Amy Poehler Is Cracking Up Kids in Haiti
Amy Poehler is many things: actor, comedian, writer, philanthropist, and—deejay? Yes, deejay. As Worldwide Orphans Foundation’s Ambassador of Arts, the multitalented woman fulfilled her duties by—among other things—providing the sound track to a soccer game with local children on a visit to Haiti.
WWO helps integrate orphans back into their communities by incorporating sports, singing, dancing, and playing. During Poehler’s 2012 trip, which she took with WWO founder Jane Aronson, the comedian wanted to ensure that every child had a creative outlet for self-expression.
“Children are not that interested in the future or past,” Poehler said in this week’s issue of People. “They really are about the present moment, so that’s an easy connection to improv.”
Improv, of course, is second nature for the former Saturday Night Live star and alum of sketch comedy group Upright Citizens Brigade. And she’s certainly putting her connections to use—part of her role at WWO is hosting galas and fund-raisers back at home. Poehler raised more than $10,000 in one night at a UCB show in December.
She also spoke about her work with orphans at Variety’s Power of Women event in 2013—and, true to form, she was able to emphasize a serious topic while still getting laughs from the audience. “Please remember that giving to charity is good for your skin, and it makes your ass smaller,” she said in the speech.
After she wraps up Parks and Recreation, Poehler plans on traveling to Ethiopia and back to Haiti, where she will teach improv.
“Nothing’s ever limited for kids when it comes to play,” said Aronson. “You can see that kids get connected with one another, and they don’t need a translator.”