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For nearly two decades, Jamie Lee Curtis has been an ardent supporter of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), the nonprofit pediatric medical center founded in 1901. Once again this year, she has partnered with the hospital for its eighth annual Make March Matter fundraising campaign. (All the businesses — from fashion to food, fitness to flowers — partnering to raise awareness and funds for CHLA are listed on the dedicated Make March Matter site, as are special shopping events.)
At the kick-off on March 1, the SAG award-winning, Oscar-nominated Everything Everywhere All At Once star was presented with a personalized quilt, crafted by CHLA patients in the hospital’s art therapy program as a token of appreciation. In August 2020, Curtis launched her charitable e-business My Hand In Yours, which donates 100 percent of all proceeds to CHLA and recently surpassed $1 million in donations.
“By the way, I already support CHLA from my foundation,” the 64-year-old actress tells The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s a given. But this was a way to do it where you actually connect people. I believe that when you buy that sculpture for your aunt, whose husband died unexpectedly — and you write a note saying that you are sending it from a company that donates 100 percent of all proceeds to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for the care and treatment of critically ill and injured children — that’s more than financial support, that is the goal of community support.”
Curtis explained that her efforts began while working on Randal Kleiser’s 1984 film Grandview, U.S.A. “We were in Pontiac, Illinois, and I became friends with a young girl named Lori Tull, whose parents were putting on a benefit at a local fair to help raise money for her heart transplant payment,” says Curtis. “She was the youngest heart transplant recipient and the insurance company wouldn’t cover it because they deemed it experimental. The movie company joined in, since we were living there. Lori and I became friends and stayed friends until she died when she was just 19. So I started working with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh doing fundraisers in honor of Lori.”
Then Curtis connected with another inspiring patient. “At a news conference for a fundraiser, I met a young girl, Katie Westbrook, who had bone cancer and had one of her legs amputated. She was wearing a bright pink Dayglo polyester La Femme Nikita wig to cover her head, since she had had chemotherapy. She couldn’t go to the event, so I asked her if I could wear her wig. And I stood there in front of, you know, a thousand people and said, ‘My name is Jamie Curtis. I’m wearing the wig of Katie Westbrook, who’s fighting for her life, and this is the way she fights for it. She wears this wig to say, ‘Look at me. I’m right here and I’m dying and I need your help.’ And I raised a lot of money that night. Then Katie died. I have her wig and I wear it for children’s hospital public events that I do.”
Having advocated for the Pittsburgh hospital for years, Curtis decided to expand her efforts to her hometown, so she dialed Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and offered to help. “A week later, I think it was in 2004, they had a bond initiative coming up, and said, ‘We’d love you to do commercials,'” she says. “And so I started working with CHLA. I did a second bond initiative, then I did their walks, then I became an advocate, I went on their board for a good period of time, and now I’m their roving ambassador of goodwill.”
When writing letters to friends who have experienced a difficult time, Curtis has long signed off with the phrase, “my hand in yours,” the name of her company. “It’s basically saying, ‘I am not with you, but if I were sitting right next to you, my hand in yours, that’s what I want you to feel,” she explains. “That connection between us, the gentle quiet advocacy, the way a hand holding does. I collect a sculptor named Anne Ricketts, who makes these little bronze feet. I love them because it’s a good reminder to be where your feet are: not in your head. I’m sober and I give it a lot to sober people. So I called her and said, ‘Can I commission you to make a sculpture of two hands holding that I plan to sell on Instagram to raise money for Children’s Hospital?’ She created these beautiful sculpted hands and I ordered a hundred of them. Then COVID hit and I realized that, all of a sudden, grief and sadness and loss was a very real moment for many many people in an instant.”
My Hand In Yours was born through collaborations between Curtis and friends, such as Ricketts, jewelry designer Cathy Waterman and ceramicist Moye Thompson. Then it branched to referrals of friends that kept rolling out organically. “And I am a Twitter-stalker; I use Twitter like a public LinkedIn,” Curtis tells THR. I throw something out into the Twitterverse … and then I slide into DMs. Phone numbers are exchanged, and then I do what adults do, which is actually call each other rather than text. My rule is if we’re texting more than twice back and forth, we have to call!”
After My Hand In Yours launched on August 4, 2020, Curtis went on The Talk on Nov. 27 — guest-hosted by Amanda Kloots, whose husband, actor Nick Cordero, had died from COVID-19 in July — and sales rang in at $65,000. Fast forward to her 2022 appearance on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, where a conversation with Dorit Kemsley went viral.
