Along with playing quirky roles on screen — best known for Curb Your Enthusiasm — Cheryl Hines is making a difference with her charitable efforts. This Hollywood actress is an advocate for children with disabilities — a cause near and dear to her heart. And with the current uncertainty of healthcare, she’s inspiring others to support the cause too.
The actress has cooked on MasterChef Celebrity Showdown, played on Celebrity Family Feud and Hollywood Game Night, and even performed a duet with Dan Aykroyd to support the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida, where she’s on the national board of trustees. The not-for-profit school and therapy center serves children with a wide spectrum of disabilities, such as Down syndrome, autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and speech and hearing delays.
“Nobody sets out thinking that they will have a child — or a parent — with a disability, or that they will have a disability,” she tells Babble. “But odds are, at some point in our life, we [all] do experience some sort of disability.”
In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1 in 5 people in America have a disability. The Florida native knows firsthand of the serious need for resources, as her nephew Michael was born premature with cerebral palsy. And Hines’ family is appreciative of UCP’s continued support. In a video for the charity, Hines says, “They made a huge difference in my life, my family’s life, and my nephew’s life.”
It’s especially important in this day and age. “I think it’s pretty clear that funding will be cut in this area on a national level, so we really have to rely on each other more than ever,” Hines tells Babble. While house republicans pulled President Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s healthcare proposal, federal spending on Medicaid is far from perfect — which serves elderly, disabled, and low-income populations. Such services are essential as, according to Hines, “each [person’s] disability is different and, so, the care has to individualize.”
Hines continues to push forward to bring awareness and help to children suffering from debilitating disabilities. “For me, and for UCP, this is a civil rights movement,” she says in the UCP video. “We want to help and advocate for those with disabilities.” Keep doing what you’re doing Cheryl — making a difference in countless children’s lives!