"She's sensitive to the needs of others," the actress tells PEOPLE of daughter Suri

Like most parents, Katie Holmesis intent on raising a compassionate kid.

“I definitely like to set an example for my daughter — but she also is very generous of spirit on her own. And so she inspires me, as well,” the actress told PEOPLE of daughter Suri, 9½, Wednesday at the Glad to Give launch in New York.

She adds, “She’s sensitive to the needs of others.”

Katie Holmes

Michael Simon/Startraksphoto

Holmes, 36, has teamed up with the brand to encourage charitable donations this holiday season

“The spirit of giving has been always something important to my family and myself,” says The Kennedys: After Camelot star, who notes becoming an aunt and mother has only motivated her more when it comes to philanthropy. “It’s naturally something that is a part of our everyday life.”

In addition to giving back during the holidays, Holmes has involved her mini-me in her other charitable pursuits, most recently bringing her out onstage at this fall’s Global Citizen Festival, which raised awareness for worldwide poverty.

As for holiday traditions, the mother-daughter duo enjoys seasonal baking, on top of their charitable pursuits.

“I love making holiday Christmas cookies and destroying the kitchen in the process,” says Holmes with a laugh.

— Jeff Nelson