Ciara Shares How She and Russell Wilson Are Teaching Their Kids to Give Back: 'Lead By Example'
Ciara is continuing to give back amid the pandemic — and teaching her kids to do the same.
The singer and her quarterback husband, Russell Wilson, who have been vocal about using their platform to help those facing challenges in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, are teaching their young kids how to follow in their philanthropic footsteps.
"We're big believers in 'lead by example,'" Ciara tells PEOPLE. "And having conversations with our kids to remind them of how blessed they are and that, 'To who much is given much is required.'"
"There's a simple thing that we do: If they get a new toy, we're kind of taking the approach of, 'Let's give some toys back.' They've been really blessed, even with clothing and shoes. It's so cute when they're like, 'We're putting our toys together to give away.' When they talk like that, it's the sweetest thing," Ciara says. "We believe that it's crucial to instill those morals early for them because we do realize that we're really blessed."
She continues: "It's been one of the best feelings in the world and a huge blessing to know that we can give back in a time where so much is being taken away. We don't take that for granted. Our kids have way more opportunity and access than we had when we were younger but because of our journey growing up, we'll never forget that. And that element is what keeps us humble, so we still need to make sure that we take them through some of what we've gone through as well."
Now, the singer, 35, and the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, 31, are taking their pandemic philanthropy to the next level by teaming up with Amazon and the Guild Association at Seattle Children's Hospital for their Amazon Hometown Heroes project, which gives back to those in the Seattle area who have done essential work and gone above and beyond in the past seven months. In their search for a hometown hero, Ciara and Wilson discovered Marc Sellier, whose story immediately caught the attention of the singer's family.
"Everyone on the list stood out to us, but Sellier's story definitely touched our hearts," Ciara says.
Sellier is a registered Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital and has been with the hospital for over 17 years. Shortly before the hospitals began filling up with Covid patients, his home was destroyed in a flood; he and his wife, Mona Al-Haddad, and two daughters lived in a hotel through June while repairs were done, and had been living among boxes at home. With the help of Amazon, Wilson and Ciara were able to gift Sellier and his family a home makeover with all new furnishings.
"Whenever there's an opportunity to give back, especially during times like this, we always jump at that opportunity. Marc is such a sweet soul. He's been stepping up to the challenges and he's been bringing his heart and passion to work every day," she adds. "I can only imagine how much he's been having to endure and how much he's been, just literally, putting his best foot forward every day. ... You're sacrificing so much. Both Russell and I were super excited about the opportunity of coming together for the chance to celebrate a hometown hero in Seattle. We're a big part of the Seattle Children's Hospital family ... Considering all that we've gone through as a world and here in Washington — especially because we were one of the first places with COVID — it really touched us."
The singer's picks for Sellier's home, as well as some more of her personal favorites, can be found in her Curated by Ciara storefront, launching on Amazon today.
Some of Ciara's favorites from her curated collection include the K-Duo Coffee Maker, the Christopher Knight Home Lenox Oval Wood Coffee Table, an Amazon Basics White Kitchen Dinnerware Set and the Acanva Solid Velvet Soft Decorative Throw Pillows. Customers can also shop for all the decor items featured in Sellier's Hometown Hero makeover — some of Ciara's picks include the Le Creuset Enamel Tea Kettle, the Stone & Beam Modern Global Ikat Wool Area Rug and Christopher Knight Home Emmaline Fabric / Walnut Finish Bar Stools.
In addition to donating to Seattle Children's Hospital, Amazon will also be donating to the Why Not You Foundation, Ciara and Wilson's nonprofit organization, which announced the launch of its charter school in Seattle today.
"It is something that we're really passionate about — the idea is to empower the youth, with being able to lead the Why Not You attitude," Ciara explains.
The star, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday, also tells PEOPLE that even with the pandemic, she hopes to make the year of 35 her "best year" yet.
"It's the blessing to just reach a new year of life. It's always a blessing and I really am loving the woman that I'm becoming. When I look back at life and think about the journey, it's been a great one and I'm excited about the new year," Ciara says. "I want to make this new year of life, my best year. That's always my mantra. But just being with my family and sharing love, is by far the greatest gift I feel like I could have and that I want."