Penelope has volunteered in countries worldwide, including Nepal, Uganda and India, helping poverty-stricken and ill people around the globe.
Time spent working with Mother Teresa, including assisting in a leprosy clinic, led her to found an organization supporting homeless girls in India. The salary from her first film, The Hi-Lo Country, was donated to Mother Teresa’s mission.
Cruz told Marie Claire in an interview: “To spend a week with Mother Teresa? I was more excited to do that than to get the greatest movie. When you are there, you feel more useful than at any time in your life.”
One 16-year-old resident felt so inspired after a 20 minute private conversation with her, he said, “I told her I didn’t want to do drugs anymore, that I wanted to be somebody, and she told me that I should do it, that I could do it.”
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