“I was doing my huckstering, telling the women about my products, and Dorit was so enthusiastic that a meme was born of her talking about my wind chime being so chic and the coffee container from Miir keeping things hot and cold,” says Curtis. “The way they cut it was like a dance between Dorit and me. We had another crazy numbers day at the store. There have been tears shed that generated sales and also a lot of laughter! So we rebranded the company as selling items of comfort and celebration. Because every wedding is a physical embodiment of my hand in yours. It’s also a great birthday present.”
Below, shop some of Curtis’ favorites from her charitable boutique — including those “chic” wind chimes that went viral during her RHOBH visit — and more fashion and beauty finds that benefit CHLA’s Make March Matter fundraiser this month.
Jacquie Aiche Jewelry
Twenty percent of proceeds of each purchase from Hollywood-loved fine jeweler Jacquie Aiche’s 30-piece curated diamond and gold jewelry collection will be donated to CHLA.
Anne Ricketts Together Sculpture
“Many, many people send the Together hand, the first of our three bronze sculptures by Anne,” says Curtis. “The first is our OG. It’s really the item that people send to other people to say, ‘I’m here with you.'”
Los Angeles-based toy boutique Adventuretown will donate a portion of proceeds from online sales.
My Hand In Yours Dorit Chic Wind Chime
“We sort of rebranded the company as the chic children’s charity in the world, after Dorit’s beautiful vote of confidence, and I renamed our wind chime the Dorit Chic Wind Chime, which we sell a lot of!” says Curtis.
J’Adore Les Fleurs Bouquet
Fifty dollars will be donated to CHLA for each 250 of J’Adore Les Fleurs’ Artsakh Kids limited-edition boxed bouquets.
Boxfox New Family Gift Box
Gifting site Boxfox will donate 15 percent of proceeds to CHLA with the purchase of every New Family gift box that includes an infant-sized kimono, Jellycat puppy, Our Animal Neighbors book, Pipette baby oil and a teether and baby beanie by Alva.
Cathy Waterman Limited-Edition Pendant
“Cathy Waterman is a bestie, a best friend,” says Curtis. “Our children love each other. My daughter is godmother to her child. I’m godmother to one of Cathy’s other grandchildren. We are a close group and Cathy made this beautiful necklace for us.”
Beach Blvd. Lavender Hand Sanitizer
“My hairdresser, Sean James at Matthew Preece Salon, came to America from Australia with $200 and a surfboard many years ago,” says Curtis. “Now he’s an American citizen and a premier hairstylist who has been doing my hair and getting me ready for awards shows for 25 years. In the middle of COVID, he side-hustled a hand sanitizer made with lavender and donated like 10,000 units of it without accepting a penny, which means that the entire amount goes to the hospital because it didn’t cost me a penny.”
Moye Thompson Spirit Orb
“I am friends and neighbors with Moye Thompson, who makes ceramics that I collect and give as wedding gifts,” says Curtis. “Her beautiful porcelain orbs can live outside in a garden, too.”
My Paw In Yours Warm-Up Buddy
“I love lavender neck wraps and I cold-called an ex-nurse who runs a company called Warm Buddy that makes these microwaveable warm things,” says Curtis. “She told me she had these animals that kids really like, so we came up with the Labrador puppy and all the money from this, our leash, and our dog bowl are earmarked for the service animal program at CHLA.”
Findlay Hats Classic Cap
“Charlie Ryan [the 17-year-old son of Curtis’ friend in Idaho who made a sold-out run of pillows] introduced me to Jimmy Hickey of Findlay Hats in Portland, and he started making my baseball hats with a secret pocket for My Hand and Yours,” says Curtis.
Saranoni Mini Baby Snuggler
“I wanted to do a baby blanket, so I researched and then cold-called and Twitter-stalked a company called Saranoni blankets in Utah. They partnered me and offered me good wholesale costs for these little baby snuggies that we offer. The patriarch of that young family suddenly passed away of cancer, leaving five kids and a young wife.”
My Paw In Yours Dog Bowl
“Oliver Marler, a young man in Canada who built my website, introduced me to the people at Miir, who make stainless steel coffee containers,” says Curtis. “They had this fabulous dog bowl and added My Paw In Yours on it.”
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