Children have been Gwyneth Paltrow’s greatest teachers. “They really could force me to be a better person in a million ways,” Paltrow shared at the Paul Mitchell Presents the 2017 Baby2Baby Gala in Los Angeles Saturday, where the mother of two was honored with the non-profit’s Giving Tree Award for her dedication to children’s causes.
The organization, led by co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein, provides low-income families with basic needs for children under 12 years old.
“For a mother to have to make a choice between food, diapers and clothing for their children is unacceptable in this day and age,” Paltrow said during her acceptance speech. “We’re living in a time where we really need to come together as a community and do what we can and really uplift each other.”
Among Paltrow’s supporters were Robert Downey Jr, Stella McCartney, Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore, who all showered her with praise in a pre-recorded video segment.
“I resurrected her film career,” Downey, Paltrow’s “Iron Man” co-star, quipped during the message, adding that in three words he would describe her as: “Sister I’ve kissed.”
Some of the other guests included January Jones, Russell Simmons, Molly Sims, Rachel Zoe, Julie Bowen, Rachel Bilson and R&B group SWV.
“I’ve gotten to know her as a funny, sweet and warm business leader. It’s an honor and she really is a wonderful person inside and out,” said Jessica Alba, who was the first recipient of the Giving Tree award.
Busy Philipps shared that coming from a place of privilege is one of the motivating forces behind the non-profit’s celebrity supporters. “When you’re on a television show and you announce you’re pregnant, all of a sudden boxes start arriving at your manager, agent and publicist for you and your baby,” Philipps explained. “I can actually go to Target and buy all this stuff. That’s why I got involved in the first place.”
After an auction led by Jessica Biel, Nicole Richie and Kristen Bell, the organization announced that more than $3.8 million was raised.