's fun.
CHO: Fun is key. Why Norton is putting the fun in fund-raising on Crowdrise by adding a gaming aspect. Members can earn points, even win prizes.
NORTON: Why shouldn't it be fun? It should be fun.
CHO (on camera): If you don't give back, no one will like you.
NORTON: If you don't give back, no one will like you. That is our core philosophy. We're a bunch of dorks. We're like, wouldn't it be amazing if al those dorky things we used to do could be made to be cool.
CHO: Like selling Crowdrise sweatshirts.
NORTON: How many sweatshirts is Facebook selling? Does anyone actually want to wear a Facebook sweatshirt?
CHO: Good point.
NORTON: I don't think so.
CHO: I don't think so either.
NORTON: Take that, Mark Zuckerberg.
CHO (voice over): Norton is also calling on his famous friends to help, other celebrities who are creating profiles on Crowdrise, just like everyone else, like Will Ferrell, who is raising money for cancer survivors.
NORTON: Like you can win a bottle of Will's suntan lotion for a donation to his site.
CHO: And it's quite a picture.
NORTON: Yeah, it's a good one. Very sexy, very sexy.
NORTON: Don't ever think hairy can't be sexy.
CHO: Just seven months after its launch, Norton says Crowdrise already is raising $1 million a month for various causes. His hope is to revolutionize giving, one web page at a time.
CHO (on camera): Why is it so important to you to do this?
NORTON: I guess because, you know, at the end of the day, and I think this gets back around to why did we want Crowdrise to be fun, is much more than hard work, I do find it fun.
I think we really feel like crowd rise could be something that 20 years from now, people take for granted, because that's just how you do it. If you're going to raise money for something, that's how you do it.
CHO: That wouldn't be a bad thing?
NORTON: No, and I think, you know, I actually in the beginning, we said this like it was a pipe dream, but now I actually think it's going to happen.
CHO: We wish Ed Norton the best of luck, and we hope he does revolutionize the world of philanthropy online.
ANNOUNCER: Last year, BIG STARS, BIG GIVING talked with Ben Stiller on his efforts to build schools in Haiti, under his new charity called StillerStrong. And the response to his charity has been amazing. His organization, with the motto, "Stealing great ideas from other people's charities to build schools in Haiti", has raised $300,000.
CHO: As we close our program tonight, a final thought. The stars we have talked to are true stars, using their celebrity to shine a spotlight on the causes and charities close to their lives. Ones that might not otherwise get attention. We hope you'll find inspiration in their personal stories and want to give back in your own way.
I'm Alina Cho. Thank you for joining us tonight, and from all of us here at CNN, we hope you have a wonderful holiday, and an even better New Year. Good night.