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Caring Campaigner - Lucy's New Year Resolution

New Zealand Woman's Weekly

15 January 2007

Article contributed by Calli

Hurricane Katrina prompts the Kiwi star to campaign for World Vision


Filming the horror movie Vampire Bats was a harrowing experience for Lucy Lawless - but it wasn't the mutant winged monsters of the title that haunted the Kiwi actress.

Production on the made-for-TVfilm had to be abandoned when Hurricane Katrina struck the movie's New Orleans set in August 2005. Along with the rest of the city's inhabitants, mother-of-three Lucy and the film's cast and crew had to flee the terrible storm and ensuing flood.

"After Katrina, I went through a period of re-examination," Lucy admits. "I thought, 'My God, what am I doing with my life?' I would have left show business, but I realised there's nothing else I can do.

"Maybe my purpose in life is simply to entertain and if I'm good at it and it makes me happy, it's all right."

But, as well as providing light relief, Lucy has found that there is something she can do to make the planet a better place. The former star of Xena: Warrior Princess is fronting World Vision's New Year's Resolution Campaign.
Lucy (38) explains, "The reason for my involvement is that I've seen first-hand, and believe with my whole heart, that World Vision works. I know people are often mistrustful in regard to sending their money off to the hands of organisations they don't know. But I think we use that as an excuse to do nothing.

"Hurricane Katrina has lifted the lid on our dirty laundry - the poverty that we have ignored for too long. It seems a bitter joke that, like Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, New Orleans natives have come to rely on the kindness of strangers. But, to me, this care is the glue that binds us. You cannot have civilisation where there is no trust or respect between strangers."
Kiwi songstress Brooke Fraser's new track Albertine provides the music to Lucy's new TV ad for World Vision. Lucy says she fully agrees with the lyrics, "Now that I have seen, I am responsible."

She tells, "Recently, I visited Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries on earth, where 80% of the usable land floods every year. I have seen poverty that destroys the fabric of caring, even to the point of mothers throwing their four-year-old children on the roofs of train just to get rid of them."

It's one of the reasons Lucy is so passionate about helping children - something that was part of her family culture, growing up in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden.

"We had a little box on the table, with coins for the little African babies," Lucy recalls with a smile. "That concept of giving to those less fortunate has been deeply ingrained in me and it's a pleasure to be able to give my voice to help organisations like World Vision."