Glee’s Naya Rivera jetted into Toronto late last month to make dreams come true. The tall and stunning actress was on hand to help launch the Spread A Little Sunshine Campaign with Winners and HomeSense in support of The Sunshine Foundation Canada.
Looking the part in a neon yellow shift dress, Naya met with children who had severe physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. Many of them had dreamed of meeting the Glee star, “I am proud to be helping to raise awareness and funds for The Sunshine Foundation and their goal of making dreams come true for so many deserving kids.” Naya is much softer than her snarky TV cheerleader counterpart, Santana – especially with her hair pulled out of her usually slick Cheerios ponytail. The day we met Naya, it was on her only day off and she had jumped at the opportunity to help out in any way that she could.
Now a role model herself, Naya shared who her idols were growing up, “I mean, I really looked up to my parents obviously. They are amazing people and supported me through everything. I just wanted to make them proud, which was my number one thing.”
Naya towered over us in her five-inch heels, looking ready to walk a red carpet if need be! So how does Naya describe her personal style? “On regular days? [Giggles] I just like to be really comfortable. I like really long T-shirts. I recently got into wearing coloured jeans everyday like J Brands and if I dress up, I’ll definitely throw on some heels and show ‘em I can do it! But other than that I’m a flats and flip-flops kind of girl.” Would you have guessed that Naya is also a homebody? It’s her favourite way to unwind, she loves cooking dinner and describes herself as someone who is ultra domestic, “It’s like therapy going to Whole Foods – I could literally spend hours in there. I just enjoy cooking for my friends and family.”
Naya also joined a local high school glee club during a lunchtime performance to help kick-off the in-store portion of the campaign. Shoppers will have the option of donating $2, $5 or $10 at the checkout of any Winners or HomeSense store across Canada during the month of August.
Can’t get to a store? Shoppers can also participate in an online component where every Facebook ‘share’ or tweet results in a $5 donation for The Sunshine Foundation. The goal is to get 25,000 shares and tweets, which will be enough to send 80 children to Disneyworld.
When we asked Naya what her dream vacation would be – she answered without missing a beat, “The Four Seasons, Bora Bora. Rolls right off the tongue – I’m ready! [laughs]”
So what’s Naya working on next? Having been in singing lessons and talent competitions since the age of three, Naya will be developing her music career. She will be focused on putting out an album soon and recording in the studio. After seeing how generous and lovely Naya has been with her work through The Sunshine Foundation, we can’t wait to see her dream come true!
Lisa Ng is the Editor-in-Chief of The Hip + Urban Girl’s Guide, a lifestyle website that blogs daily about food, travel, fashion and events. When she’s not chasing after the best taco or donut somewhere around the world, you can find her in Toronto sharing her finds online.