Singer Debbie Gibson Helping Poor Children

Singer Debbie Gibson marks decades of service by returning to the Philippines to advocate on behalf of poor children with Children International, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization.

According to the Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board, one in four families lives in poverty. Gibson, who has supported Children International since 1990, visited Manila to raise awareness for the issue of child poverty and her personal experience with the charity.

Likewise, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation has donated $150,000 to SOS Children’s Villages – USA. The donation is given in recognition of National Adoption Day, which celebrates adoptive families and highlights the needs of the over 100,000 children still waiting for adoptive families in the United States. (Read: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt Donate to Help Children)

[ Also Read: Celebs Join Hands to Combat Hunger in the U.S. ]

And Oscar-nominated actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband, actor Peter Sarsgaard, decided to act as global ambassadors for a new project by international charity organization, SOS Children’s Villages and global lifestyle brand, Esprit.

The aim is to see 140 abandoned Indian children housed and provide support to poverty stricken families to keep them together. (Read: Celebrity Couple to Help Poor Families in India)

“There are so many children living in horrible conditions. I cannot imagine being a child and being born into this, and never knowing what it’s like to have clean clothes for one thing,” said Gibson.

While in Manila, she met a poor child named Helen and her family who are so poor they live in a local cemetery. Helen is 7 years old and has five brothers and sisters.

Evelyn, Helen’s mother, earns $11 a month as a day laborer, and barely makes enough to feed her children. Their home is nothing more than a small, hastily built piece of scrap metal covering a burial crypt in the cemetery.

They guard the burial crypt for the family of the deceased in return for the “shelter” it provides them.

[ Also Read: Join My Village to Fight Poverty in Africa ]

Children International’s program joins nearly 80,000 impoverished children in the Philippines who have access to medical care, dental care, educational assistance and nutritional help through the organization.

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Children International president and CEO Jim Cook said, “We are very grateful to Debbie for her years of dedication to improving the lives of children living in poverty. By lifting her voice on behalf of poor children around the world, Debbie is doing her part to fight poverty.”

Children International made this announcement Wednesday, Jan. 26.

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