Celeb: Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who manages the philanthropic version of walking and chewing gum by acting both globally and locally: In addition to running a free grocery store for needy people in her hometown of Nashville (along with her husband, country star Brad Paisley), she moonlights as an ambassador for anti-poverty group CARE International. She recently traveled with the organization, which partners with the U.S. Agency for International Development, to Guatemala, where she saw projects that used investments to empower women economically.
Cause: Maintaining the always-threatened-in-a budget-crunch foreign assistance funding the United States offers around the world.
Scene: Williams-Paisley spent Wednesday and Thursday shuttling around Capitol Hill (with son Huck in tow), meeting with lawmakers of both parties — and on both sides of the Capitol Dome — to make the case that foreign aid, particularly investments in women, makes economic sense.
Sound bite: Williams-Paisley didn’t just rely on pulling heartstrings (because it’s Washington, not a Hallmark holiday movie!) in her lobbying sessions. “As the crisis at the border in this country intensifies, it is vital that CARE can continue to run valuable programs that address education, nutrition and family planning needs,” she said. “When you look at the tens of thousands of dollars this country spends on processing a migrant in the U.S. and sending them back to their country, versus just $1,500 to help a person become self-sufficient in their own country, the significance of this funding can’t be overstated.”