During the Save the Children Illumination Gala, MTV asked Dakota a few questions about her involvement in the charity, you can read what she had to say below:
With so many charities out there, what is it about Save The Children that caught your attention?
Dakota: I started to get to a point where I really wanted to get involved in a particular charity and really be able to make a difference. The next generation is something I feel passionate about, and trying to make the next generation smarter and know more, and to know about the mistakes the previous generation has made. And I feel Save The Children does that.
44% of children in Clay County, Kentucky live in poverty. What was your experience like volunteering with this charity down in Kentucky?
Dakota: It was really an amazing experience getting to meet the two families that Save The Children sent me to. Seeing the children and the work Save The Children is directly doing with the children is quite amazing. This one particular little boy, you could just tell he loved getting that visit and the new books. He was so smart and lit up when he was reading the new books. You could see the difference Save The Children is doing just by this one child.
I also got to visit several schools, and saw the different programs that were in the schools. There is an aftercare program and the kids are so excited to stay. It’s so wonderful to see kids in elementary [school] be excited about school and want to learn. Seeing that firsthand was amazing and I loved being able to have those personal experiences. Being hands-on and seeing it was really amazing.
Every year, 63% of all kindergarteners begin school unprepared for lifelong learning, so it’s clearly an issue worth discussing. What was your biggest take-away lesson from the Kentucky experience?
Dakota: It was one of those things where I had a jam-packed day and [it] took me a while to process. I still think about it and learn something new from the experience. My biggest take-away was how important the Save The Children programs are, and thinking about where those kids might be if these [programs] weren’t in place. It would be so unfair. I could see the impact. It’s so humbling.
So many celebrities travel abroad to focus on various issues outside of the US. Was staying in the US important to you?
Dakota: You know, it was something I thought a little about beforehand. I kind of thought I would focus on the domestic part of it, as there are so many problems happening right here in our country. It really hit home for me seeing those issues in the country where I am from.
As Twitter is a great way to connect with fans about causes you are passionate about, we are curious if you will be joining anytime soon. And if not, why?
Dakota: I don’t think I am going to. I know that people use it for positive ways, and that is great. It just is something I will stay away from. But I applaud those who use it for good.