“I have a particular affinity towards helping people who feel outcast whether they’ve made mistakes, like having past felony convictions or recovering addicts,” Bell told E! News.
“My husband is in recovery and is almost 13 years sober,” Bell said of Shepard, 41, who has been frank about his alcohol and drug addiction before becoming sober in 2004.
“Seeing the world through his eyes has really opened mine to knowing that it is a disease and nobody is choosing to drink more than others,” continued Bell, 35. “They are doing it because of a variety of reasons and they deserve the attention of a mental health professional, and not the county jail or however else we’re choosing to pretend we’re fixing the problem.”
Bell does note that her charitable spirit formed early thanks to her family.
“My family was always into community outreach and helping others,” she said. “I learned to value that at a very young age. I learned to find joy in lending a hand and lending support to those who need it. And I was taught to view all humans as a part of my family.”
Now it’s a lesson she’s imparting to her own children with Shepard (Lincoln, 3, and Delta, 1): “I am trying to teach my kids not be stunted by country lines, language barriers, or religious boundaries. And that all human beings, and everyone in the world is part of someone’s family and they should be treated as such. It’s so simple to get caught up in lines that divide us. Why are you different? I think it’s important to remind ourselves that we are all the same and everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.”