"Showing her that you can do things like this and be a part of making someone's day a little better. I think it's a good message," Ellen Pompeo tells PEOPLE

By Christina Dugan
November 02, 2020 12:00 PM
Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

Ellen Pompeo is teaching her children the importance of giving back.

On Friday, the Grey's Anatomy star opened up about her decision to bring daughter Stella to Baby2Baby's Halloween drive-thru distribution event presented by Paul Mitchell and why it was a "good message" to pass on to her 11-year-old.

"Any time I can come out and support Baby2Baby and show these families that somebody cares about them, it's great to do," Pompeo, 50, tells PEOPLE of the event, which welcomed hundreds of families to a Halloween themed drive-thru distribution at their headquarters in Culver City, California, where they provided diapers, clothing, food, backpacks, school supplies, Paul Mitchell shampoo and much more to help alleviate the unprecedented hardships that families living in poverty are facing due to the pandemic. "I took my daughter Stella out with me today. She did a great job."

Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

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"There's a lot of tension in the air and a lot of a lack of empathy in so many areas that I think anytime we can just smile and interact as human beings and put out positive vibes is a good thing," Pompeo adds.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Baby2Baby has distributed over 40 million essential items to the most vulnerable children across the country impacted by the pandemic, and this year, their COVID-19 relief efforts will reach nearly one million children in over 90 cities across the country, according to a release obtained by PEOPLE.

Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Baby2Baby

"It's not just about one specific kind of need," says Michaeline DeJoria Heydari, Vice Chairman of longtime Baby2Baby sponsor Paul Mitchell. "The organization provides essentials all across the board, whether it's diapers, clothes, cribs, safe place to sleep, if you're younger, if you're older. All those tiny things just cost so much and they add up and especially during COVID, it's just so much extra hardship. So when I first started with Baby2Baby, it was my personal passion. And then I just thought, 'You know what, on a corporate level, there's so much more we can be doing here.' So I made that intro and then now as a corporation, we're so happy we've been title sponsoring their events for five years now."

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When it comes to teaching her own children about giving back, Pompeo feels the same way.

"You have to be careful what you say to them, there's a lot of noise out there right now," says the Grey's Anatomy star. "It's very complicated what you tell them and what you don't and how to explain things. Bringing my daughter along and showing her that you can do things like this and be a part of making someone's day a little better and just helping out. I think it's a good message. So, I think doing is better than saying anytime."