She may only be 15 years old, but Ashley Benson (Abby, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) has already learned the value of giving back to her community. That’s why the young actress has gotten involved with Kids With A Cause, a non-profit organization that provides support and encouragement to less fortunate youth.
“It’s a group of actors who go around to homeless shelters and places where there are underprivileged kids and speak to them and help them with different things,” explains Benson. “It’s a good cause, and it’s a lot of fun, because you get to meet a lot of people. I’ve done two events, so far. You have to do three to become [an official] member.”
Benson was introduced to Kids With A Cause by some of her acting friends. “They said it would be a good opportunity for me to experience and see what other kids’ lives are like,” explains Benson, who contacted the head of the organization. “She invited me to come to one of the events and said she’d watch how I [interacted] with the kids.”
Benson passed with flying colors. “I did,” she smiles, recounting her initial visit to Orangewood Children’s Home in Orange County. “We talked to the kids there about education and how important it is to stay in school and to find something that they want to pursue. We [encouraged them] to follow their dreams.
“I also attended an event at a miniature golf course, where there were a group of homeless kids,” continues Benson. “We golfed with them, talked and made friends. It was fun.”
So far, Benson cites the highlight of her Kids With A Cause initiation as a one-on-one she had with a young girl named Nicole. “She told me she wanted to be a singer,” explains Benson. “So I asked her to sing for me, and she did. She actually thanked me for taking the time to listen to her. She said a lot of people don’t listen to abused kids.”
Once Benson gets one more event under her belt, she’ll be an official Kids With A Cause member, and she can’t wait. “I love helping people,” says Benson. “After each event, we all get in a group, everybody who participated in it, and say what we learned from it and what we liked about it. After helping someone, I get this feeling, like, Wow! I changed their life. If one kid was about to quit school and they stayed in school, that’s a big thing. I love being a part of that.”